White discharge – what it is, causes and treatment!

White  , thick, buttermilk-like discharge is usually accompanied by other symptoms such as itching, redness, and a burning sensation in the vulva and vagina area . It is common for women of childbearing age to have a small amount of vaginal discharge , which is called physiological vaginal discharge .

Infectious white discharge  can be caused by a fungus, bacteria, or protozoan. The most common is that it is caused by candidiasis , an inflammation caused by the fungus Candida albicans, or by bacterial vaginosis, caused by an excess of bacteria, mainly Gardnerella vaginalis and Gardnerella mobiluncos.

Both infections, in addition to presenting a white , milky or pasty discharge , cause itching and burning when urinating. In the case of candidiasis , it is more common in the summer, when people tend to spend a long time wearing wet bathing suits, which facilitates the proliferation of fungi.

Bacterial vaginosis is more noticeable at times when the pH of the vagina becomes more alkaline, such as after menstruation and sexual intercourse. Neither of the two conditions is related to sexually transmitted infections.

Among the most common factors that cause vaginal imbalance and can increase the risk of infection are the use of antibiotics, oral contraceptives, vaginal douches, stress, synthetic underwear, tight clothing, pregnancy, unprotected sex, among others. The diagnosis is made through clinical gynecological examination, laboratory and Pap smear.

What is white discharge?

Vaginal discharge is a normal part of the menstrual cycle and changes in color and consistency throughout the month. However, some types of discharge indicate an underlying condition.

Also, many women experience thick, white discharge before a period. This is considered healthy unless the discharge is irregular or accompanied by a strong odor.

Causes of white discharge:

White , buttery-milk discharge when accompanied by other symptoms such as itching, redness and a burning sensation in the vulva and vagina area can have different causes, which include:

Baginal candidiasis:

Vaginal candidiasis  is a very common infection in women that arises due to the development of the candida albicans fungus, which in addition to white discharge also causes itching in the genital region, burning when urinating, pain during intimate contact and redness in the intimate region.

How to treat: Usually, the treatment is done with the use of antifungal medicine, in pills, ointment or vaginal tablets, such as Gino-canesten, Gyno-Dartarin or Fluconazole, for example. The treatment can last between 3 to 7 days and should be recommended by the gynecologist.

Bacterial vaginosis:

Bacterial vaginosis is a change in the normal vaginal flora, where there is a greater development of the Gardnerella vaginalis bacteria, which can cause white, gray or yellow discharge, an unpleasant smell similar to rotten fish, itching and burning in the genital region.

How to treat: Usually, the treatment is done using antibiotics such as metronidazole, which must be prescribed by the gynecologist. Also, during the recovery period, condom use is recommended.

Treatment of white discharge:

The treatment of white discharge is usually done with antifungal drugs such as Fluconazole, which can be taken in the form of pills or applied to the area to be treated in the form of an ointment. To prevent the emergence of vaginal infections such as candidiasis or changes in the vaginal flora, there are some very important hygiene habits, which include:

  • Avoid having damp or wet underwear;
  • Do not wear synthetic material panties, opting for cotton items;
  • Wear light clothing and avoid tight jeans and shorts;
  • Avoid sweet foods and those rich in carbohydrates, as they decrease immunity, enhancing the emergence of infections;
  • Do not use vaginal douches directly on the genital region and wash the external region of the vagina using an intimate soap;
  • Sleep without underwear;
  • After a bowel movement, always wipe from front to back to prevent fecal bacteria from entering the vagina and causing infections.

In addition, scented wet wipes or perfumed toilet paper can also harm a woman’s intimate health, increasing the emergence of infections.

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