Vaginal discharge is an important function in the female reproductive system. This fluid is made by glands inside the vagina and cervix and its purpose is to carry away dead cells and bacteria. This process prevents infection and keeps the vagina internally clean.
The amount, odor and hue varies, depending on the time in your menstrual cycle. The color can range from clear to a milky white. If you are breastfeeding or ovulating, there will be more discharge. If you are pregnant, the smell may be a little different.
Now those are normal forms of discharge. What if your discharge is different? What if your discharge has a noticeably unpleasant odor and is a strange color?
There are many things that can change the vagina’s balance of normal bacteria. This is what will cause changes in the smell, texture, and color of the discharge. Some things that can cause an imbalance are diabetes, birth control pills, cervical cancer and different forms of vaginal infections such as bacterial vaginosis. Here is what different discharge characteristics may mean:
- If the discharge is gray, white or yellow with an unpleasant fish-like odor, this could be bacterial vaginosis. Other symptoms of this infection includes itching, burning and redness in the vaginal area. This usually occurs due to a bacterial imbalance.
- A brown or bloody discharge could mean you are experiencing irregular menstrual cycles. It is also possible that you have endometrial or cervical cancer. An addition of pelvic pain and vaginal bleeding makes this more likely.
- If your discharge is thicker, cheese-like and white, you may have yeast infection. Itching, swelling, and pain in the vaginal area usually are also symptoms you may experience if you have this infection.
- If you have recently given birth to a child, you may have pink discharge. This is a sign of the uterine lining shedding.
If you begin to notice differences in your vaginal discharge, as well as pain or itchiness in that area, it is best that you visit your doctor to confirm your symptoms.
Could you or a loved one be living with Bacterial Vaginosis? Contact Segal Institute today at 1-877-734-2588 to learn more about a Clinical Research Opportunity or see if you qualify at http://studies.segaltrials.com/request-a-prescreen/