Vaginal discharge is a common problem that many women face. It is not unusual for women to have a normal “physiologic” discharge made up of the normal secretions of the vagina and cervix. This is light and may fluctuate throughout the month increasing mid cycle around the time of ovulation. Normally you will not be having other symptoms associated with this discharge such as odor, irritation or itching.
If you are experiencing a heavier than normal discharge, particularly with associated symptoms such as irritation, odor or itching, then it is possible that you have an infection such as yeast or bacterial overgrowth. Although unusual, a vaginal discharge may also be the result of a sexually transmitted disease such as gonorrhea or chlamydia. Because there are various causes for vaginal discharge, we normally recommend that patients are examined and tested for the various possibilities before a treatment specific to the cause is prescribed. If you are experiencing symptoms, we recommend that you call our office and we will make an appointment for you as soon as we can.
There are over-the-counter options to treat vaginal irritation and discharge such as Monistat for yeast, Vagisil for irritation and various douches that are soothing but do not treat the underlying cause. Unfortunately, they do not address all the various possibilities and frequently patients will fail an over-the-counter treatment because they are treating the wrong thing.
Rarely, recurrent or persistent vaginal discharge occurs and this may require a more aggressive treatment plan to remained symptom-free. Your healthcare provider will work with you to develop a treatment plan that we’ll keep you symptom-free.
For more information you may visit the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Vaginitis web Site.