Saturday, September 13, 2008

Dealing with vaginal discharge

The amount of normal discharge varies from woman to woman, and with the menstrual cycle. Many women notice that, during the week following a period, there is hardly any discharge, and what there is, has a thick consistency. Towards the middle the cycle (about 2 weeks after the start of the period) the amount increases and it becomes thin, slippery and clear, like uncooked egg white. There may also be a feeling of moistness and stickiness. Normal discharge does not smell, and does not cause any irritation or itching.

What’s not normal
1. A discharge is likely to be abnormal if:

2. It smells fishy.

3. It is thick and white, like cottage cheese.

4. It is greenish and smells foul.

5. There is blood in it (except when you have a period)

6. It is itchy

7. You have any genital sores or ulcers

8. You have abnormal pain or pain on intercourse

9. It started soon after you had unprotected sex with someone you suspect could have a sexually transmitted infection/ disease. (STD)

What to do if you have vaginal discharge

1. For any vaginal problem, you must take care to avoid substances that may cause more irritation.

2. During a period, change tampons or sanitary pads frequently (at least two or three times a day).

3. Talk to your partner. Ask if he has any discharge from the urethra (the opening at the end of the penis) or any soreness or irritation of the penis. If his answer is ‘yes’, or if there is any reason to think that he might have a sexually transmitted infection, he should go to a doctor for a check-up. Do not have sex until the problem has been sorted out.
4. If your discharge is thick and white and itchy, it may be thrust, so you could try an anti-thrush cream or tablet from a pharmacist. Do not persist with an anti-thrust cream from the pharmacist if the problem does not resolve within a day or two. Make an appointment to see your family doctor and have the problem cleared up.
Source: Health care booklet from Guardian pharmacy

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