Expert series/Gynecological issues- What is a Vaginal Discharge?

Joining us today at for our Expert Series is Dr. Chanil Ekanayake – Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist –Kotelawala Defense Academy Hospital.

                                                           Consultant Gynecologist / Senior Lecturer  Dr.Chanil Ekanayake

What is a vaginal discharge?

There are many areas of importance for women in female reproductive health. When it comes to female health, maintaining healthy practices are important.

Dr. Ekanayake shares his expertise with us in connection with many of these topics which are both relevant and important. Female reproductive health is always a key area that ensures over-all health for women.

Dr. Ekanayake helps us understand the significance of identifying different areas we should be concerned about. These may see simple enough but we should know how to deal with the before complications can arise.

Why should we be concerned about menstrual hygiene?

It  might be a stigmatic issue to talk about menstrual health but it is a topic important for us all. Keeping good hygiene during those difficult days will help us and enable us to steer clear of infections and other complications.

During menstruation, it is important to stay clean – you can change your pads regularly and wash your undergarments as well.

Don’t use any soaps. Basic washing with water is always sufficient. Our body has adequate immunity. There’s normal bacterial flora that grows inside the vagina which is normal. There are certain bacteria on the skin which are needed to be present in order to maintain a healthy PH level in the vagina.

In certain instances,  unhealthy bacteria such as a fungus may grow inside the vagina. When blood sugar spikes, it can cause such abnormal bacteria as well. These are issues you must keep in mind.

You can spot a difference yourself – you need to be concerned about any conditions you may suddenly notice.

In order to ensure good hygiene, wash well with water or use an intimate wash which is readily available to keep the PH level at 5.5.

What is a vaginal discharge?

Many women worry about a vaginal discharge. But a vaginal discharge is a common issue – all women in the reproductive age group have a vaginal discharge.

The important thing is to remember which is normal and which is not.

How do we know which is normal and which isn’t?

  • Mucoid vaginal discharge – it doesn’t have any smell; no itching and non-offensive is normal. It happens mostly during pregnancy.
  • Fungal infection; vaginal candidiasis – it is a whitish curd like discharge with itching not offensive.
  • Bloodstain discharge – non offensive, not itching. It could be malignant and you might have to check your cervix. (the neck of your womb)
  • Bloodstain offensive discharge – This also needs a checkup.
  • Bacterial vaginosis – it causes an offensive, fishy odour with a watery discharge. You should see a doctor.

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