Discharge related problems are among the common problem gynecologists receive. A vaginal discharge or leucorrhea is considered normal to some degree in healthy women. It is a way in which the vagina is able to clean itself and create a state of equilibrium. Therefore, when the vagina is kept clean and healthy, having these secretions is actually normal.
The fluid has slight smell and takes a milky consistency with a cloudy white or some transparent color. When dried, the discharge will cause the linen to assume a yellowish hue. The amount of secretion will vary from one woman to anther and with menstrual cycle. It is normal for the vaginal discharge to change its color but at times, it may indicate an infection.
The discharge helps in cleaning of the female reproductive system. The fluids secreted inside the cervix and vagina will carry away dead cells as well as bacteria helping keep vagina clean and prevent infections. Sometimes, the amount of discharge can vary as well as its odor and hue. There is more discharge when breastfeeding, ovulating, or sexually aroused.
Depending on time of menstrual cycle, the color may range from clear to something milky whitish. Other changes in color such as green and gray may indicate an infection especially when they are accompanied by itching and burning. When the color, smell, and consistency of the vaginal discharge seems usual and accompanied by other symptoms like burning or itching, it is most probably an infection, and you should consider seeing a doctor.
Having bloody or brown discharge may indicate that a woman has irregular menstrual cycles and less often, she has endometrial or cervical cancer, and this is so especially when there is abnormal bleeding and pelvic pain. A cloudy yellow color of vaginal fluid discharge may indicate gonorrhea particularly when there is bleeding in between periods, pelvic pain, and urinary incontinence.
Having yellow, frothy, or greenish discharge with bad smell and other symptoms like pain and itching when urinating may indicate trichomoniasis. A pink discharge of the vagina indicates shedding of uterine lining after a woman has given birth. A thick white or cheesy discharge with swelling and pain around vulva and painful sexual intercourse or itching of vagina may be due to yeast infection.
What does gray discharge imply?
A yellow, white or gray discharge with fishy odor accompanied by burning and itching as well as redness and swelling of vulva or vagina indicates bacterial vaginosis. A gray vaginal discharge is therefore mainly associated with overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina, which may cause an infection.
Normal vaginal discharge will have a clear, white or yellow color and it can be thin, watery, creamy, or looking like mucus. A normal discharge may not have odor or it may smell musky contrary to abnormal discharge, which smells unpleasant, and with foul smell. When the healthy balance of the vaginal flora is destabilized, it can result in increased bacterial growth.
A healthy balance of vaginal flora should not smell bad and there should be no burning and itching or hurting. The normal balance of the vaginal flora can be upset by things like tampon use or douching. It is important to seek medical care when you have changes in color, odor, and consistency or the amount of discharge you release especially if you have other symptoms such as burning, pain, itching or bleeding of the vagina.
However, it is expected that the discharge can change time in time especially during menstrual cycle or ovulation. Such changes in color may be normal and will get back to the regular color after sometime. However, whenever there is change in color to cheese, yellow, gray, or greenish and pink and there are other symptoms, it may be an infection.
The color the discharge assumes may tell the kind of infection one has whether bacterial or fungal. In bacterial vaginosis, it is caused by overgrowth of bacteria particularly gardnerella. A woman with bacterial vaginosis will have increased discharge, which tends to be copious or has large quantity and takes the color of white, greenish, or gray. The discharge has strong fishy odor and the odor might increase after sexual intercourse or menstrual period. There may also be itching of the vagina.
Treatment of gray discharge
In order to get treatment for gray vaginal discharge, a doctor will conduct examination to determine whether there is an infection. Prescription medications may be taken depending on the cause of the gray discharge. Different diseases or infections may cause the gray discharge such as bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis.
To prevent having unhealthy vaginal discharge, women should keep their vagina clean and dry and ensure they avoid douching and they use condoms when they do sex. Women need to steer clear of perfumed soaps, feminine hygiene products, and scented tampons or other products like pads. Safe sex and good hygiene are an ideal way of keeping the discharge of the vagina at normal and in healthy balance.