Slimy Discharge

Due to the many physiological processes which the women’s reproductive system goes through during the menstrual cycle in preparation for conception, the vaginal discharge may change its appearance. The discharge may change in its consistency, amount, color, or odor. A variety of conditions influence the changes that occur with the discharge. You may even notice that it’s a slimy discharge. The question that needs to be answered is, “Are these discharges normal, or are they symptoms of a disease?”

Is It Normal to Have Slimy Discharge?

Throughout your menstrual cycle the vaginal fluids will alter in texture and color. Having a slimy discharge is completely normal. Other changes that you may notice are that the mucus discharge may become thin, sticky, and elastic or it may become thick and gooey.

If the discharge is clear, white, or off-white, then it is normal and you do not need to be concerned about diseases. The discharge is your body’s natural way of cleaning and moistening the vagina, as well as helping protecting it against infections.

As mentioned above, there are many variations to your "normal" discharge throughout your life and menstrual cycles. The changes are indicators of which stage you are at within your menstrual cycle. An example of this is that when your discharge is thicker and greater in volume you are most likely at the ovulation stage. It is also common to have a larger volume of vaginal discharge when you are sexually excited as your vagina self-lubricates itself.

Although these variations are common, if they are not normal for you then you may need to take it as a symptom of an infection or disease.

When Is It Abnormal?

There are many changes that may be symptoms of another health related issue. Each person is unique and experiences different combinations of changes. Here are some of the most common changes in mucus discharge that may be symptoms of an abnormal discharge due to an infection or other disease.

  • ŸThe color, consistency, or amount may change
  • You may have a discharge more often than normal or that does not stop
  • Its accompanied by itchiness, discomfort, or a rash
  • ŸThere is a burning sensation in the vaginal region during urination
  • ŸBlood in the discharge when it is not time for your period
  • ŸA chunky, cottage cheese like consistency
  • ŸMucus discharge that is yellow, green, or gray and accompanied by a foul odor

Causes of Abnormal Discharge

The most common cause of abnormal discharge is infections. The three main types of vaginal infections are bacterial vaginosis, candidiasis, and trichomoniasis. Vaginal infections can be contracted through intercourse and without having sex. Gonorrhea is an infection spread through sexual interactions, whereas a yeast infection is contracted other ways.

Although many infections may have similar symptoms, there are several differences that will help you determine which infection you have contracted.

  • Ÿ A yeast infection may cause a white, thick vaginal discharge that looks very similar to cottage cheese. You may have severe itching and burning, but most of the time you will not notice a foul odor associated with a yeast infection.
  • Ÿ If your discharge has a fishy, foul odor then it may be bacterial vaginosis. This infection may also cause your mucus discharge to become gray and thin.
  • Ÿ One of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), trichomoniasis has a strong odor accompanied by a yellowish-green color. You may also experience pain during urination, severe itching, or you may even notice that the discharge has a frothy texture.

When you notice any of the symptoms above, in any combination, it is important that you visit a health clinic or your doctor. They will be able to accurately diagnose the infections so that you may receive proper treatment.

When to See a Doctor

If you are a girl who has had sex, you are at a higher risk of contracting vaginal infections, especially those caused by STD’s. If you do not use a condom during sex you are at an even higher risk. When you visit your doctor, let them know if you have been having sex with or without a condom.

Whether you have had sex or not, you must see your doctor right away if you have a change in your vaginal discharge along with a fever or pain in the belly and pelvic area.

How Is Abnormal Discharge Treated?

Treatment for vaginal infections depends on the type of infection you have. This is why it is important that you visit your doctor for an accurate diagnosis. Once you have the diagnosis you can treat the infection.

Most yeast infections are treated with an antifungal cream or gel that is inserted into the vagina. Antibiotic pills or creams will be prescribed to help clear up bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis is mainly treated with metronidazole or tinidazole.

One way to avoid the uncomfortable itching sensation or odor of vaginal infections is to take a few preventative measures.

  1. Using a gentle soap and warm water, wash the vaginal area regularly.
  2. Avoid using scented soaps and feminine products, douche, sprays, and bubble baths.
  3. Wipe from front to back when you finish using the toilet. This will prevent bacteria from spreading to the vagina.
  4. Avoid wearing tight clothes.
  5. Wear 100% cotton underwear.
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