Know Everything About Leucorrhoea (Vaginal Discharge)

What Is Vaginal Discharge?

Leucorrhoea, or vaginal discharge, is the term used to describe secretions released from a woman's genitalia. Vaginal discharge is a common physiological phenomenon unique to women, that is essential to the vagina's self-cleaning process and preservation of a condition that promotes conception. On the other hand, an infection or inflammation may be present if there is an irregularity in the state or volume of vaginal discharge, such as an odd taste, colour, itching, or pain. In these situations, we advise speaking with a gynaecologist.

Characteristics of Normal Vaginal Discharge

Anyone who sees white lumps in their vaginal discharge feels anxious. Though it is often the case for vaginal discharge to appear yellowish even in healthy individuals. Let's first study the features of a normal vaginal discharge.

Normal vaginal discharge is clear or milky in colour: Although the colour of vaginal discharge varies from person to person, under normal conditions it is transparent or milky white. The menstrual cycle affects the function of vaginal discharge, a fact that many women are unaware of. As a result, vaginal discharge is not always consistent. It is also usual for clear or milky white vaginal discharge to turn lumpy or pale yellow when it dries and gets on your shorts. It is not necessary to become alarmed if you see something that resembles a white lump.

Normal vaginal discharge has a slightly sour and sweet scent: Apart from the presence of white lumps in the vaginal discharge, some persons are also concerned about the odour. Even in healthy women, vaginal discharge is acidic and has a subtle sweet-sour scent. Additionally, you might notice a stronger odour getting closer to your period, but it probably won't be so strong that others will notice. Odours are not an issue as long as you change your vaginal discharge sheets and panties frequently and keep them clean. However, there can be an issue, if you notice an odd or peculiar smell that you have never noticed before.

Vaginal discharge changes depending on your menstrual cycle and age: Normal vaginal discharge is something we discussed, although it varies. Vaginal discharge changes depending on your menstrual cycle and age. Consequently, just when white lumps form in your vaginal discharge does not always indicate that there is an illness or issue. We will explain in detail the specific changes that occur depending on the menstrual cycle and age.

Changes in vaginal discharge due to menstrual cycle: Vaginal discharge variations by the menstrual cycle. The impact of female hormones alters the quantity and quality of vaginal discharge. The menstrual cycle can be broadly classified into the following four periods.

  • Follicular phase: It is a part of the cycle that occurs right after the menstrual cycle ends. In the first half, brown discharge may be mixed with menstrual blood after menstruation. Its tiny amount and relative smoothness are its defining characteristics. On the other hand, the quantity of vaginal discharge increases as ovulation approaches.
  • Ovulation phase: The amount of vaginal discharge reaches its peak 2 to 3 days before and after the ovulation period. It has a viscous discharge that is clear and thick, but it doesn't smell too bad. The vaginal discharge during ovulation plays a role in supporting fertilisation.
  • Luteal phase: The discharge thickens and becomes more mucus-like and murky. From this time on, it starts to look like white lumps when it gets on your shorts. The discharge is viscous, but the amount is small.
  • Menstrual Period: Vaginal discharge volume increases. Sometimes the discharge resembles white lumps and is thick and mucus-like. While the odour is stronger, the vaginal discharge resembles that of the luteal phase. There can be a tiny quantity of blood visible a few days before your period.

There are individual differences in the discharge during the four cycles. You don't need to worry too much about things like "Even though you're in the follicular phase, your vaginal discharge isn't smooth" or "If you don't have thick, thick vaginal discharge, does that mean you're not ovulating?"

Age-related changes in vaginal discharge: Age-related variations in vaginal discharge are also observed. Particularly, those in the 20–30 age range, they frequently experience anxiety related to increased vaginal discharge. Follicle hormone secretion is still unstable in teenagers. Vaginal discharge fluctuates between being too much and too little.

  • 20s to 30s: The amount of vaginal discharge peaks in the 20s and 30s. You will frequently have more vaginal discharge if you use a vaginal discharge sheet every day out of concern for the amount. After the peak, the secretion of follicular hormones gradually decreases, and the amount of natural vaginal discharge decreases.
  • At 40s or after menopause: Female hormones drastically drop after menopause and beyond the age of forty, making it challenging to emit vaginal discharge. But when the quantity drops, the vagina atrophies and the amount of residing bacteria drops as well, making vaginitis more likely to occur. Also, more people find the smell sour. In addition to vaginal discharge, menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and sweating may also appear.

