Vaginal discharge is a combination of fluid and cells continuously shedding through the female reproductive organ; vagina. It can come in any colour — brown, green, pink, white, yellow — but it is important to know when to seek medical help.
There are several types of vaginal fluids which occur for various reasons. It comes in colours ranging from brown, pink, yellow, white, green… While some discharges are healthy, others are not. It is important to identify and understand the different types of vaginal discharge so as to know when to see a doctor.
A medical doctor, Peter Atang, in a twitter thread, explains that thin white vaginal discharge may be normal or abnormal, clear or mild. If it is clear, it is usually normal, especially during pregnancy, ovulation or around the menstrual period.
However, gonorrhea can increase the amount of clear discharge or turn it mucopurulent. It can also cause abdominal or pelvic pain, he explains.
Also, thick-white, curdy, or cheese-like discharge is often caused by yeast infection or candida. It is said that 9 in 10 women experience this infection at some point in their lives.
Symptoms of the infections may include itching, redness, irritation, excoriation or burning sensation in the vagina. This can be treated with antifungal creams.
A creamy greyish-white vaginal discharge that sticks to the wall of the vagina and has an awful smell is generally induced by bacterial vaginosis. This might also occur after the menstrual cycle.
Women may also experience a yellowish vaginal discharge. It may or may not be smelly and it can be due to bacterial infection or sexually transmitted infection (STI), like Trichomoniasis. It is advised to see a doctor when such a discharge is experienced.
Brown vaginal discharge is also common and may be as a result of irregular menstrual cycles, uterine cancer, or cervical cancer. It can also occur after menopause.
Another common vaginal fluid is the greenish discharge. This may imply bacterial infection, STI, such as Chlamydia.
Pink vaginal discharge appears in vaginal irritation, bleeding from the cervix, or after implantation. Sometimes, it is due to STIs-like gonorrhea or chlamydia and may be followed by bleeding during sexual intercourse.
Furthermore, doctors advise against self diagnoses. When any of these vaginal fluids occurs and persists, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.