What is vaginal discharge?

• It is a watery secretion from the vagina which causes a feeling of wetness.
• Vaginal discharge serves an important housekeeping function in the female reproductive system..
• Fluid secreted by glands inside the vagina and cervix carries away dead cells and bacteria. This keeps the vagina clean and helps prevent infection

Is this discharge Normal? 
• Most of the time the vaginal discharge is perfectly normal and physiological
• There will be more discharge and wetness

1. Before and after periods,
2.15 days after periods ( During ovulation)
3. While breastfeeding
4. On sexual arousal

When should you be concerned and consult a Gynaecologist?

• Discharge accompanied by itching, rash or soreness
• Persistent, increased discharge
• Burning on skin during urination
• White, clumpy discharge (somewhat like cottage cheese)
• Grey/white or yellow/green discharge with a foul odour

What causes abnormal and recurrent discharge?

Any change in the vagina's balance of normal bacteria can affect the smell, colour,
or discharge texture. These are a few of the things that can upset that balance.

Infections :

Bacterial Vaginosis: a bacterial infection more common in pregnant women or  women who have multiple sexually partners.

Yeast Infections: Candida. It is common and recurrent infection .

Trichomoniasis: a parasitic infection typically contracted and caused by having unprotected sex.

Chlamydia or Gonnorhea ( STD’s) – sexually transmitted infections

Drugs: Birth Control Pills, Steroids, Prolonged Antibiotic Use
Diabetes              Pregnancy               Cervical Cancer

Use of Douches, scented soaps or lotions, bubble bath, Poor Perineal Hygiene

What are the types of Discharges?

1.Thin white or colourless discharge which may stain your panty but has no bad smell  nor is associated with itching – NORMAL

2.White or Grey fishy smelling discharge which is more after sexual intercourse but is not associated with itching --  Bacterial Vaginosis.

3.Profuse, frothy yellow or green with unpleasant smell and associated with itching - Trichomoniasis.

4.Watery or white thick cheesy vaginal discharge with intense itchiness –Yeast Infection or Thrush.

Personal Perineal Hygiene and Prevention guidelines for vaginal infections

• Stay healthy; eat well, get enough sleep, drink enough fluids.
• Keep vaginal area clean and dry
• Wear cotton underwear.
Wipe from front to back after urination or bowel movement
• Avoid using deodorant, perfumed soaps, body washes or tampons
• Don't use petroleum jelly or other oils for lubricants
• Don't douche

Treatment Principles of Vaginal discharge


•Use medication as long as directed.
•Avoid sexual intercourse until treatment is completed
•Don't scratch infected or inflamed areas; it can cause further irritation.
•During an infection, use pads rather than tampons if menstruation occurs.

If symptoms persist after completing the treatment, an exam is indicated. Call for an appointment, and please use nothing in the vagina for 48 hours prior to your examination by doctor.

Article Compiled By:
Dr. Jyoti Bhaskar, MD MRCOG
Senior Consultant Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Pushpanjali Crosslay Hospital, Vaishali, Ghaziabad
Lifecare Centre, East Delhi.