Types of vaginal discharge, what are they?
Although most people are unaware of it or are too embarrassed to talk about it, it is true that there are different types of vaginal discharge, since it can change so much in its smell, color, amount, etc.
Vaginal discharge is, as its name suggests, a series of secretions produced by glands in the vagina. This liquid is absolutely normal and necessary, as it fulfills a multitude of functions necessary to maintain vaginal health.
One of them is that it allows the vagina to be "cleaned". That is , it helps remove dead cells and bacteria, which helps prevent infection. It is also a great indicator of the health of the female reproductive system.
All the changes that this discharge experiences can help us recognize pathologies. That's why this article explains the types of vaginal discharge that exist and what each one means.
Why are there different types of vaginal discharge?
Vaginal discharge can be altered by the presence of infections or sexually transmitted diseases.
First, before we start mentioning the different types of vaginal discharge, we should know that, physiologically, discharge changes throughout the entire menstrual cycle. That is, there are different types of discharge for each moment of the cycle, and it is absolutely normal.
These secretions change according to the female hormones, which also vary during the cycle. For example, near ovulation, the flow is usually heavier and thicker.This is because it also intervenes in reproduction and serves to prepare the woman for fertilization.
Similarly, when a woman becomes aroused, the flow increases. It is usually clear or milky white. However, it can also be more watery, transparent, more or less abundant, and so on.
It should benoted that all types of vaginal discharge have a characteristic smell , and this should not embarrass a woman. In fact, the ideal is to know the normal smell it has, because during an infection or pathology, the smell is one of the first things to be altered.
Types of vaginal discharge
The most important thing to distinguish the types of vaginal discharge is color. However, it is also necessary to look at the smell, consistency, and amount. When there is an infection or disease, any of these patterns can be altered.
Firstly, as we have already mentioned, the discharge may be white, which is normal. However, when it becomes more greyish and abundant it can be a bad sign. If the discharge is white but associated with itching or stinging, it may be a symptom of candidiasis.
Candidiasis is an infection by the fungus Candida, which is very common in women. Many studies say that it is one of the most common vaginal disorders, and that it is related, among other things, to changes in the pH of the vagina.
The discharge may also be yellowish. In these cases it is often accompanied by a strong odor and other discomforts such as itching or burning. This is a sign of an infection, whether or not it is a sexually transmitted disease. The most common are trichomoniasis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.
The discharge may even be brown, because there is blood in it. It often appears just before or after menstruation. It can also be caused by a small injury from sex.
However, the brown colour, if it remains, may be indicative of more severe pathologies, such as cancer. Similarly, it can arise if there is a foreign body in the vagina that is causing some irritation.
The idea is that there are numerous types of vaginal discharge, since it is a secretion that, by itself, changes in a physiological way. It is important to pay attention to all its aspects, since a change in color or quantity may indicate that there is some pathology.
It is also essential to pay attention to the smell. It is one of the parameters that is most altered in the case of an infection. However, it is advisable to always go to the gynaecologist if you have any doubts or if any alteration appears, so that he can check whether it is normal or not.