Discharge Meaning and Definition
A vaginal discharge is defined as a fluid or mucus that is produced by the glands of the cervix and the glands in the walls of the vagina.
It is mostly secreted at the cervix to prevent infections and germs from passing through the cervix to the uterus(womb).
It is very normal for a woman to produce different types of discharge, depending on what stage she is in her menstrual cylce.
Types of normal and healthy discharge produced by a woman are:
- Milky white discharge
- Clear watery discharge
- Creamy white discharge
- Thick white discharge
A vaginal discharge is normal and it is caused by the changing level of hormones in a woman's body.
There are other times when you could have an abnormal discharge and this is caused by an infection.
Is it Normal to have a smelling discharge
A vaginal discharge that has an odor or unpleasant smell is an indication of an infection. The most common type is the fish odor. This is caused by an imbalance of bacteria in the vagina.
Every woman's vagina consist of both yeast and bacteria in the right quantity. If there are more bad bacteria than yeast. It leads to a fishy smelling vagina.
The smell is more prominent after sex.
Read on to find out the main causes of vaginal discharge with odor.
Causes of Smelly Vaginal Discharge
Bacterial vaginosis is the most common cause of a smelling vagina that smells like fish. Although BV is not a sexually transmitted infection, it can be contracted during sex.
BV is only found in women. According to studies 1 in 3 women will contract Bacterial Vaginosis at least once in their lifetime.
Common symptoms of Bacteria vaginosis are:
- A discharge that has a strong fish smell
- Thin or watery discharge
- Grey or white in color
"What causes Bacteria Vaginosis?"
Bacterial Vaginosis is caused when there is a disruption in the natural balance of normal bacteria in the vagina.
Trichomoniasis also known as trich is a sexually transmitted disease caused by a protozoan called trichomonas vaginalis.
Common symptoms of Trichomoniasis are:
- A green or yellow frothy discharge
- An unpleasant smell e.g fish odor
- Itching and irritation of the vagina
- pain when urinating or during sex
Both men and women can contract Trich. Around 3.7 million people have Trich in the United States.
Trichomoniasis is transmitted through unprotected sex.
Trichomoniasis can be treated with oral antibiotics. The most common antibiotics used is called metronidazole.
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection caused by a bacteria known as Neisseira gonorrhoeae. It can be passed through unprotected sex, oral sex or anal sex.
Common symptoms of gonorrhea are:
- Thick green or yellow vaginal discharge
- Pain while urinating
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Vaginal itching and irritation
It is important to know that not all women experience this symptoms.
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection that is caused by a bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria.
Common symptoms of Chlamydia:
- Abnormal vaginal discharge with an odor
- Pain during sex
- itching or burning around the vagina
- burning pain while urinating
- Bleeding or spotting between periods
Yeast infection is a fungus infection caused by candida ablicans. Every woman's vagina consist of yeast that is put under control by bacteria.
When there is an overgrowth of yeast in the vagina, the yeast multiplies rapidly in number. This produces an itchy discharge that resembles cottage cheese.
Common symptoms of yeast infection are:
- Thick white clumpy discharge
- Intense itching of the vagina
- Vaginal irritation
Smelly Vaginal Discharge During Pregnancy
It is not uncommon for women to experience discharge during pregnancy. This is due to the increasing level of estrogen and progesterone hormone.
If you experience a discharge that is green, yellow or has a foul smell while pregnant, see the doctor immediately.
This is an abnormal discharge and it indicates the presence of an infection.
Smelly Vaginal Discharge After Period
Vaginal odor after period is a common experience for women.
If the smell is fishy then you may have an infection. Some women experience bacterial vaginosis after period because of the increase alkalinity level of the vagina.
how to get rid of smelly discharge
1. Practise Good Hygiene
Cleanse your vagina daily to wash away dirt and germs outside the vaginal opening. Sweat and daily use of toilets may cause germs and dirt to be found outside the vagina. Just like you brush your teeth everyday, gently wash your vagina also daily with a mild soap
2. Wear Loose and cotton underwear
Avoid wearing under wears that are too tight and dark. Tight under wears can cause you to sweat. And as we know germs and sweats are friends. Wearing loose clothing will prevent the build up of moisture and allow proper airflow.
3. Do not douche
Avoid douching. Douching can make things worse. Douching can cause an infection by disrupting the normal PH balance of the vagina.
You are more at risk to get bacterial vaginosis and STD by douching.
Eat Probiotic yogurt
Some Yogurt can help stop yeast infection because they contains lactobacillus. Lactobacillus is the normal bacteria found in the vagina. So eating yogurt daily will re-introduce this bacteria back into your gut and vagina to keep it healthy.
Use White Garlic
Garlic has both anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties. The anti-fungal properties helps to kill yeast. Eating raw or cooked garlic daily can help fight bad bacteria from the vagina.
Tree Tea oil
Tree tea oil is a very good antiseptic. It also contains anti-fungal properties just like garlic. It can help fight against the bad bacteria in the vagina that causes the smell and itchiness.
Make sure you dilute the tree tea oil with water and witch hazel. Apply the diluted tree tea oil unto a cotton pad and apply to the affected areas. Tree tea oil can cause burning sensation and irritation if not diluted.
Eat fresh fruits and Vegetable
Fresh fruits and vegetables contain a lot of vitamins and minerals that are good and healthy for your vagina.
Leafy greens when consumed helps to prevent vaginal dryness. Vitamin c also helps to boost the immune system