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Many women have milky white discharge coming out of their vagina. This discharge helps get rid of bacteria and dead cells in the cervix and vagina. This, in turn, keeps infection away from the vagina. Usually, milky white vaginal discharge is a normal phenomenon. There can be, however, differing amounts of discharge and different color or odor that means it is something wrong.
What Does Milky White Discharge Mean?
As long as the discharge has no odor and you have no other vaginal symptoms, milky white vaginal discharge is considered normal. It can be caused by a variety of things, including:
You can get a milky white vaginal discharge from the change in hormones after ovulation. This is when the progesterone in your system is elevated, increasing the amount of discharge you have. There is nothing dangerous about having milky white vaginal discharge, especially if it is a couple of days before the menstrual period.
It is common to have clear or milky white discharge from the vagina during pregnancy. This is because of the changes in hormones during pregnancy which can help keep bladder infections away. The discharge keeps good bacteria alive and bad bacteria out. The discharge will increase before you give birth so that the vaginal canal is better lubricated. If you have not blood in the discharge, it is not of any concern.
3. Sexual Excitement
You need plenty of vaginal discharge in order to lubricate the vagina for sex. When you are sexually aroused, there will be an increase in the secretions from the vagina. This is perfectly normal and is nothing to worry about.
If you are under increased stress, this can result in an imbalance of hormones in your body so that vaginal discharge increases. While this isn’t dangerous in and of itself, you should try and avoid stress as much as you possibly can.
When Should You Worry About the White Discharge?
Most of the time, having milky white discharge from the vagina is a completely normal thing. If it is malodorous or of an unusual color, you may need to seek the advice of your doctor. These are things that may be concerning:
1. Curdy Vaginal Discharge
This type of discharge can be caused by a Candida yeast infection of the vagina, which is also known as thrush. The discharge looks a lot like cottage cheese and is slightly malodorous. You may have itching and swelling of the vagina. You can prevent this type of infection by having a strong immune system and by maintaining good vaginal hygiene. The acidity of the vagina is an important part of getting Candida yeast infections, so talk to your doctor if you get frequent yeast infections. There are medications you can take to treat this type of infection.
2. White and Creamy Discharge
This is usually caused by bacterial vaginosis, which is a type of vaginal condition in which bad bacteria invade the vaginal mucosa. Gardnerella vaginalis is a normal part of the vaginal milieu, but if it exists in large quantities, you can experience an increase in vaginal discharge that has a fishy odor. The vagina is often not very irritated with this dysbacteriosis. The best way to prevent this is to keep a low pH in the vagina. There are medications that can be used to treat the infection if there are uncomfortable symptoms.
3. Foamy Fluid Discharge
This type of secretion may be of many colors, including yellow, white, green or gray coloration. It often appears with inflammation of the vagina and a nasty smell. This is usually caused by an infection from Trichomonas bacteria, which is considered a disease you can catch during sexual activity. You can prevent the infection by having just one sexual partner who is free of the infection. There are antibiotics you can take to clear up the Trichomonas infection. Failing to treat the infection can lead to complications that include sterility.
4. Watery Discharge
If you have a copious amount of watery discharge from the vagina, it can be caused by a variety of things, including the menopausal state and cancer involving the fallopian tubes. An ectopic pregnancy can also result in watery discharge. If this occurs and doesn’t go away, you should see your doctor and have a physical examination.
5. Discharge with Admixtures
This involves having a discharge that is cloudy. It can be due to a worm infection or to a problem with the hormones. If the discharge is bloody, it could mean you have cancer of the female reproductive tract. In this condition, seek the advice of your doctor to be checked out for cancer or other problems. Things that make it more important to see a doctor include burning pain in the vagina, vaginal itching, sores or lesions of the vaginal mucus and skin, and symptoms of a bladder infection.
If you have no other symptoms besides a milky white discharge, you can watch it yourself to see if it gets any worse. It should be less at the start of your menstrual cycle and increase at the end of the cycle. If there is a constant discharge with a bad smell, you may have a vaginal infection. A PCR test can be performed to find out the cause of the discharge. If there are positive findings, your doctor will be able to help you with a treatment.