#Health and Hygiene

Female Sexual Health: Vaginal Discharge and Things You Should Know About It

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Water discharge from the vagina or vaginal discharge is the fluid secreted by the glands in the vagina and cervix. The fluids flow out of the vaginal opening carrying out old cells that have lined the vagina. This is the body’s way of keeping the vagina clean, healthy, and lubricated.

The colour and the amount of normal vaginal discharge vary from person to person. In this line, Dr. Aakriti Gupta, gynaecologist, told SheThePeople, “Basically the colour is transparent to white and there is no odour or smell.”

Also Read: What is Vaginismus? When Sex Brings More Pain Than Pleasure.

Increased Vaginal Discharge, Is It A Matter of Concern?

Many women have concerns about vaginal discharge – its amount, the colour of the discharge, and its odour. At first place women should know that vaginal discharge is a completely normal process. The discharge mostly starts at the onset of puberty and tapers towards menopause. Although many cases of vaginal discharge are not caused by sexually transmitted infections and do not need any treatment, few abnormal vaginal discharges can be indicative of sexually transmitted infections.

Dr. Aakriti Gupta says, “The thing that should be considered at first is whether the discharge is healthy or unhealthy. So firstly, we need to know these four points-

  1. The quantity of vaginal discharge can increase during sexual intercourse.
  2. The quantity can also increase during certain emotional states.
  3. Vaginal discharge increases during the time of ovulation.
  4. An increase in vaginal discharge is also common when a girl is on some kind of contraception.

So, the discharge can be excess and can be healthy.”  Thus, we can infer out that increased vaginal discharge can be normal also as there are many factors that govern the flow of fluids from the vagina.

Causes

Few of the non-infectional causes of vaginal discharge are physiological, cervical ectopy, vulva dermatitis or it can be due to the insertion of foreign bodies into the vagina such as retained tampons. Bacterial vaginosis and Candida infections are two of the non-sexually transmitted infectious causes of vaginal discharge. Few of the sexually transmitted infections which can be responsible for excess vaginal discharge or change in the odour and colour of the vaginal discharge are- Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria Gonorrhoeae, Trichomonas vaginalis.

Hygiene Advice

It is advised that women should avoid using local irritants like perfumed soaps and shower gels. One should be wary of female hygiene products health such as wipes, sprays, and powders that might upset the vaginal health and can cause allergic reactions. Moreover, vaginal douching should be avoided as it is linked with Bacterial vaginosis.

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