The term leukorrhea may sound scary to all women in their reproductive years, but is not usually scary as it sounds. Leukorrhea is mild, odorless, clear or white milky discharge released from the vagina. Normal mild odorless discharge does not indicate any infection, however, if the discharge is excessive and smelly it is time to visit your doctor. Abnormal discharge with itching and soreness is often the sign of infection.
Leukorrhea often is noticed during ovulation and pre-menses. During pregnancy you may also experience heavy vaginal discharge, which is quite common and normal.
What Causes Leukorrhea?
Leukorrhea is commonly caused by increase in hormonal level, particularly estrogen that causes excessive secretion from cervical glands. These secretion help clean the vaginal areas to keep you healthy. Beside hormonal change, other possible cause for leucorrhea is infection. When natural balance of yeast or bacteria is disturbed in your vagina, opportunist infection occurs. Abnormal discharge is also common in sexually transmitted infection.
The amount and characteristics of vaginal discharge varies from individuals to individuals. It is wise to know what is normal and what is abnormal.
Normal Vaginal discharge
Normal discharge is usually mild, milky or white and doesn’t have smell. It is also not associated with itching or any other symptoms. Normal discharge may be seen in physiological cases which are listed below.
Physiological cause of Vaginal Discharge
- Sexual Arousal
Abnormal Vaginal Discharge
Abnormal discharge is usually thick or cottage-cheese like appearance, white, yellow or green in color. It is always associated with unpleasant smell. Discharge may also associate with itching and burning sensation around your vaginal areas. This usually denotes infection or sexually transmitted infection. If you think your discharge is abnormal it is good to get checked with your doctor. Your doctor may perform some test to confirm infection and prescribe medications accordingly.
Abnormal vaginal Discharge due to Pathological condition
- Bacterial vaginosis
- Neisseria gonorrhoeae
- Chlamydia trachomatis
- Herpes simplex virus
Non Infectious causes
- Traditional herbal medicines
- Foreign bodies
- Viral antiseptics
Management of Abnormal Vaginal Discharge
It is important to visit your doctor so he/she will do some vaginal examination to see if your vagina alone is affected or both vagina and cervix is affected. Some specimen may also be taken for lab tests. Your doctor will then prescribe medications accordingly.