From the moment of birth until old age, the reproductive system of a woman works — in each age period in its own special rhythm. Accordingly, to protect the mucous membranes of the vagina and their full functioning, a special secret is developed. It is he who gives special secretions that have a certain color, smell and consistency. The natural secretions of a healthy body are very meager, they arise due to the cleansing of the vagina from foreign agents and do not cause discomfort. They change somewhat during the menstrual cycle due to changes in the concentration of hormones. But sometimes the discharge changes color, their number increases, a specific smell may join — what is the reason for this?

Physiological discharge in women

Physiological discharge in women

To understand when you need to see a doctor, you need to initially know which of the secretions can be considered normal physiological? First of all, they should be sparse, slimy, literally a few grams per day (no more than a third of a teaspoon). White, yellowish or cream-colored discharges are acceptable, but they should not be foamy, heavily soil linen and have any smell.

The consistency of physiological secretions in women changes throughout the cycle. They should not be liquid, like water, but at the same time they should not form lumps, clots. During the period of ovulation, they can become more abundant, stretch, which is due to the preparation of the genital tract for a possible conception. Increased secretions are observed during sexual arousal, before menstruation or after sexual intimacy, but these secretions are transparent, slippery, odorless and impurity.

In young girls during puberty, the discharge may be slightly more abundant than in women of reproductive age. This is due to the instability of the hormonal background, the formation of the necessary biocenosis of the vagina and the active work of the glands.

White discharge

From puberty to the very menopause, a special acidic environment forms in the vagina. It is created by special microbes, mainly lactobacilli, which form, along with mucus, secretions in women. The lactic acid produced by these bacteria neutralizes most of the pathogenic microorganisms that penetrate the vagina, they die and, together with mucus, exfoliating epithelial cells, are released to the outside. It is a natural defense mechanism against infection.

Sometimes the process of cell shedding intensifies, and the secretions become more active, forming leucorrhoea — a mixture of dying cells, mucus and dead bacteria. The contents of the cervix are also added to them, especially often this happens in the middle of the cycle, in the phase of ovulation. If at the same time there is no itching, burning, unpleasant symptoms and impurities, then such discharge in women is a variant of the norm.

Symptoms of candidiasis

Symptoms of candidiasis

The appearance of white discharge, which has a sour smell and is accompanied by discomfort in the area of ​​​​the external genitalia and vagina, may indicate the development of an extremely frequent and unpleasant disease — candidiasis (thrush). In this case, white discharge is formed due to the activity of a special pathogen — the Candida fungus. This is a special type of fungi that belongs to the opportunistic flora and is often found on the skin and mucous membranes. Due to strong local immunity, its reproduction is suppressed. But when special conditions are created, it can begin to reproduce, which outwardly manifests itself as white discharge against the background of an inflammatory process in the genital area.

There can be many reasons for the growth of fungi. Most often, the exacerbation of the symptoms of candidiasis is provoked by hormonal disorders (pregnancy, abortion, contraceptive use), as well as a weakening of the immune defense against the background of colds, somatic diseases, and antibiotics. In addition, personal hygiene plays a significant role in the development of candidal secretions. The use of douches, antimicrobial and antiseptic agents for washing leads to a change in the acidity of the environment, the death of beneficial microbes. Contribute to the reproduction of fungi wearing tight synthetic underwear, the use of toilet paper and panty liners with fragrances. Often, white discharge of fungal origin occurs against the background of overwork and stress, with strict diets, and excessive consumption of sweets.

Pathological discharge: causes

If a woman notes increased light (white or clear) discharge, the reasons may be different. First of all, they are due to the activation of conditionally pathogenic flora in the vagina and irritation, inflammation of its walls. This leads to increased production of mucus and leucorrhoea. They require a visit to the doctor for a curdled, thick discharge, with the smell of yogurt — they are typical of the thrush described by us above.

However, abundant excretion causes for development are not only these, but many others. They can be provoked by vaginal dysbiosis, an imbalance between beneficial and opportunistic microbes, sexual infections — trichomoniasis, gardnerella, mycoplasma, chlamydia and many others. It is impossible to determine the causes exactly by the nature of the discharge; only a smear can help in this.

What is referred to as pathological white discharge

What is referred to as pathological white discharge

They require a visit to a doctor and finding out the reasons for the discharge in women with an amount of more than a teaspoon, white or yellowish in color, odorous and foamy. And even if the volume of secretions is not changed, the presence of an “onion”, fishy or other unpleasant odor is a reason for taking a smear.

White or creamy discharge, in which there is itching, discomfort and burning, redness of the genitals, unpleasant sensations during sexual intercourse or urination should also be a reason to visit a gynecologist. Moreover, it is necessary to immediately see a doctor with an increase in temperature and pain in the lower abdomen against the background of such discharge.

It is important to remember that discharge in women can be not only vaginal, they can be of tubal, cervical or uterine origin. Accordingly, mucus, dying cells and even microbes, accumulating, are released into the vagina and out, giving pathological symptoms. Only independently, by the nature of the secretions, it is impossible to determine their source. But the causes of discharge from the uterus, its cervix or appendages are always much more serious than vaginal. They indicate inflammatory processes that threaten complications and infertility if they are not treated on time.

Vaginal discharge in gynecological patients: etiology and approaches to diagnosis / Rumyantseva T.A., Sursyakov V.A., Khairullina G.A., Chernyshova L.A., Gushchin A.E. // obstetrics and gynecology 2015 #8

Vaginal discharge in women without risk of sexually transmitted infections / Kovalyk V.P., Matushevskaya E.V., Vladimirova E.V. // obstetrics and gynecology 2018 #12