Vaginal discharge is a normal occurrence for every woman. It usually starts 1 or 2 years before a woman reaches puberty. It helps to prevent the uterus from infections. But there are also some abnormal discharges that indicates you have an infection.
An abnormal vaginal discharge is usually itchy or has a foul smell. The consistency and texture also ranges from thick clumpy to watery.
"so what are the causes of a discharge that looks like cottage cheese?"
Causes of Cottage Cheese Discharge
1. Use of Antibiotics
Although antibiotics helps to kill harmful bacteria. It also has a disadvantage that leads to an overgrowth of yeast.
Your body contains both bacteria and yeast. The role of the bacteria in the vagina is to keep the yeast under control.
The use of antibiotics may reduce the number of bacteria present in the vagina. This causes the yeast to grow out of control and multiply rapidly.
Therefore, If you take antibiotics for other conditions, you are prone to developing yeast infection(thrush). The most common place for yeast infection is the vagina or the tongue. This is because the yeast fungus known as Candidia albicans thrive in a warm, moist, environment.
2. Hormonal Imbalance
Studies and researches has found a link between estrogen hormone and yeast overgrowth. A study showed that a particular type of estrogen called estradiol, multiply the growth and survival of candida albicans.
This is one of the reasons may women have yeast infection or thrush before their period or during menopause.
Estrogen levels are higher just before your period and lower as menopause is approaching.
3. Contraceptive pills
Women who use certain types of hormonal birth control or contraceptives are likely to develop yeast infections or candidiasis. This is due to the fact that the hormones present in birth controls affects the natural balance of hormones in your body.
Hormonal birth controls pills, patches and rings contain estrogen and progestin. This disrupts the normal level of hormones in your body which can lead to excessive white or yellowish discharge that looks like cottage cheese.
Yeast cells flourish and thrive in a glucose rich environment. Women with diabetics or high blood sugar are more at risk of developing yeast overgrowth.
Vaginal secretions with high amount of sugar promotes the growth of yeast cells (candida).
5. Weak Immune System
A strong Immune system prevents you from getting infection. A weakened immune system make you prone to germs, bacteria infection, viral infection and as well as fungus infection.
Women with week immune system are more likely to develop bacterial vaginosis or fungus infection in their vagina.
6. Vaginal Douching
A healthy vaginal is slightly acidic. This acidic vaginal ph keeps infections away. Douching make the vaginal alkaline.
Douching is highly not recommended. This is because douching upsets the natural balance of the naturally occurring yeast cells and bacteria in the vagina. If the yeast cells gain control. They multiply rapidly and grow in abundance.
During your period the PH of the vagina is more alkaline. An alkaline environment makes to easily have a vaginal infection.
Yeast overgrowth are very common during pregnancy. Pregnancy reduces or weakens your immune system. This makes you more prone to yeast infection. Gestational diabetics that occurs during pregnancy also provides an environment for yeast to grow.
Also hormonal changes during pregnancy also makes it possible to develop thrush.
9. Tight Clothing
Wearing tight clothing or unbreathable clothing provides the exacts environment the yeast fungus love and thrives in. Yeast loves warm, dark, damp or moist environment.
This environment also has little oxygen which allows yeast to breed. Avoid wearing tight panties, tight jeans or tight under wear if you have yeast infection or are prone to having on
Symptoms of Vaginal Thrush Yeast Infection
Common Symptoms of yeast infection are:
- Thick white vaginal discharge
- Soreness or redness of the vagina opening or Vulva
- Intensive Vaginal itching
- Pain while urinating
- Pain during sexual intercourse
Cottage Cheese Discharge during Pregnancy
During pregnancy a woman's body undergoes so many changes than in any other time of their lives. Some of this changes includes hormonal imbalance. An imbalance of hormones in the body especially during pregnancy can upset the balance between yeast and bacteria present in the vagina.
Yeast infection during pregnancy is most common in the second trimester.
Cottage cheese discharge is common in pregnancy because your body is undergoing some many changes. This changes makes it difficult for your body to keep up with the chemical changes going on in the vagina.
If you are pregnant and you notice an excessive thick clumpy or lump discharge that resembles cottage cheese. See your doctor immediately. Using over the counter drugs is not advisable for pregnant women.
See your doctor who will prescribe the appropriate vaginal cream and suppositories for you to use during pregnancy.
Cottage Cheese Discharge No Odor No Itch
If you have a thick white discharge but it is not itchy or has no odor. Then you may not have a yeast infection. If it worries you, visit your doctor who will examine you discharge under the microscope to know if this is just a normal discharge or an infection.
IS Cottage Cheese Discharge STD?
Yeast infection or thrush are not sexually transmitted diseases. Although they may increase the risk of STI. It also has common symptoms with most sexually transmitted diseases such as trichomoniasis, gonorrhea and chlamydia. Some of the shared symptoms are: vaginal itching, burning sensation or pain and abnormal discharge.
If you are unsure, if you have a yeast infection of STD, see your Doctor or health care provider, who would collects samples of you discharge by using a swab.
The samples collected are then sent over to the lab, to be examined under a microscope for diagnosis.
White Cottage Cheese Discharge Not Yeast Infection
The most common symptom of yeast infection is vaginal itching and irritation. It doesn't have a foul smell but the smell of the discharge may be similar to bread or yeast.
If you have a white vaginal discharge that is itchy but does not have a foul smell then you most likely have infection of yeast. If your discharge has a foul smell like fish then you have bacterial vaginosis or STD.