When we talk about the health of female genitals then the first thing which comes is the vagina. Vagina is the outer most part of female genitals and the discharges from the vagina is the most common issue in females. So today we will try to understand the vaginal discharge in detail.
- 1 Vaginal Discharge Meaning:
- 1.1 Normal Vaginal Discharge:
- 1.2 Types of Vaginal Discharge:
- 1.2.1 1. Pathological / Infectional vaginal discharge
- 1.2.2 2. Physiological vaginal discharge
- 1.3 Vaginal discharge causes:
Vaginal Discharge Meaning:
Vaginal discharge is a discharge coming out from vagina due to inflamation, Infection or physiological change in the female reproductive organ. In more common words, it is “the discharge coming from vagina”
The Vaginal discharge can be a normal phenomenon or it can be an indication of various other problems. On the basis of the color, smell, amount we can distinguish the discharge.
Normal Vaginal Discharge:
Normal vaginal discharge is made of liquid, dead vaginal cell, mucus and Bartholin Gland secretions. It is odorless and scanty in amount. This does not cause any symptoms like itching, staining on clothes etc. Amount of discharge can vary depending upon the timing of menstruation cycle as the discharge will increase just before and after the period.
Types of Vaginal Discharge:
The discharge could be of numerous types, according to causative factor. For better understanding, we can divide them into two main types.
1. Pathological / Infectional vaginal discharge
The color of discharge indicates verity of the pathogen in vagina.
This discharge means yellow mucus or pus mixed with mucus. It could be dark yellow discharge or light yellow discharge depending upon the amount of infection.
Green discharge is also an important symptom of vaginal infection. both yellow and green discharge commonly found in bacterial vaginosis, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis and genital herpes.
It indicates some sort of reproductive tract bleeding. Dark brown discharge contains clotted blood with mucus. Brown discharge before period is a sign for the upcoming period.
White discharge and milky white discharge:
It is also known as “Safed Pani”. It is whitish watery discharge; consistency is thin and mostly odorless. White discharge with itching and clear watery discharge is an indication of vaginal candidiasis. Curdy discharge, cheesy discharge, and milky white discharge is the sign of vaginal thrush.
Bloody discharge is the sign of bleeding either in vaginal track or upper reproductive system. Ovulatory bleeding caused by ovulation from ovary .bloody discharge during first 3 months of pregnancy could be a sign of miscarriage.
Fowl smell in discharge indicates infection in vagina or cervix.
2. Physiological vaginal discharge
The Sudden rise of estrogen level in blood increases blood flow to the vagina. It causes a small amount of discharge with discomfort. It usually does not require urgent medical attention.
Menopause occurs between the age of 50-55 years. In this period, level of female hormones fluctuates from peak to absence level.This produces lots of menopausal symptom with discharge.
Vaginal Discharge during Pregnancy:
High estrogen level in blood increases the blood supply in vagina which causes thick curdy discharge and clear watery discharge. It is normal but it is advisable to consult a physician because leakage of amniotic or water breaking is also possible during pregnancy.
Vaginal Discharge before periods:
Shading of the uterine wall, heaviness in abdomen, spasmodic pain all these pre-menstruation symptoms irritate vagina and produce the watery discharge.
Vaginal Discharge after periods:
The increased amount of estrogen is responsible for discharge after periods.
Vaginal discharge causes:
- Vaginal discharge is body’s self-defiance mechanism to flush out infection and dead vaginal and cervix cell from vagina.
- Increase in the level of estrogen and progesterone may also produce the discharge.
- Increase in the level of adrenaline produces the discharge.
- Infection of bacteria, fungus, and yeast produces vaginal discharge like bacterial vaginosis, candidiasis, etc.
- Increase in blood supply to vagina and vaginal gland causes vaginal discharge.
- Sexual stimulation causes discharge.
Complications of vaginal discharge:
- Bacterial vaginosis
- Uterine fibroid
- Uterine Polyp
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Cervical cancer
- Ovarian cyst
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
How to diagnose:
Some sort of discharge is common in every female. Fluid from vaginal glands carry away dead cells and bacteria, and keep the vagina clean and moisturized. However, the discharge associated with any mentioned symptoms is a sign of disease.
- Itching in vagina and vulva
- Burning sensation in the vagina
- Pain during sex
- Pain after sex
- Lower abdomen pain
- Heaviness in abdomen
- Unusual appearance of the discharge
Ayurveda and vaginal discharge:
In Ayurvedic literature, vaginal discharge has been named as ” Pradar”. Charak Samhita (An Ancient foundational text on Ayurveda) describes 20 types of female vaginal problems. According to Ayurveda, It is the main symptom of vaginal disease. Unhealthy lifestyle, which also includes dietary habits and sexual habits, vitiates “Tridosh” system of the body. Thus, it Increases the amount of Vaat. This Vaat with the combination of Pitt and Kapha produces vaginal discharge. Pathophysiology of it according to Ayurveda is:
- Tridosh– vaat, pitt increases, kapha vitiates from the main origin
- Dhatu- asthi and majja (bone and bone marrow)
- Sthan- kati and vanchan (Pelvic region)
Ayurvedic treatment of vaginal discharge /herbal treatment for vaginal discharge
- Lodhra (symplocos racemos)
- Ashok (saraca ashoka)
- Pathaa(cissampelos pareira)
- Usher (vetiveria zizizioides)
- Tran panchmool (group of gramineae or grases)
- Som (it is an ayurvedic composition)
- Bol (myrrh)
- Vang bhasm (ayurvedic preparation)
- Trivang bhasm (ayurevedic prepration)