VAGINAL DISCHARGE WITHOUT ITCHING
All women have vaginal discharge at some time or the other in their lives. This vaginal discharge may be normal - that is, it may be due to a normal physiological process in the body.
Vaginal discharge is termed abnormal or pathological when the discharge is due to some disease process.
Most women are unaware of the causes of normal vaginal discharge and may get unduly distressed. Some may even present themselves at the doctor's chambers for treatment.
The vagina is the passage that connects the internal reproductive organs with external female anatomy or the Vulva. The glands of the vagina and cervix secrete small amounts of fluid to cleanse out the vagina of any pathogenic organism. Some of this fluid may leak out and cause a normal vaginal discharge.
The ph of the vagina is normally acidic, preventing disease-producing organism from growing. This ph is maintained by a variety of organisms that grow normally in the vagina. Of these, one of the commonest organism is Doderlein's bacilli, a type of lactobacilli.
The normal vaginal discharge also contains tissue fluids, old vaginal and cervical cells, WBC's, glycogen, electrolytes, proteins and lactic acid.
Normal Vaginal Organisms
as seen on a slide under
Vaginal Discharge without Itching
Vaginal discharge without itching may be:
- Normal or Physiological.
- Abnormal or Pathological- due to some disease process.
Normal Vaginal Discharge without Itching
Normal vaginal discharge that occurs at various times in a woman's life is thin and clear or faintly cloudy. It turns yellowish when dry. It may sometimes be seen as a stringy discharge sticking to your underwear. It does not smell and does not cause itching or burning of the vagina.
Although many people use the term 'leucorrhoea' synonymously with all types of vaginal discharge, it should be restricted to mean an excessive amount of normal discharge.
Usually the amount of vaginal discharge is such as to just moisten the vaginal opening and to occasionally leave a stain on the undergarments. But it can be increased at certain times:
- During ovulation: The term "Ovulation" is used to describe the release of an ovum from a woman's ovaries once in every menstrual cycle. Fertilization of an ovum by sperm causes a pregnancy to occur.
At around the time of ovulation, the level of oestrogen in the body increases, stimulating the glands of the cervix. These secrete large amounts of clear, watery fluid. The main function of this cervical discharge is to help any sperm deposited in the vagina to swim up through the uterus. This secretion is usually copius, thin and watery, clear with occasional specks of white. and quite stretchable.
Since, ovulation occurs about 14 days after your last menstrual period, you will notice that your secretions also increases at around this time.
- Just before the menses / periods : You will sometimes notice that your vaginal discharge increases a day or two before your period begins. The discharge becomes gradually brownish or reddish as the bleeding starts. The day the vaginal discharge becomes brownish is counted as the first day of your period.
- During pregnancy : During pregnancy, the level of oestrogen and progesterone increases in the body. These hormones are needed to maintain the pregnancy and help the baby to grow. They also stimulate the glands of the cervix to secrete large amounts of fluid, especially in the early part of pregnancy. These fluids then appear as copious vaginal discharge during pregnancy that is thick and whitish. The discharge is sticky without any smell.
- During sexual excitementSexual Excitement causes the secretion of a thin watery fluid that wets and lubricates your vagina to make penetration of the penis and the sexual act easier.
- At birth : Many newborn female babies have a mucoid vaginal discharge lasting for the first few days of birth. This is in response to the stimulation of their genital organs by maternal oestrogen while they were still in the uterus. The oestrogen level gradually decreases and then disappears. The vaginal discharge also disappears at the same time.
- At Puberty: Excessive vaginal discharge may be seen in young girls at and around the time of puberty. This is because of the increasing levels of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone at this time. It usually decreases spontaneously as the menstrual cycle becomes established.
- Oral Contraceptive Pills : The oestrogen and progesterone in the birth control pills stimulate the cervical glands, leading to an excessive vaginal discharge in some woemn.
Pathological Vaginal Discharge without Itching
Vaginal discharge without itching can sometimes be in response to some disease process in the body.
Although this vaginal discharge can be clear or whitish, presence of infection can cause the colour of the dischargeto change to greenish or yellowish or creamy. If there is presence of pus, it will be thick and mucoprulent (mucous mixed with pus) or purulent (similar to pus). Infection will cause the vaginal discharge to be foul-smelling.
Vaginal discharge due to a disease process like infection invariably causes itching as well. But sometimes only vaginal discharge without itching can occur in certain specific infections or due to other causes. Some of these conditions are :
Treatment of Vaginal Discharge without Itching
Treatment of vaginal discharge depends on the cause. If the discharge is due to a normally occurring event in the body like ovulation, then it should be explained to the patient. She should be reassured about the same.
If the vaginal discharge is very copious in amount and causes discomfort, use of thin panty liners or vaginal pads will keep the genital area dry and prevent infections.
If the cause of the increased vaginal discharge is diagnosed, then the cause is treated.
Improving the general condition of the woman will contribute to her ability to resist infections.
This can be done by taking supplements of various vitamins- Vitamins like B-Complex Capsules, High strength Multivitamin Capsules, Iron capsules to correct anaemia and Folic Acid tablets should be taken.
Other supplementary vitamins and minerals that increase the resistance of the body to infections of various types are Vitamin C 500 mg tablets taken once daily, Acidophilus to increase the growth of lactobacilli and help prevent growth of gardnerella and Zinc tablets to increase the body's immunity to infection.
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