Vaginal Discharge

Understanding Vaginal Discharge:
Welcome to our health blog dedicated to understanding vaginal discharge. In this
section, we provide comprehensive information to help individuals recognize,
understand, and manage vaginal discharge effectively.

1. Impact on Organ Function:
Vaginal discharge plays a crucial role in maintaining vaginal health by flushing out
dead cells and other debris, thereby protecting the vagina from infections and
maintaining its moist environment.
Abnormal vaginal discharge can affect various organs within the reproductive
system, primarily:
a. Vagina: The vagina itself can be impacted by abnormal discharge, as it may
lead to inflammation, itching, soreness, or discomfort in the vaginal area
b. Cervix: Changes in vaginal discharge can sometimes indicate conditions
affecting the cervix, such as infections, polyps, or cervical ectropion.
c. Uterus: Infections or other abnormalities indicated by vaginal discharge may
potentially affect the uterus, leading to inflammation or other complications.
d. Fallopian Tubes: In severe cases of untreated infections, abnormal vaginal
discharge may contribute to inflammation or blockages in the fallopian tubes,
potentially impacting fertility.
e. Ovaries: While less directly affected by vaginal discharge, certain infections or
conditions indicated by abnormal discharge may indirectly impact ovarian
health or function.

2. Prevalence and Impact:
The prevalence of abnormal vaginal discharge varies, and understanding its impact
on individuals’ quality of life is crucial. Recognizing the prevalence and impact of
abnormal vaginal discharge can help in early detection, diagnosis, and effective

3. Causes and Risk Factors:
Various factors contribute to abnormal vaginal discharge, including infections,
hormonal changes, foreign bodies, and underlying health conditions. Understanding
the causes and risk factors associated with abnormal vaginal discharge can guide
preventive strategies and treatment approaches.

4. Symptoms and Diagnosis:
Recognizing the symptoms of abnormal vaginal discharge and obtaining an accurate
diagnosis is essential for timely intervention and management. This section
explores common symptoms and diagnostic procedures for identifying the
underlying causes of abnormal vaginal discharge.

5. When Vaginal Discharge Signals Infection:
When vaginal discharge exhibits certain characteristics, it may serve as an indicator
of an underlying infection. These signs include:

a. Fishy Odour: A fishy-smelling discharge may be a symptom of
bacterial vaginosis. This is a common vaginal infection. This is a
non-sexually transmitted infection.
b. Thick white, like cottage cheese: This type of discharge may be
odorless and may indicate a yeast infection, often the fungus Candida.
It is commonly referred to as thrush. This is a non-sexually transmitted
c. Green, yellow, or frothy discharge: These changes may be
associated with trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
d. Accompanied by pelvic pain or bleeding and/or other symptoms:
Changes in the nature of your vaginal discharge, along with pelvic pain,
pain whilst passing urine, itching or abnormal vaginal bleeding, (like
bleeding between your periods or bleeding after sex) may be signs of
sexually transmitted infection/s like chlamydia or gonorrhea.
e. Accompanied by blisters or sores: If discharge is accompanied by
the presence of blisters or sores, it could be a sign of genital herpes,
another STI.

6. Seeking Medical Attention:
Seeking medical attention is crucial if you experience any of the following
concerning symptoms related to vaginal discharge:
a. Your vaginal discharge changes color, smell, or texture.
b. You produce more discharge than usual.
c. You feel itchy or sore.
d. You bleed between periods or after sex.
e. You get pain when peeing.
f. You get pain in the area between your tummy and thighs (pelvic pain).
If you have any concerns or questions related to your sexual health, or if you believe
you may have been exposed to an STI, please contact us for an urgent appointment.
We can provide the necessary care, tests, and treatment needed whilst respecting
your privacy and confidentiality.

7. Home Care Tips:
You cannot prevent vaginal discharge. Panty liners can help if your discharge is
heavy or excessive or if you are worried about any smell. But do not use them all the
time as they tend to irritate the skin down below.

To help avoid any vaginal, soreness or dryness:
a. Wash the skin around your vagina gently using plain water.

Do not
a. Use perfumed or non-perfumed soaps or gels in the area.
b. Use deodorants or scented hygiene wipes in the area, such as toiletries
antiseptics, and the so-called ‘feminine hygiene’ products.
c. Use washing powders or fabric dyes.
d. Wash inside your vagina (douche).

8. What We Can Do When You See Us:
Our specialist doctors will discuss your concerns, take a detailed history, and
conduct necessary tests, including pH testing, swabs, urine tests, blood tests, or STI
screens. Treatment options will be discussed based on the test results and
examination findings.

9. Contact Us:
If you have concerns about your vaginal health or suspect an STI, please contact
OBSGYN London for an urgent appointment. We provide comprehensive care, tests,
and treatments while ensuring your privacy and confidentiality.

10. References:
1. Guidelines for BV, candidiasis, and trichomonas available on the BASHH website

2. NICE CKS Vaginal Discharge January 2019, available on the NICE website at

3. Joint BASHH/FSRH guidelines on vaginal discharge (2012), available at the FSRH
website at

4. Sherrard J, Wilson J, Donders G, Mendling W, Jensen JS. 2018 European
(IUSTI/WHO) International Union against sexually transmitted infections (IUSTI)
World Health Organisation (WHO) guideline on the management of vaginal
discharge. Int J STD AIDS.2018, Nov;29(13):1258-1272. doi:
10.1177/0956462418785451. Epub 2018 Jul 27. PMID: 30049258