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No woman wants to talk about it, but nearly every woman deals with it: white vaginal discharge. This routine bodily function may be taboo to talk about, but vaginal discharge is a daily process helps clean a woman’s body and even prevent infection. Yet, since white vaginal discharge isn’t a widely discussed topic, many women wonder what’s considered normal.
Basically, white vaginal discharge is normal. The appearance and characteristics of your usual, white vaginal discharge may vary slightly at different points during your menstrual cycle, during arousal, or during pregnancy, but that is still normal.
However, when discharge significantly varies in color, consistency, and smell, there is cause for concern. An infection or a sexually transmitted disease such as gonorrhea or chlamydia may be present.
Noticeable changes in your normal, white vaginal discharge can indicate a problem. The following conditions can commonly cause irregular discharge:
When your white vaginal discharge becomes significantly discolored, thicker, odorous and/or is accompanied with pain or itching, a diagnosis is necessary so a doctor can order proper treatment to get your body back to normal.
Since irregular, white vaginal discharge can be an STD symptom, STD testing is strongly encouraged. Gonorrhea testing, as well as chlamydia and trichomoniasis testing, should be administered after the onset of a possible STD symptom.
A doctor can test for a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis.
After STD testing, the correct treatment can alleviate annoying and irritating symptoms quickly. If diagnosed with gonorrhea or another STD, treatment should be rendered as soon as possible to avoid any long term repercussions. A basic antibiotic can cure gonorrhea, chlamydia, or trichomoniasis.
A yeast infection is treated with antifungal medication, while bacterial vaginosis is cured with antibiotics. Both conditions can be treated via pills or creams.