Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

Most women aware of their intimate health ever worry when he noticed some change in volume, color or odor of the "vaginal discharge". Many wonder, for example, which can mean a "pasty white discharge."

In fact, this kind of doubt exists because not everyone knows exactly what the discharge is, when can indicate a health problem and when it is considered "normal".

Mariana Halla, an obstetrician and gynecologist with medical residency and specialization in Endocrine Gynecology, member of the International Menopause Society, IMS, explains that "discharge" is the popular term that refers to increased vaginal discharge, when a woman has yeast infection, bacteria or protozoa. "It can be white, yellow and even green, causing itching, burning, pain and smelly" he says.

Janio Serafim, gynecologist St. Helena Hospital, points out that the discharge (or vaginitis) may have an unpleasant odor and cause symptoms such as vulvovaginal itching, pelvic pain, pain during intercourse or other symptoms.

The main causes of discharge, even according to Serafim, are:

Read also: 7 vaginal problems and how to deal with each of them

  • vaginal infections;
  • Vulvites and vulvovaginitis;
  • cervical infections and cervical cancer;
  • STDs (sexually transmitted diseases).

Frederico Corrêa, obstetrician gynecologist Hospital Saint Lucia and Clinical FertilCare, Brasilia, emphasizes that it is important to differentiate the physiological vaginal discharge vaginal discharge (which is normal and not associated with infection).

The main types of discharge

Frederico Corrêa explains the types of vaginal discharge can vary depending on the cause, ie, the type of associated infection. "The most common are those discharges that occur by the presence of infection by a fungus called Candida, and which occur by infection with bacteria or protozoa." Below Corrêa details better the characteristics of these major infections that cause landslides:

candidiasis: infection by the fungus of the vaginal walls can lead to a white discharge, such as "skim milk" no foul odor, but usually associated with itching (pruritus) vaginal and vulvar.

Bacterial vaginosis: a type of infection caused by bacteria present in the vagina, the most common being Garnerella vaginalis. "The discharge is abundant, with bubbles has greyish-white color with very foul odor similar to" rotten fish ', not associated with itching ", Cooke explained.

trichomoniasis: Trichomonas vaginalis infection caused by a protozoan transmitted by sexual intercourse. "The discharge in this case is abundant in yellow-green color, with foul odor may be associated with pruritus and not very intense pelvic pain," explains gynecologist.

Also read: vaginal itching: understand the reasons for the problem and how to avoid

José Ferreira Neto Gomes, Group Santa gynecologist and member of the Brazilian Society of Gynecology, stresses that the most common landslides are caused by Candida and the Gardnerella vaginalis.

Janio Serafim adds another known type of discharge is associated with cervicitis (inflammation of the cervix, viral, bacterial or parasitic). This irritation can be caused by sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, HPV.

white discharge with no odor and no itching

Mariana says it is very important to differentiate "discharge" (disease) of the normal vaginal secretion. "Every woman has output small amount of fluid secretion white, odorless through the vagina, this is good and keeps it lubricated. At the time of ovulation, about 10 to 14 days after the coming menstruation, there is a release of mucus, a kind of colorless gelatin to facilitate intercourse and increase of spermatozoa fertilization so that there "he explains.

Frederico Corrêa explains that many of the cases described as the discharge women are actually externalizing the vagina secretion of these glands in the uterus, the cervix and the vaginal wall. "Therefore, the vaginal fluid exits with no foul odor, white or light-colored - Transparent, no itching, are absolutely normal and depend on several aspects such as the phase of the menstrual cycle or not the use of contraceptives, the state of hydration of woman, among others. "

"The volume of these vaginal fluids can vary at different times in the same woman. In these cases, there is no cause for concern. In the first phase of the menstrual cycle, vaginal fluid presents clear fluid egg type and plentiful, but after ovulation it becomes thick, whitish, "the gynecologist.

thick white discharge with itching and irritation

Mariana says that is possibly a yeast infection. "It's not normal and it is necessary for an appointment with the gynecologist," guides.

Frederico Corrêa enhances the discharge of these characteristics is highly suggestive of infection by the Candida fungus responsible for thrush. "In these cases, mainly due to vaginal irritation and itching, women tend to seek health services more quickly. After confirming the diagnosis should perform appropriate treatment, "he says.

Cooke explains that the treatment of candidiasis should be done with antifungal drugs by oral or vaginal route in the form of cream or ovules. "Candidiasis is a common infection in women and is closely related to immunity. It is very common, for example after use of antibiotics for the treatment of other diseases, for modifying the vaginal flora and to facilitate the growth of fungus. Women with changes in immunity are more likely to have vaginal candidiasis "he says.

Mariana out as preventive measures for this thick white discharge with itching and irritation (associated with yeast infection):

  • local hygienic measures like washing themselves with soap to the area or glycerin.
  • Avoid over these toiletries and always rinse well.
  • Keep the genital area dry and avoid wet bikinis for long.
  • Wash panties preventing soap, coconut soap preferred or suitable for this purpose.
  • Avoid tight-fitting clothing on the day and sleep without underwear.
  • Moderate consumption of sugar and refined white flour because they are true "food" for the fungi.

Correa recalled that the fungus has a preference for hot and humid environments. Thus reinforces the use of lighter, airy clothes, which help to decrease, thus the risk of candidiasis. "Care for immunity is also important to prevent recurrent infections," he adds.

thick white discharge can be a sign of pregnancy?

Gomes Neto stressed that discharge is no sign of pregnancy. "There cervical mucus increases in quantity in time of ovulation". But one should not say that this is discharge.

Frederico Corrêa points out that, during pregnancy, due to hormonal changes, it is common the presence of white secretion and thick especially in the early months of pregnancy. "The high level of progesterone, a hormone important in pregnancy, this modification causes the cervical mucus to acquire these characteristics. One should not do anything about it, because this type of discharge is normal and physiological, "he says.

Janio Serafim recalled that during the menstrual cycle, quantity, color and texture of the cervical mucus change, due to hormonal fluctuations, as well as during pregnancy.

On suspicion of pregnancy, as instructed Serafim, a woman should see your gynecologist to make a specific assessment and request the necessary examinations.

7 that the discharge signal is not normal

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

Janio Serafim remember that not all vaginal secretion is disease. The vagina has a combination of fluids and cells that are important in protecting the same. A woman should, however, be careful when:

  1. There is increased volume of vaginal discharge;
  2. The color change from white, crystalline to yellow-gray, yellow pus, yellow-green, green, yellowish white or other colors;
  3. The panties are wet every day, and may even move to the outer clothing;
  4. If foul smell, especially during the menstrual cycle or after sexual intercourse;
  5. If you experience burning or painful urination;
  6. If there vulvovaginal itching;
  7. If pelvic pain, pain during intercourse or other symptoms.

Gomes Neto agrees: the discharge ceases to be physiological when it becomes symptomatic. "In other words, when a woman begins to feel pruritus (itching), stinging, smelly or an increase in the amount. So, see your doctor for a gynecological exam. "

Now you know: the vaginal content should not be cause for concern. However, if you notice changes in volume, color or odor, as well as symptoms such as itching and pain (urination, sexual intercourse), do not hesitate to seek medical help to diagnose and treat the cause of the discharge.