Sometimes women could have smelly discharge which usually creates several problems including lack of confidence, damaged relationships, social problems and health issues.
Normal vaginal discharge is keeping vagina clean and healthy. Ordinary vaginal discharge is a combination of sweat, vaginal lubrication and products of vaginal self-cleaning (from dead cells and bacteria). Healthy vaginal secretion is responsible not only for self-cleaning but also for regulating the pH of the vagina. Every woman knows that usually normal vaginal discharge has very specific odor and to a certain extent smelly discharge can be normal. But if suddenly the vaginal odor has changed and increased, it could be a subject of concern.
Smelly discharge causes
Ordinary daily causes
Sometimes smelly vaginal discharge could be triggered by newly used drugs or supplements, unusual spicy food, and new laundry soap. Some women noted changed vaginal odor after use of latex condom, hygienic tampons and pads or after unprotected sexual contacts.
Smelly discharge could appear in smoking women and women preferring unprotected sex.
Bacterial vaginosis is the result of bacterial disbalance in the vagina – when the vagina is invaded by anaerobic bacteria which can damage natural lactobacilli. Common symptoms include very specific fishy smell, increased volume of colored vaginal discharge (whitish grey), vaginal burning and itching. All symptoms usually increase during menstrual period and after sexual contacts. Untreated bacterial vaginosis could lead to infertility and/or pelvic inflammatory diseases.
Majority of women experience vaginal yeast infection at some point of life (about 75%). Vaginal yeast infection is a result of overgrowth of the natural yeast provoked by several factors (antibiotics, diabetes, stress, etc.). Common symptoms include smelly thick white cottage cheese-like vaginal discharge combined with vaginal itching.
Gonorrhea is a very contagious sexually transmitted infection which can be transmitted during unprotected sexual contacts (more common during contacts with several partners). Common symptoms include intensive green-yellow smelly vaginal discharge, pelvic pain and painful intercourse. Unfortunately gonorrhea can be spread very fast to Fallopian tubes and ovaries, causing infertility.
Trichomoniasis is a pretty common sexually transmitted infection caused by so called “trichomonas vaginalis”. Common symptoms include intensive yellow-green foul smelling vaginal discharge, vaginal itching, burning urination and sore vagina.
In rare cases smelly discharge could be triggered by cervical cancer. Common symptoms include increased smelly yellowish-brown vaginal discharge and unexpected weight loss.
Smelly discharge – recommendations
- Take care of daily hygiene – wash your vagina at least 2 times a day (morning, evening) and choose your soap properly (without any chemicals which can cause irritation or allergy);
- Avoid over washing – make sure you wash 2-3 times a day, but no more than that, because over washing could eliminate natural lubricants which are keeping the vagina healthy;
- Avoid vaginal douching – it can actually increase your risks of vaginal infections;
- Use always cotton panties – cotton prevent sweating, allow the vagina to breathe and absorb very well;
- Remember to change underwear every day – it will help to avoid infections, smell and sweating;
- Wear panty liners (not perfumed) – they are designed to mask the odor and absorb the vaginal discharge;
- Avoid spicy foods – smell of your species could appear in vaginal secretion;
- Avoid unprotected sex and protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections;
- Don’t use drugs (especially antibiotics) without special need and without medical prescriptions;
- Avoid unknown supplements and don’t use them without consultation with health experts.
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