Vaginal discharge can be normal or abnormal. A normal discharge is a milky white mucus which does not smell.
With sexual stimulation this lubricating type of discharge
will increase in order to assist penile penetration. It also
can come on more heavily during ovulation when nature
arranges for sexual desire to be heightened.
The contraceptive pill can cause an abnormal vaginal discharge.
Infection due to a fungus called candida albicans may occur. This produces
a thick creamy cheese-like discharge which is associated
with itching and redness about the entrance to the vagina.
This condition is often called vaginal thrush or monilia and
can also occur with pregnancy, the use of certain
antibiotics and an over use of sugar in the diet. Diabetes
might also be present. Wearing tight jeans and pantyhose can
also encourage thrush.
Two sexually transmitted diseases due to gardenerella vaginilis and trichomonas vaginilis can produce a foul smelling discharge, watery and grey to yellow green in colour and often containing bubbles. The vaginal opening is red and sore and intercourse and urination can be painful.
Other causes of vaginal discharge are inflammation of the cervix particularly in the case of cancer of the cervix and even cancer higher up in the reproductive tract. This often shows up as blood stained vaginal discharge particularly after intercourse.
Foreign bodies in the vagina can produce a chronic, often foul smelling discharge. A forgotten tampon left in for too long will produce a discharge which is generally offensive in nature. Tampons should not be left in for longer than 6 hours and it sensible to alternate their use with a sanitary pad, particularly at night.
An allergic reaction to deodorant type douches and
spermicides can produce a vaginal discharge.
Your doctor should be consulted once a vaginal discharge has become established, particularly if offensive or if it contains blood.
Treatment will depend on establishing the particular cause. Organisms will have to be identified by examining the secretions and an internal examination may be necessary.