Understanding the Causes of Vaginal Discharge
Vaginal discharge plays an important role in maintaining the health of the vagina. This discharge is intended to clean the reproductive organ, and varies greatly in terms of the amount of fluid released and the color of the discharge. Vaginal discharge fluctuates due to circumstances such as sexual activity and pregnancy, and in most cases, is simply the body’s way of dealing with these factors. When accompanied by vaginal itching or burning, however, increased vaginal discharge can be an indicator of a serious infection. Foul smelling vaginal discharge is also reason for concern, as this may signal more serious issues.
Infections and STIs
A vaginal infection is one of the most common causes of increased vaginal discharge. Occasionally, vaginal discharge with blood may be released. This is generally an indication of an STI, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea. It is important to remember that some spotting in the discharge can occur during a normal menstrual cycle.
Yeast infections and urinary tract infections can also be the cause of foul smelling vaginal discharge. Both generally require treatment by a medical professional. Foamy discharge could also be indicative of another STI, trichomoniasis. When healthy, most women should experience relatively watery vaginal discharge.
Cervical Cancer Risk
In rare cases, increasing vaginal discharge could potentially serve as a warning sign of cervical cancer. This discharge is generally quite heavy, and may be thick or contain mucus. Painful urination can accompany this discharge, which could indicate that the cancer has spread. Discharge of this nature is often accompanied by bleeding.
Irritation and Inflammation
The vagina can become irritated or inflamed when it comes into contact with certain products. The vagina naturally cleans itself, which is generally enough to ensure that the body remains healthy. Some women may attempt a vaginal douche in attempt to cleanse the area, though most gynecologists recommend against this. Douching is often attempted when the vagina emits an odor, which could be the sign of a complication. Additionally, douching can cause irritation that leads to bleeding and discharge.
Closely monitoring the vagina and its discharge is a fantastic way to make certain that any warning symptoms are recognized. If vaginal discharge suddenly increases or blood is noticed, it is best to make an appointment with a gynecologist. The doctor will be able to address the source of this problem, treating any infections or irritation that may have occurred.