Vaginal discharge, although embarrassing, is a natural process. It is the body’s way of keeping the vagina clean and protecting it. The discharge is a combination of the cells and fluid expelled from the vagina. It is not possible to stop vaginal discharge altogether. But there are several ways to manage it so that there is minimum discomfort.
5 Ways to Control Vaginal Discharge
It is important to know when vaginal discharge is normal and when it is indicative of some sort of infection. Normal discharge is odorless, thick and white and occurs during the beginning and end of a menstrual period. During ovulation, the discharge may be clear and stretchy.
However, if an infection occurs, the discharge changes color and may even smell bad. Thick, white and clumpy discharge with a consistency of cottage cheese may indicate an yeast infection or Candidiasis. Bacterial vaginosis is characterized by a thin, grey, green or yellow discharge with a fishy odor. Gonorrhea causes a creamy white or yellow, odorless discharge. If the discharge is copious and green or yellow with a bad smell, it may be Trichomoniasis. Chlamydia causes pus formation and gives off a bad odour. If any of the above occurs, one must seek medical help immediately.
If there is red or brown spotting, it could indicate a pregnancy. One must get a pregnancy test done if one is spotting at the time one usually has her normal period.
The amount of discharge experienced varies with illness, hormonal changes, stress or infection.
Wear Sanitary Napkins
If the discharge is particularly heavy, one can wear sanitary napkins or pads with a cotton cover to absorb it. This prevents underwear from getting soaked and maintains hygiene in the area. Nowadays, extremely thin pads are available, which are quite comfortable to use. However, pads with a synthetic top layer are best avoided as they may lead to irritation by friction with the skin.
Use Cotton Underwear
In a bid to copy innerwear models and to look sexy, many women wear underwear made of artificial materials. This prevents proper air circulation in the area and gives rise to irritation, rashes and infection. Cotton, due to its sweat-absorbing properties is the ideal material for innerwear. It prevents the growth of infection-causing micro-organisms by keeping the area dry.
Avoid Irritation Due to Products
Certain products available in the market today such as sanitary washes may do more harm than good. Use of scented toilet paper may also irritate the delicate skin in the area. Only mild soap and unscented products should be used to keep the area clean. Regular douching with commercial products is not advisable as it decreases the concentration of useful bacteria in the vagina.
Use of Oral Contraceptives
Due to the hormonal content (estrogen and progesterone) of oral contraceptives, the vaginal discharge may increase. One may speak to one’s doctor to see if a different medicine could be used.
Vaginal discharge is not very well understood among women. Many feel that it is due to weakness and even consult a doctor! Knowledge of normal discharge can help women maintain good health and hygiene.
Photo Credit: http://www.pasazz.net/plus-size-panties.html