Changes in vaginal discharge caused by drugs: If you are taking a low-dose pill for menstrual control, your genitals will tend to be more atrophied and produce less vaginal discharge than normal. However, please be careful as the amount of vaginal discharge caused by infection will increase. Furthermore, compared to normal, post-menopausal women on hormone replacement treatment may experience more vaginal discharge. It is best to speak with your doctor first if you observe a change in your vaginal discharge as a result of pharmaceutical side effects.

Causes of White Discharge

Changes in vaginal discharge can cause anxiety in some people. Examples of such worries include "the white discharge or lumps aren't coming together regularly," "the white lumps are so big that I'm worried," and "I'm concerned about the smell." We shall now discuss the three primary reasons why vaginal discharge contains white lumps.

Cause 1: During the ovulation period or before menstruation

As said, vaginal discharge increases during the ovulation phase and before your period, even if you are in good health. In addition, the thick, hazy vaginal discharge that occurs during this time sticks to your shorts and eventually takes on the appearance of a discharged white mass. In particular, vaginal discharge during ovulation has a jelly-like consistency, and the closer you get to your period, the more viscous it becomes, so it may be discharged in large lumps. Although this warrants attention, you shouldn't worry excessively until you're in pain or itching in your lower abdomen, including your genitals.

Cause 2: Being pregnant

Similar to menstruation, the release of female hormones rises during pregnancy. Also, the quantity and thickness of vaginal discharge may both rise to keep bacteria and viruses out of the vagina. While some people are creamy or have a thick white lump, others are smooth. However, some women may not experience any significant changes even after giving birth, only a slight increase in vaginal discharge. In addition to changes in vaginal discharge, check for delayed menstruation, lower abdominal pain, lower back pain, headache, fatigue, bloating, or excessive sleepiness. If any of these symptoms apply to you, you may be pregnant.

Cause 3: Infectious disease/disease is lurking

If your period is not close and there is no possibility that you are pregnant, you may be suffering from some kind of illness. You may have signs of candida vaginitis if you have white, crumbly, granular lumps in your vaginal discharge that resemble cottage cheese or sake lees, along with itching in your vulva or vagina. Please get into a clinic right away if you have any changes in your vaginal discharge or discomfort in the area surrounding your genitalia. Avoid sex with your partner until the symptoms go away.

Other Reason: The following are further explanations for the cause or increase in "vaginal discharge".

  1. Physiological leucorrhoea, or rise in body weight: Physiological leucorrhoea, except Bartholin's glands, is usually the result of changes during the menstrual cycle, so it is temporary. It will disappear after a certain period.
  2. Pathological leucorrhoea, or an increase in volume: Pathological leucorrhoea frequently has an odour because it is linked to vaginitis. Certain infections, including vaginal candidiasis, can be identified by their distinctive leucorrhoea, which is visible in the vaginal discharge. Additionally, vulvitis, which itches the vulva, is frequently present in conjunction with it. It is recommended that you visit a doctor if you encounter any of these symptoms. Overconfidence might also result in delayed disease detection. Please don't worry about it alone if you're worried; you can consult a doctor.

Abnormalities due to poor physical condition: Bacteria can easily grow in your vagina when you have a poor lifestyle or are ill with a cold. First, prioritise getting back in shape and changing your lifestyle habits.

Abnormalities due to humidity: Not only in the summer but excessive cold protection in the cold season can also cause stuffiness in the vaginaAlthough humidity is vital, the atmosphere inside the vagina will worsen if it gets stuffy.

Fancy underwear with laces, etc tends to become stuffy. Select breathable, basic undergarments.

Abnormalities caused by over-washing: Overusing bidets or taking longer baths than necessary can reduce your body's ability to fight against infection.

Location Of Discharge

From the perspective of the place of the vaginal discharge (leucorrhoea), we arranged them in order from the entrance of the vagina to the back of the vagina

  1. Vestibular leucorrhoea (The part at the entrance of the vagina is called the vaginal vestibule. This is the leucorrhoea that comes out from here.)
  2. Vaginal discharge (discharge that comes from the vagina)
  3. Cervical leucorrhoea (leucorrhea secreted from the cervix)
  4. Leucorrhoea (discharge from the secretory glands in the endometrium)
  5. Leucorrhoea (leucorrhea secreted from the fallopian tube mucosa)

It is classified as Physiological and pathological leucorrhoea can occur from each of the above areas. Here is the explanation of the location and reason behind vaginal discharge.

Occurrence site

Physiological leucorrhoea

Pathological leucorrhoea

Vestibular Leucorrhea

Secretion from the sweat glands and sebaceous glands of the vulva. Secretion from mucus glands such as Bartholin's glands

Vulvitis, vulvar cancer

Vaginal Leucorrhoea

Epithelium that has fallen off from the vaginal wall (skin also peels off from the surface and becomes plaque, but the idea is the same), fluid that seeps from the blood vessels and lymphatic vessels of the vaginal wall (exudate)

Vaginitis (there are various causes of vaginitis.Depending on the cause, there is a characteristic discharge), foreign bodies in the vagina (a typical example is a device called a pessary that is inserted into the vagina to treat uterine prolapse; Things will increase.)

