Vaginal Discharge-Types And Treatment.
Vaginal discharge can be a mucus or pus-like stuff that comes from the vagina. All women normally have a small amount of vaginal discharge, which is clear, milky or slightly yellow. If there is no itching or bad smell, there is probably no problem.
But many women, especially during pregnancy, suffer from a discharge often with itching in the vagina. This discharge may be caused by various infections. Most of them are bothersome, but not dangerous.
However, an infection caused by gonorrhea or chlamydia can harm a baby at birth.
VAGINAL DISCHARGE TYPES
A thin and foamy, greenish-yellow or whitish, foul-smelling discharge with itching.
This is probably an infection of Trichomonas. It may burn to urinate. Sometimes, the genitals hurt or are swollen. The discharge may contain blood.
- It is very important to keep the genitals clean.
- A vaginal wash or douche with warm water and distilled vinegar will help. If there is no vinegar, use lemon juice in water.
- For the douche, use 6 teaspoons of vinegar in 1 liter of boiled, cooled water.
- You can also use a clove of garlic as a vaginal insert. (peel the garlic, taking care not to puncture it. Wrap it in a piece of clean cloth or gauze and put it into the vagina.
- Use the douche two times during the day and each night, insert a new clove of garlic. Do this for 10 to 14 days.
- If this does not help, use vaginal inserts that contain metronidazole or other medication recommended for Trichomonas, or take metronidazole by mouth.
CAUTION : Do not douche in the last four weeks of pregnancy or for 6 weeks after given birth. If the discharge is troublesome, nystatin vaginal inserts may help.
IMPORTANT : It is likely that the husband of a woman with Trichomonas has the infection too, even though he does not feel anything. Some men with Trichomonas have a burning feeling when urinating. If a woman is treated with metronidazole, her husband should also take it by mouth at the same time.
White discharge that looks like cottage cheese or buttermilk and smells like mold, mildew or baking bread.
This could be a yeast infection (moniliasis, candida). Itching may be severe. The lips of the vagina often look bright red and hurt. It may burn when urinating. This infection is especially common in pregnant women or in those who are sick, diabetic or have taken antibiotics or birth control pills.
Douche with vinegar-water or dilute gentian violet, 2 parts of gentian violet to 100 parts of water (2 teaspoons to a half liter). Or use nystatin vaginal tablets or any other vaginal inserts for moniliasis or candida. Putting unsweetened yogurt in the vagina is said to be a useful home remedy to help control vaginal yeast infections. Never use antibiotics for a yeast infection, they can make it worse.
Thick, milky discharge with a rancid smell.
This could be an infection caused by bacteria. Special tests may be needed to tell this from a Trichomonas infection. Douche with vinegar-water or with povidone-iodine (Betadine: 6 teaspoons in 1 liter of water). Also, you can try inserting a clove of garlic every night for two weeks. If none of these treatments works, try metronidazole.
Watery, brown or gray discharge, streaked with blood, bad smell and pain in the lower belly.
IMPORTANT : If any discharge lasts for a long time, or does not get better with treatment, don’t hesitate to visit the hospital.
HOW A WOMAN CAN AVOID MANY INFECTIONS
- Keep the genital area clean. When you bathe daily, wash well with mild soap.
- Urinate after sexual intercourse. This helps prevent urinary infections but will not prevent pregnancy.
- Be sure to clean yourself carefully after each bowel movement (using the toilet). Always wipe your anus from front to back, not from back to front. Wiping forward can spread germs, amebas or worms into the urinary opening and vagina. Also, take care to wipe little girls’ bottoms from front to back and to teach them as they grow up to do it the same way.