Sometimes girls begin to worry when even minimal marks appear on their underwear. This is not always justified, but there are times when you need to contact a gynecologist.
Vaginal discharge alone is not a cause for concern: it is a necessary part of the natural processes that occur in the body. The amount of secretions, their consistency, smell and color are individual and depend on the characteristics of the body. They are different throughout the menstrual cycle, but not every change signals the development of a disease.
Why is vaginal discharge needed?
The lining of the vaginal neck is rich in cells that produce a large amount of mucous secretion. Vaginal discharge consists of this mucus, as well as the dead epithelial cells and normal microflora bacteria washed off by it – mainly lactobacilli, which maintain an acidic environment in the vagina and prevent the growth of pathogenic bacteria and fungi.
What are they normal?
The nature of the discharge is individual for each woman, but there are limits to the norm. Usually the discharge is thick and uniform (without clots, lumps or flakes), with a slight sour smell or odorless, white, yellowish or transparent. Their volume can also be different due to the individual structure of the woman’s vaginal wall and the number of secretory glands in it. Usually it does not exceed five to ten milliliters – this can be determined by a small footprint on the daily laying.
When can the discharge change?
The number and color of discharge may vary depending on the stage of the menstrual cycle and other physiological reasons. For example, during ovulation, the discharge becomes thicker and changes color from transparent to milky white. After menstruation, the discharge may become watery for a while.
The volume of secretions can also increase during pregnancy, when hormonal changes occur and the number of vaginal glands and, as a result, the secretions increase.
The amount of discharge increases at the time of sexual arousal. Such changes are not cause for concern.
Why it happens?
The hormone estradiol is mainly responsible for the volume of secretions: the higher its concentration in the blood, the more vaginal secretions.
A drop in estradiol concentration during breastfeeding or during menopause reduces the volume of vaginal discharge. When taking hormonal drugs, the intensity of secretions can increase and decrease, depending on the type of drug and individual reaction to it.
When should you beware?
Any change in the nature or amount of vaginal discharge that is not related to the menstrual cycle can be a symptom of health problems. If you notice changes uncharacteristic for you, be sure to consult a doctor.
Among the main manifestations of infectious diseases: a sharp unpleasant odor, greenish or yellow discharge, a curdled consistency. Other important symptoms are a sensation of itching, burning in the vagina, too scanty or excessive discharge.
If at the same time you use daily pads, they should be discarded due to possible allergic reactions. But this, of course, does not cancel the trip to the doctor.
You can harm the vaginal microflora with unbalanced shower gels. The vaginal environment is in delicate balance, maintaining a normal microflora and acidic environment. Therefore, alkaline and antibacterial agents will be completely inappropriate. It is best to choose a special tool for intimate hygiene.