What is vaginal discharge and what causes it?
Vaginal discharge has been a healthy feature of a menstruator’s cycle since the beginning. The discharge’s color and consistency fluctuates throughout the cycle, but it’s generally clear, white, or brown in color, with a wide variety of consistency.
However, if the discharge is yellow, green, or grey in color, or if it smells bad, there could be underlying health problems.
What is creamy white discharge, and what causes it?
Almost everyone who menstruates will have creamy white vaginal discharge at some time during their period. It is a fully natural and healthy aspect of the biological activities in most circumstances, but it may suggest underlying health difficulties in some cases.
What does it mean?
This type of discharge can occur at any time and can signify a variety of things:
- Before periods – You are not alone if you have mistaken creamy white discharge in your pants for blood before your periods. This is extremely frequent, and it usually has no odour or a mild sour odour. The consistency is typically slightly sticky and does not bother the skin. In the lack of an egg to fertilize, the body is attempting to keep sperm outside of the cervix. It could also be a side effect of vaginal cleansing. The fluids that mix with the discharge are produced by glands in the cervix, which determine its consistency throughout the cycle. Aside from fluid, epithelial cells are present in the discharge.
- After sex – You may detect a creamy white discharge after intercourse for a variety of causes. It could be a sign of female ejaculation or a part of your natural lubrication. When you have had unprotected sex and your partner has ejaculated inside your vagina, it is sometimes the male ejaculation that comes out with your vaginal fluids. As a result of rough sex causing light bleeding or residual period blood, your discharge may appear pink and creamy after sex. When this is combined with white discharge, it takes on a creamy, pink hue.
- After ovulation –The discharge during ovulation becomes transparent and sticky, like egg whites, to help sperm enter the cervix and fertilize the egg. However, once your ovulation time has passed, you will enter the luteal phase of your cycle, which is marked by a creamy white discharge that is more difficult for sperm to penetrate.
- During pregnancy –The vagina produces more creamy white discharge during pregnancy, which is normally odourless or has a little odour. The discharge is known as leukorrhea, and it serves to protect the uterus from dangerous microorganisms that could harm the developing embryo. This type of discharge is caused by pregnancy hormones, which are produced in greater quantities at this period. If you notice an unpleasant odour, call your doctor right away because any type of vaginal infection during pregnancy can lead to issues such as neonatal infections or premature birth.
What’s the difference between it and milky white discharge?
Depending on where you are in your cycle, the consistency and color of your discharge will differ. Your body is ready for ovulation when you have a thin, milky discharge in the beginning to mid-phase of your period that is slightly sticky in nature.
As your period approaches, the consistency changes, becoming more creamy and opaque. The early phases of pregnancy, when your body is preparing to bear the baby for the following nine months, are also marked by milky discharge. It keeps the vaginal area clean and germ-free, and it forms a mucus plug to keep bacteria out of the uterus.
If your discharge is thick, white, and clumpy, should you be concerned?
While creamy white discharge is common, you should keep an eye on it for any changes in consistency. It could be a sign of a yeast infection if it becomes clumpy or clogged. While the vaginal pH is usually maintained, there are times when the balance is upset, resulting in an excess of bacteria or fungi that would otherwise thrive.
Candida albicans is a type of fungus that can cause yeast infection if it grows too quickly. Typical warning indicators include:
- Thick, clumpy discharge like cottage cheese
- It’s possible that the white discharge will turn yellow or green
- The vaginal area begins to smell bad
- An itchy vaginal or vulva is a condition in which the female reproductive organs are irrit
- Swelling or redness in the vulva region
- Urination that is painful or causes burns
- Painful sex
If you suspect a yeast infection, see a doctor, and if it happens more than once or twice a year, get tested for underlying health disorders that might cause vaginal infections.
If there’s an odour, should you be concerned?
Creamy white discharge is usually odour less or has a mild odour. However, if the discharge has a foul odour, it could be a sign of bacterial vaginosis (BV). When the pH of the vaginal discharge decreases, it becomes more susceptible to bacterial infections, and the color of the discharge gradually changes to grey or yellow.
However, there is no odour in the discharge itself with yeast infections, but the vaginal area becomes foul-smelling. Other indicators of yeast infection should also be watched for and reported to your doctor.
When should you seek medical advice?
Creamy white discharge is normally a sign of good reproductive health and should not be a cause for concern. However, if you detect any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical advice:
- Vaginal itching
- Discomfort in the area
- Rashes or bleeding
- The smell is very strong
- Having sex or urinating with a burning sensation
There is no need to be concerned if the discharge is not accompanied by any of the above.
Message from bliss pads
Yes, you can feel like your best self when on your period.