Clumpy white discharge

The vagina is one of the most important parts of the female body as it acts as a passage between the external body and the inner reproductive organs. The vagina’s ph balance is also important in preventing vaginal infections because of its acidic properties created by naturally present bacteria. Usually, a healthy vagina secretion is needed for its cleansing and regulation just like the saliva secretions that keep the mouth’s conditions regulated. But any changes in the normal secretions might be problematic and can lead to infections. While a normal discharge is clear or off white and cloudy it can change its form and appearance due to reasons such as sexually transmitted diseases, changes in the menstrual cycle, emotional and mental stress, lifestyle problems, and medications such as birth control pills.

Changes in the normal vaginal discretion are mostly because of and during the menstrual cycle that affects the vaginal conditions. During the mid cycle one might experience more wetness and whiter discharge as the pH balance also fluctuates and is not as acidic before the onset or during the menses, making it the most vulnerable time for vaginal infections which most women will eventually experience once or more often in their life.

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Symptoms

  • Thick discharge along with itching, rashes, swelling or reddening of the vagina or the part around it.
  • The discharge is Persistent.
  • Feeling of burning while urinating.
  • The discharge is clumpy and clotty and somewhat similar to cottage cheese.
  • Eventually the color could change to grey or yellow with a foul smell.

Causes

  • Bacterial infection through the digestive tract, especially among the younger age group.
  • Chemicals in toiletries and other products such as toilet paper, body wash, soaps, and shampoos.
  • Poor hygiene also contributes to the abnormal discharge. The harmful bacteria get transferred from the digestive to genital area.
  • Sometimes the discharge could also contain blood spots, especially when it is because of the foreign bodies.
  • Trichomonas vaginitis: This is a sexually transmitted infection that promotes the occurrence of the clumpy white discharge as the acidity of the vagina reduces because of the infection. The healthy bacteria with the help of vaginal acidity keep the discharge healthy.
  • Consumption of too many antibiotics promotes the growth of the harmful bacteria and increases the chance of vaginal infection. Same is the case with Menstrual blood or semen in the vagina.
  • Douching is also responsible for this problem as it reduces the acidity of the vagina.
  • After or during menopause, a lot of women can have abnormal discharge because of the reduction in the estrogen levels that causes vaginal thinning and drying also known as atrophic vaginitis. Such a condition makes the vagina more vulnerable to irritation, reddening, inflammation along with the abnormal and thick discharge.
  • Unhealthy or infected stool due to involuntarily passing or poor hygiene.
  •  Products that come into genital contact such as condoms, lubricants, tampons, sprays, perfumes, soaps, bleach, vaginal creams and contraceptive rings.
  • Monilia or Yeast Infection: Yeast infection takes place when there is excessive yeast due to the pH imbalance of the vagina and isn’t sexually transmitted. Increased stress and consumption of medicines such as antibiotics and birth control pills, pregnancy or lifestyle changes may contribute to the infection. Among the younger age group the discharge could be yellowish with a foul odor. There could also be abdominal pain, accumulation of abscess and fever along with the discharge.

Treatment

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Over the counter drugs might not be useful in this case. However oral antibiotics such as metronidazole (Flagyl) can be used. Unfortunately it can have side effects such as nausea and darkening of urine. Also there should be no Alcohol consumption while taking this medication as it can lead to severe nausea and vomiting. It also comes in the form of a cream and can be used daily. One must also avoid sexual intercourse till the problem has been treated.

The motive of any treatment shouldn’t be to completely eliminate yeast from the vagina since it is normally present but the emphasis should be on reducing the overgrowth of yeast organisms for a healthy balance. Antifungal agents like tablets and creams can be used but in the case of pregnancy one must consider medical help first than self medication.

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO NOTE

  • Avoid having multiple sexual partners and use precautions. Also it is better to avoid sexual intercourse while undergoing the treatment.
  • Maintain good genital hygiene and avoid using products that are too scented or consist of too many chemicals.
  • Go for cotton under wears.
  • Keep the vagina clean, dry and avoid douching.
  • Avoid using petroleum jelly or other forms of lubrication.
  • Don’t scratch or touch the infected area.
  • Medication should be used inside the vagina during menstruation.
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