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Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: Other infections

Question: I have a white discharge, what could it be?

 amandaw - Thu Nov 18, 2004 9:14 am

Hi I am a 28 year old female. I douched with a mild water and vinegar douche Saturday, and then had sex three times. I am not used to having a lot of sex so I became very sore and the outside of my vagina had been rubbed raw. The guy was larger than what I am used to. Since then I have had a white discharge, it does not smell nor does it itch, and at times it seems like a lot. It really is only bothersome because I feel wet all the time. The outside of my vagina is not red or irritated except in the area I mentioned before and this is healing. I have had trich. before and this is nothing like that. I have herpes but I am not currently having an ourbreak and I hardly ever do have them anymore. I know that it is normal for women to have a discharge but this doesnt seem normal to me and I didn't want to run to the doctor if this discharge is normal because it isnt like any of the infections I have had before. Can someone please give me some insight as to what this might be? Plus I don't have any insurance and the clinic I normally go to couldnt see me. The only other option is the ER and I don't want to run up there if its nothing. PLEASE HELP!!!
 Dr. Anthony Solomon - Sun Nov 21, 2004 6:10 am

Hello Amandaw,

Thank you for contacting The Doctor's Lounge.

You have not stated if you had protected sex with your partner. Your complaint is that of a profuse, whitish vaginal discharge that is persistent and is associated with vulvar excoriations and discomfort. There is no offensive odour and no vulvar irritation.

Vaginal discharge may be normal or abnormal. Normal vaginal discharge is usually physiological and causes no discomfort. Abnormal vaginal discharge may be caused by infections or lesions in the cervix (cervicitis) or in the vagina (vaginitis or vaginosis).

Cervicitis is more serious if due to an infection and it is therefore more important to exclude it to prevent complications such as Tubal Infection and Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. Cervicitis of infective origin is commonly due to STDs such as Chlamydia, Gonorrhoeoa, Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma, and Genital Herpes. Non-infective causes of discharge from the cervix may be due to cervical polyps and intrauterine contraceptive devices (IUD). You have not stated if you have an IUD.

Abnormal vaginal discharge may commonly be caused by trichomoniasis (TV), bacterial vaginosis (BV), and vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC). TV and VVC usually produce additional symptoms such as vulvar irritation, redness, rash, swelling, and discomfort.

In the case of TV and BV, there is also an offensive odour which is not listed as one of your symptoms. VVC is characterised by a combination of any of the following complaints: vaginal discharge, vaginal soreness, vulvar irritation, vulvar excoriations, vulvar burning, and painful intercourse. The discharge is typically cottage-cheese-like in character but may vary from watery to thick. Odor, if present, is inoffensive and minimal.

I strongly recommend that you subject yourself to tests at a Genitourinary Clinic (also known in some countries as STD Clinic, Venereal Disease Clinic or Sexual Health Clinic) where the cause of your discharge can be confirmed. As I have explained, the list of possible causes is long and diagnosis cannot be made without an examination in a proper setting.

I must further advise that vaginal douching is not recommended because it is linked to increased incidence of upper genital tract infection due to the fact that organisms are forced up into the uterus by the pressure with which the douche is applied. In addition, vaginal douching is associated with a high incidence of Bacterial Vaginosis.

Please let us have an update after undergoing the recommended tests.

Dr Anthony Solomon
Consultant Physician, Tropical and Genitourinary Medicine.
 porzellan - Tue Jan 11, 2005 9:22 pm

I have had vaginal infections all my life. Since the time I began puberty in the 7th grade until now at the age of 24 it seems like I am constantly battling some kind of infection. At my last visit with a nurse practioner at the local womens clinic they did a culture to see what was growing. I was told there was nothing and that I just had a lot of discharge. Except she had told me beforehand that when under the microscope she saw a lot of white blood cells. Now, wouldn't that mean that I'm fighting something?? I think there is something wrong with me like an allergy or something. Any ideas?
 Dr. Anthony Solomon - Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:26 pm

I am presuming that the previous conditions which you stated in your profile have been treated successfully and tests of cure were conducted. Also, that your sexual partner, if applicable, was evaluated and treated.

It is possible that your discharge is physiological, if there are no associated symptoms such as:
itching on or around the vulvar skin
offensive odour,
change in colour or consistency of discharge,
rash, redness or swelling of the vulva,
painful intercourse,
pelvic pain.

A physiological discharge is a normal discharge and can only be diagnosed by exclusion of causes of abnormal vaginal discharge. Abnormal vaginal discharge is commonly due to vaginal and cervical infections caused by sexually transmitted diseases as detailed in my response to the primary post.

The management of vaginal discharge is dependent upon accurate diagnosis, appropriate treatment, partner evaluation (and treatment if appropriate) and careful follow-up. Examination of women complaining of recurring or persistent vaginal discharge must include a speculum examination and appropriate laboratory tests on vaginal and cervical specimens to exclude STDs in the specialized setting of a Genitourinary or Venereology Clinic.

If you have not been examined as such, it is advisable to do so now.

Dr Anthony Solomon
 porzellan - Thu Jan 27, 2005 9:36 pm

I am very familiar with the symptoms of the different vaginal infections as I have had them all several times. I get my last bout cleared up, but then still was seeing discharge when I saw the nurse practiioner that told me there was no signs of infection from the culture that was done (just a lot of white blood cells which is what confuses me). I have not been sexually active in 6 months, and have since been tested for STD's due to the recurrent infections. One doctor was once suggested that I may have a vaginal pH imbalance causes an abnormally higher amount of discharge. Over the last 2 weeks I have started douching with white vinegar every other day to keep the discharge at bay, and it seems to be working, though I'd rather just take a Rx to keep the problem away.
 utterlyconfused - Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:32 pm

ive been reading these forums along with other things from google. i'm 18 and i'm on YAZ 24/4 pack and have been since august 2008. i haven't had this problem before, but i seem to have it now. i have a lot of white discharge. it's more or less annoying, because i constantly feel wet. it happens like every day no matter what part of the cycle i am at. now i am sexually active (with one person), but it hasnt been a problem before. it doesnt smell, but when i go to wipe it off of my underwear there is kind of an alcoholic smell, but it's not all the time. i had a pap smear and everything was normal. there was a bit of yeast, but my doctor said that was normal and nothing was wrong. there's no itching or burning nothing like that. i'm just confused because it wont go away no matter what i do. i honestly don't think that it's normal. help please???
 jms123 - Thu Nov 05, 2009 2:42 pm

I have white discharge as douching haven't been sexually active for a while and there is no this normal? I'm pretty healthy in general.

Thanks for responding!

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