Thomas Lang, M.D., M.Sc.
OB-GYN located in Delray Beach, FL
There are many possible reasons for vaginal discharge. While many causes of vaginal discharge aren't serious and can be easily treated, it's very important that patients get a proper diagnosis as soon as possible. Dr. Thomas Lang at Progressive Obstetrics & Gynecology in Boynton, Florida is a highly experienced OB/GYN who provides the care and support you need for all types of female reproductive issues.
Vaginal Discharge Q & A
What does healthy vaginal discharge look like?
Healthy vaginal discharge is thin, and it's either clear or white. It's completely normal to have vaginal discharge; in fact, most women produce about a teaspoon of discharge each day. Vaginal discharge is the body's effort to keep the vagina clean and healthy: it’s a fluid made by glands inside the vagina and cervix that carries away dead cells and bacteria. This keeps the vagina clean and helps prevent infection.
The consistency of vaginal discharge can reflect changes in the body. For example, vaginal discharge can be quite thin during ovulation, but then grows thicker before menstruation.
When is vaginal discharge abnormal?
There are several indicators that vaginal discharge is abnormal:
- Thin, watery, gray discharge
- Thick discharge
- Lumpy discharge
- Discharge that smells bad
- Greenish discharge
- Pain during vaginal discharge
- Burning sensation during vaginal discharge
- Itchiness during vaginal discharge
- A sudden dramatic change in the amount of vaginal discharge -- either much more or much less than usual
These situations may be signs of infection or disease, so it's very important to see Dr. Lang as soon as possible if you experience one of these types of vaginal discharge. When describing the discharge, be as detailed as possible, as discharge may not be present at the time of your examination. The information that you give Dr. Lang can help him make an accurate diagnosis, which allows him to prescribe the treatment needed to promptly clear up the problem.
What treatments are available for abnormal vaginal discharge?
The treatment depends on the type of abnormal discharge and the reason behind it. For example, in the case of yeast infections that result in a thick, lumpy, white discharge, an oral antifungal medicine may be prescribed. As little as a single dose of a medication like fluconazole can eradicate fungus and yeast, thereby quickly eliminating the yeast infection. In cases of bacterial vaginosis, which causes odorous vaginal discharge, prescription oral and topical antibiotics like metronidazole may be used. Dr. Lang will evaluate your condition to determine which type of treatment will give you the fastest relief and the best results.