Causes of Vaginal Discharge

Friday, August 11, 2023 - 12:15

All women have it, but it is not always easy to talk about it, even to your doctor or gynaecologist. Yet, vaginal discharge is normal, and it indicates good intimate health. So, why do you have it and when should you worry?

Vaginal discharge, also known as leukorrhea, removes bacteria and dead cells present on the vagina’s wall, keeps it clean and prevents infections. Normal vaginal discharge is odourless and colourless, but it is important to know that vaginal discharge, in some cases, may be a symptom of an infection or illness. You can keep your vagina healthy by learning more about the different causes of vaginal discharge.

Getting Vaginal Discharge?

Having vaginal discharge is completely natural, and even essential for vaginal hygiene! It also shows that a woman's vagina is working normally. Yet, you sometimes notice that your vaginal discharge looks or smells abnormal, that’s why it is important to know the different causes of normal and abnormal vaginal discharge. Let’s take a look at each of these below:

Normal Discharge

Odourless and colourless (transparent or slightly white), normal vaginal discharge has a cleaning role in the female body. Normal vaginal discharge is a result of regular oestrogen levels. However, elevated oestrogen levels can cause heavier normal discharge in the following situations:

  1. During menstrual cycle, few days before the release of the egg
  2. A few months before the first menstruation in young girls
  3. Discharge during pregnancy
  4. In women taking oestrogen-containing or oestrogen-boosting drugs (such as fertility drugs)

Abnormal Discharge

A change in smell, colour or consistency of vaginal discharge can indicate a probable vaginal infection. Abnormal vaginal discharge is:

  1. Thicker than normal
  2. Greyish, greenish, yellowish or streaked with blood
  3. Smelly or having a fishy smell
  4. Accompanied by a burning sensation, rash or pain

The following 7 situations promote harmful bacteria and therefore cause abnormal vaginal discharge:

  1. Bacterial vaginosis - It is a more common infection in pregnant women
  2. The use of antibiotics (because they can reduce the number of protective bacteria)
  3. Cervical cancer causes smelly vaginal discharge
  4. Sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia
  5. Trichomoniasis: A parasitic infection, which usually results from unprotected sex
  6. Diabetes: High blood sugar levels cause higher levels of glucose in the blood, which can lead to yeast infections, as yeast grows faster in an environment that is moist with sugar
  7. Vaginal atrophy: Drying of the vaginal walls that happens often after menopause

3 Tips for Dealing with Vaginal Discharge:

To better manage vaginal discharge, it is recommended to:

  1. Clean your intimate area with Carefree® Sensitive intimate wash. It is specially developed to gently clean and care for your intimate area
  2. Choose the right panty liner: Carefree® Cotton feel panty liners are dermatologically-tested, breathable and provide you with everyday freshness
  3. Wear cotton underwear, rather than synthetic underwear, which promotes moisture. Avoid, for the same reasons, clothes that are too tight




Note: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice.