What are the reasons behind white discharge?


Vaginal or white discharge is crucial in every woman’s reproductive system. The glands inside your vagina and cervix make small amounts of fluid daily. It flows out of the vagina carrying out old cells. This fluid helps to keep the vagina’s infection-free, healthy and clean. 

White discharge is entirely normal in most scenarios. But if you notice any color changes, texture/ consistency and amount, there can be many reasons. Likely that happens if there is a change in your menstrual cycle or any other internal changes in your body. 

However, if those are not the cases, it may cause worry, as it can be a sign of an underlying health condition.

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 Signs/ Symptoms of White Discharge

Generally, white discharge is clear or milky in colour and doesn’t smell foul. However, you may notice changes in the colour and thickness of the discharge according to your menstrual cycle. 

The white discharge gets thicker in consistency in certain situations like when you ovulate, when you breastfeed, when you’re sexually excited, or when you’re pregnant. 

However, if the white discharge changes its colour to yellow, green or yellow, it may cause worry. Abnormal discharge symptoms might include- 

  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Irritation
  • Redness
  • Thick, white vaginal discharge
  • A bad odour that lasts more than a day
  • Painful intercourse
  • Painful urination
  • Pain or tenderness in your lower abdomen
  • Blisters, bumps or soreness in your genital area

A few of the major reasons/infections that cause abnormal white discharge are as follows 

  • Bacterial vaginosis- is commonly found in women who are pregnant or women who have multiple sexual partners
  • Birth control pills
  • Cervical cancer
  • Chlamydia- sexually transmitted infections
  • Diabetes
  • Douches through scented lotions, bubble bath
  • Pelvic infection after surgery
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Trichomoniasis- a parasitic infection usually caused by having unprotected sex
  • Vaginal atrophy- causing thinning and drying out of the vaginal walls during menopause
  • Vaginitis- irritation happening in or around the vagina
  • Yeast infections

Reasons that cause White Discharge

As mentioned above, white discharge is considered a normal part of a woman’s body. It is how your body maintains a healthy and clean vagina; however, if there is a disturbance in vaginal health, the occurrence of white discharge changes. 

Many reasons can disturb the balance of healthy vaginal germs, including:

  • Douching that can cause PID
  • Using an excess of Feminine hygiene sprays
  • By using certain soaps or bubble baths
  • Having too many Antibiotics
  • Diseases like Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Infections

The Bottom Line

Ensure checking your vaginal discharge, understand what kind of discharge is usual for your body and notice changes as quickly as possible.

If you notice anything out of the ordinary, it is a sign to talk with a healthcare professional and get the necessary treatment. Don’t forget that the sooner infections are diagnosed and treated, the less chance of falling into any long-term complications. Visit chhaajaa.