Cervical Leucorrhoea

Cervical mucus is a fluid secreted from the cervical line. A lot of this will come out as ovulation approaches. When you apply a clear liquid on your finger and open it, it stretches out.

Inflammation due to infection , cervix erosion

Uterine Leucorrhoea

It is secreted by glands in the endometrium. This increases during the luteal phase (the period after ovulation). It's a clear liquid.

It increases with endometritis, cervical cancer, and endometrial cancer. It can be bloody (meaning bleeding) or purulent (pus).

Fallopian tube leucorrhoea

Secretion from glands in the fallopian tube mucosa (as the secretion is deeper than the endometrium, this is rarely detected on its own.)

The amount increases due to hydrosalpinx/pyosalpinx (water or pus in the fallopian tubes) or fallopian tube cancer.

Depending on its nature, leucorrhoea is also classified into several categories.

  1. White discharge: This is where physiological leucorrhea occurs. White discharge is another symptom of vaginal candidiasis, which is where it comes in. If there are white lumps in the vaginal discharge that resemble sake lees, this could indicate cervicitis or candida vaginitis. Itching on the vulva or inside the vagina may be a symptom of Candida vaginitis. You may suspect endometritis or salpingitis if the volume of vaginal discharge rises and is accompanied by fever and lower abdominal pain.
  2. Yellow-coloured discharge: When white blood cells and bacteria proliferate, they turn yellow. The infection becomes pus-filled when it gets really bad. Its high white blood cell and bacterial content causes it to turn purulent yellowish-white, yellow, or green. You might have Trichomonas vaginitis if you have a rise in frothy, yellowish discharge in your vulva along with an unpleasant odour and itching. Trichomonas protozoa, a type of parasite that is frequently spread through sexual activity, is the source of this. Endometritis or salpingitis may be considered if the vaginal discharge is yellow, becomes more voluminous, and is accompanied by fever and lower stomach pain. If you experience lower abdominal pain and it's green, you can have a chlamydial infection. Please be aware that there are very few symptoms in the early stages of this sexually transmitted illness.
  3. Brown or red discharge: This indicates that there has been bleeding. It feels like a tiny quantity combined with vaginal discharge, but it's more akin to vaginal bleeding than discharge. Blood contamination is a possibility if the discharge has a brownish or reddish tint. When symptoms like an offensive odour or an increase in odour coexist, endometrial cancer or cervical cancer may be considered. In situations of senile vaginitis, there may also be blood in the vaginal discharge.
  4. Serous (Watery) discharge: This is a result of inflammation-induced increased exudate. It's also possible that you get water breaks when pregnant. (This is categorised here because it generates amniotic fluid, which is similar to water.)
  5. Leucorrhoea with foul odour: A bad smell is a result of bacterial illness. Odour can be caused by both vaginitis and malignancies, including cervical cancer. Textbooks use expressions like "it smells like rotten fish," which are illogical. Furthermore, when I use the word "smell," some people refer to the odour of vaginal discharge that clings to their underwear or vaginal discharge sheets. However, even if you choose not to smell it, you will still be able to detect it as soon as you enter the bathroom and remove your underwear, so it's not that horrible. You don't need to be concerned. In any case, sweat is the source of the sour smell, thus there's nothing to worry about.

Diagnosis of vaginal discharge (leucorrhoea)

In a medical facility, When a patient's primary complaint is vaginal discharge, the hospital obtains a sample of the discharge and examines it under a microscope.

Under a microscope, squamous epithelium, the cells that comprise the vaginal walls and resident bacteria-rod-shaped bacteria known as Daederlein's bacilli are typically visible and in good condition in leucorrhoea. On the other hand, inflammation and the appearance of bacteria and white blood cells are signs of bacterial infection. A microscope can also be used to see candida, albeit this may not always be possible depending on the form of the candida or if there is little leucorrhoea. It is known as vulvovaginal candidiasis when Candida spreads to the vulva, and the itching on the vulva is quite severe. Consequently, they will concentrate on looking for Candida if the vulva is accompanied by itching. To find out if Candida is increasing, they may perform a culture test and treat the leucorrhoea.

This method of examining your leucorrhoea will allow you to determine with clarity if it is unclean or normal; thus, if you have any concerns, please consult a physician. 

