It is a question that is often asked: Is my vaginal discharge normal or should I be worried that something is wrong? The answer is: It depends. Every woman experiences some vaginal discharge and usually, it signals a healthy vagina but there are times when you should talk with your doctor.
What is Normal Discharge?
The pH in your vagina is naturally acidic to help prevent infections. This acidity is caused by “good” bacteria created by your body. Your vagina produces secretions to help cleanse your vagina, much like the saliva in your mouth. The secretions are released every day cleaning out old cells. The secretions also help prevent infections and keep your vagina lubricated.
As the secretions flow out of your vagina, you may see some discharge. Normal discharge is clear or milky white. It can sometimes appear yellowish when dry on clothing. You may also see small white flecks or, depending on your menstrual cycle, it may be thin and stringy.
<p><strong>What Is Vaginitis?</strong></p>
<p>Vaginitis is a disorder of the vagina caused by infection or inflammation. It is often a result of infection by one of various microorganisms, but vaginitis may also be caused by irritation from soaps or medications, an allergic reaction, or hormonal changes. The three most common types of vaginitis are candidiasis (yeast infection), trichomoniasis (infection by a tiny, one-celled organism called a protozoan), and bacterial vaginosis. These three types account for more than 90% of all vaginitis seen in non-menopausal women. Menopausal women may get atrophic vaginitis associated with thinning of the walls of the vagina. This is due to estrogen deprivation.</p>
<p>Although irritating, vaginitis is not a serious health risk, and it typically subsides quickly with treatment. Recurrent or persistent cases may be associated with an underlying medical condition.</p>
Menopause brings about many changes to the body. Some of those we can see and other changes may not be so visible.
One such subtle change? Vaginal atrophy. The condition affects about half of postmenopausal women, according to the Mayo Clinic.
One type of atrophy is vulvovaginal atrophy. “During perimenopause, less estrogen may cause the tissues of the vulva and the lining of the vagina to become thinner, drier, and less elastic or flexible—a condition known as vulvovaginal atrophy,” More.com noted. “Vaginal secretions are reduced, resulting in decreased lubrication. Reduced levels of estrogen also result in an increase in vaginal pH, which makes the vagina less acidic, just as it was before puberty.”
Another type is atrophic vaginitis. According to More.com , “When ‘–itis’ is added to a word, it generally means inflammation. Inflammation of the vagina after menopause in a woman who is not using hormone therapy is calle...
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