In today’s article, we are going to talk about something that is very intimate to women and is hardly spoken about, except when they are in a Gynaecologists’s cabin. It is vaginal discharge also called Leucorrhea.
What is Leucorrhea?
Leucorrhea does not simply refer to vaginal discharge. It is a form of vaginal discharge that is thin and sticky and white in colour. It occurs especially in the early days of pregnancy and is harmless. But it is also a common occurrence for4 all women in their child-bearing years. A normal leucorrhea is when it is simply a white discharge without any burning, itching or irritation in the tissues around the vaginal opening. Because of its texture and characteristics, it is difficult to differentiate between leucorrhea and vaginal discharge caused by STI or a yeast infection.
A normal leucorrhea has a very mild odour and isn’t usually itching or does not have a foul smell. It is a normal phenomenon that the vagina does to maintain the pH balance and prevent the growth of pathogens and infections. So even though, we women cringe at the sight of this and feel awkwardly uncomfortable, it is a good biological process. Don’t douche or use vaginal wipes as it can disturb your vaginal health.
How normal is leucorrhea?
It is completely normal for a woman to experience leucorrhea when they are ovulating and early in pregnancy. Also, just before a girl hits puberty and there are some drastic hormonal changes, she can have vaginal discharge. Using a panty liner to manage this uncomfortable wet feeling is fine, but never use a tampon as it may lead to infections.
But if your leucorrhea happens with an itching and burning sensation and has a change in colour, consistency with a strong foul odour, it is known as the pathological type of leucorrhea. This can be due to diseases and infections in the vagina and the neighbouring tissues.
When should you discuss leucorrhea with your doctor?
If the colour of your discharge is green or yellow, it is a matter of concern and you must take it up with your doctor. Here are some symptoms of abnormal leucorrhea:
- Smelly discharge that has a green or yellow tint
- Continuous and abundant vaginal discharge
- Bright red spotting
- Pain and itching in the genital region
- Swollen labia
- Pelvic pain
- Lethargy, weakness, and headache
What does abnormal leucorrhea mean?
During puberty and pregnancy when you have incessant vaginal discharge it is common as you are going through massive hormonal changes. But abnormal leucorrhea otherwise means the following:
- Fungal or yeast infection
- Sexually transmitted diseases caused by a bacterial infection
- Protozoan Parasite that causes infection in the lining of the vagina and cervix
- Uterine or cervical cancer
- Poor hygiene
- Hormonal disorders
- Poor nutrition
- Application of vaginal lubricants
- Underlying medical conditions like diabetes, tuberculosis, and anaemia
- Emotional stress and anxiety
Talk to your gynaecologist for treatment of abnormal leucorrhea and know if there are any abnormal health issues.