How To Deal White Discharge At Home

If you're ovulating or before your period, it's a good idea to take a look even if you notice a white lump in your vaginal discharge. If the volume of vaginal discharge rises or the odour gets strong, you will experience discomfort even if it is just momentary. Here we will show you how to deal with unpleasant discharge at home.

Select breathable underwear: Even if you are in good health, if your sensitive areas get stuffy, bacteria including Candida will easily grow. Additionally, the moisture within the shorts is increased by menstrual blood and napkins during the menstrual cycle, increasing the risk of rashes and itching. When you have a menstrual cycle or are worried about vaginal discharge, Select breathable undergarments and loose-fitting bottoms to help prevent stuffiness. We advise using tampons and cotton napkins during the menstrual period.

Wash diet from vaginal discharge: Dirt may build or stick to the sensitive area if the discharge is in the form of white lumps. It may also not drain correctly. Keep the inside of your shorts as tidy as possible. We advise giving your skin a gentle shower before taking a bath. Sensitive areas do not require the use of special soaps. Furthermore, there's no need to clean your vagina's interior. If you are concerned about stuffiness, some people may choose to remove their pubic hair. However, repeated shaving can cause dermatitis, leading to skin problems. It is advised that you have pubic hair removed at a medical facility rather than taking care of it on your own if you are concerned about it.

Adjust the environment in the vagina: Troubles in the vaginal environment can give rise to problems in the sensitive zone. Doderlein's bacilli are a type of lactic acid bacteria found in healthy vaginas. The vaginal canal is preserved at a normal acidity level by Daederlein's bacilli, which inhibits the growth of bacteria. However, if the number of Daederlein's bacilli decreases due to incorrect self-cleaning, taking antibiotics, stress, or hormonal imbalance, the acidity in the vagina weakens, creating an environment in which bacteria can easily breed. While it can be challenging to eradicate stress and hormone imbalance, make every effort to live a life that removes as many of the contributing factors as you can.

FAQ(Frequently Asked Questions) on Leucorrhoea (White Discharge)

What is the treatment of leucorrhoea?

Treatment depends on the cause. Maintain hygiene, use mild soaps, and wear breathable underwear. Infections may require specific medications, so consult a healthcare professional for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Does leukorrhea affect periods?

Leukorrhea typically doesn't directly affect menstrual periods. Seek medical advice if the excessive discharge is accompanied by other symptoms to rule out underlying issues impacting the menstrual cycle.

What is the difference between leukorrhea and white discharge?

Leukorrhea is often synonymous with white discharge, which can be normal or indicate an issue if excessive or discoloured. Consult a healthcare provider for evaluation.

Does leukorrhea affect fertility?

Mild leukorrhea usually doesn't affect fertility. Consult a healthcare provider if persistent abnormal discharge is a concern for accurate diagnosis and guidance.

What is leucorrhoea?

Leucorrhoea is vaginal discharge that can be normal or indicate an issue. Normal discharge is typically clear or white; abnormal discharge may be yellow or green, requiring medical attention.

How to cure leucorrhoea?

Consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis. Treatment may include antibiotics or lifestyle changes. Maintain proper hygiene, stay hydrated, and wear breathable clothing for recovery.

How to cure leucorrhoea naturally?

Consider natural remedies like yoghurt, a balanced diet, and herbal treatments with professional guidance. However, consult a healthcare provider before trying any home remedies for leucorrhoea.

Is it normal to have white discharge everyday?

Normal white discharge is common. If changes occur suddenly or with symptoms, consult a healthcare provider for evaluation.

Is white discharge a sign of pregnancy?

Increased discharge can be normal in pregnancy, but it's not a definitive sign. For pregnancy uncertainty, take a test and consult a healthcare provider.

What is white discharge?

White discharge is a combination of cervical mucus and shed cells, maintaining vaginal health. Any sudden changes should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.

Why do I have a lot of white discharge?

White discharge is a combination of cervical mucus and shed cells, maintaining vaginal health. Any sudden changes should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.

Is white discharge normal?

Normal white discharge is part of the body's self-cleaning mechanism. Changes in colour, consistency, or odour should prompt medical evaluation.

What is the reason for white discharge?

White discharge results from hormonal shifts, ovulation, or bacterial balance changes. Infections or health conditions may also contribute.

What is white discharge in female?

White discharge is a normal physiological occurrence linked to hormonal changes. Any unusual characteristics or symptoms require medical evaluation.

What to eat to stop white discharge?

A balanced diet with probiotics, vitamins, and minerals may support vaginal health. Include yoghurt, fresh fruits, and vegetables.

How to stop white discharge in female naturally?

Natural methods involve hygiene, breathable clothing, and a diet with probiotics. Herbal remedies may help, but professional guidance is essential.

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