What does Thick White Discharge Mean? - All Possible Reasons
Vaginal discharge is a liquid that is secreted in the cervix glands and vagina. It protects the intimate area from possible infections and helps to keep it clean and healthy. Depending on the time and ovulation stage in which we may be going through, its quantity, texture and consistency can vary considerably. In addition to that, there are also important variations between one woman's discharge to another's. Significant changes in its color and usual smell can warn us we may suffering from some kind of disease, infection or gynecological condition, so it is very important to keep an eye on any changes that may occur.
In many cases, a thicker white discharge than usual is something we may not be very clear about; If you also have this doubt and you want to know what thick white discharge means, keep on reading this oneHOWTO article, where you'll find all possible reasons.
What does a normal vaginal discharge look like?
A normal vaginal discharge has specific characteristics you should known to be certain that it is not warning us about some kind of health issue or gynecological disorder. When the vaginal discharge is normal and not a sign something is wrong, it has a clear or whitish, transparent or milky color and a smell that can become mild, but in no case disagreeable or foul.
In addition to these characteristics, it is also important to note that the texture, consistency and amount of vaginal discharge can vary from one woman to another, as well as depending on the stage in which the woman is, since it may be more abundant, for example, in periods where there is an increase in hormonal activity, such as before menstruation, near ovulation, during pregnancy, during lactation, during contraceptive use, etc.
The absence of symptoms such as bad smell, itching, redness, inflammation or burning in the vulvar and vaginal area is also an indication that it is a totally normal vaginal discharge. If you do notice these symptoms, and you notice your discharge is yellow, gray, green, odorless, blood is present, you should visit your gynecologist immediately.
White and thick discharge before your period
Thick white discharge before menstruation is completely normal and is a sign of PMS, and that your period is coming. Generally, watery, clear, elastic, and white secretions usually appear both at the beginning and at the end of the menstrual cycle, but when your period is coming closer, vaginal secretions may appear thicker and darker in color, and finally turns brown, which would be indicating the first day of your period.
This type of flow appears in the female body as a defense mechanism to protect the vaginal area from possible infections caused by microorganisms, such as bacteria or fungi, as the hormonal changes that take place during this stage change the bacterial flora of the Vagina and it's more vulnerable to the possibility of contracting some type of infection.
Thick white discharge due to pregnancy
Is thick white vaginal discharge a symptom of pregnancy? This is a very common question among women, and let us clarify that this type of vaginal discharge may be one of the first symptoms of pregnancy. The fact is that, during the first months of pregnancy, many women observe how their white flow increases in quantity and is thicker, which is normal because the body increases the production of this liquid to keep the uterus and fetus well protected from possible external infectious agents.
If you notice that your flow is more abundant than before and you suspect that you can be pregnant, it is best you take a pregnancy test or consult with your gynecologist get rid of possible doubts. In the following article you can find out what the other early symptoms of pregnancy are.
Thick white discharge due to yeast infection
However, there are also some causes of thick white discharge that require medical attention, since sometimes this type of vaginal discharge may be the result of some type of bacterial or fungal infection, although in these you will probably also notice other symptoms.
One of the most common vaginal infections that present thick white flow is an infection of fungi or yeasts, the most frequent is vaginal candidiasis or candida. It is caused by the overgrowth of the Candida albicans fungus in the genital area, which occurs when there is an imbalance in the immune system, and causes other symptoms such as:
- Whitish, thick and watery vaginal discharge (similar to cottage cheese). Secretions more abundant but without bad smell.
- Itching, burning, irritation and itching in the vulva and vagina.
- Redness and swelling.
- Discomfort when urinating.
- Pain when having sex.
If you notice the symptoms of vaginal yeast infection, it is very important to go to the gynecologist and start the appropriate treatment, as you will be prescribed antifungal drugs to stop the proliferation of the candida fungus. In the following article we explain in more detail how to cure vaginal thrush or yeast infection.
Thick white discharge due to birth control pills
Starting to take birth control pills may be another condition that answers the question of why you get thick white discharge. When taking contraceptives, the female body experiences a series of hormonal changes that often cause alterations in your menstrual cycle processes and other variations, such as increased white discharge. This is completely normal and usually gets regularized once you have spent the first three months taking the pills.
However, if the vaginal secretions are very abundant and persist after the first three months, it is important to go to the gynecologist to make sure that this is the right contraceptive method for you or if, on the contrary, you should choose another method.
Thick white discharge due to vaginal atrophy
Another possible cause of thick white discharge is vaginal atrophy or atrophic vaginitis, a very common condition among menopausal women caused by decreased estrogen in the female body that occurs during this stage of a woman's life.
This condition is characterized by an inflammation and narrowing of the vaginal walls and the affected woman may present symptoms such as the following:
- Vaginal dryness.
- White flow.
- Itching or burning in the vagina.
- Burning or stinging on urination.
- Pain during sexual intercourse.
- Slight bleeding after intercourse.
- Unintentional urine leakage.
Depending on the severity of the symptoms, one treatment or another will be established, and in some cases hormone treatment with estrogen may be prescribed.
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
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