Vaginal Discharge (cont.)
Vaginal Discharge Causes
The vaginal walls and uterine cervix contain glands that produce a small
amount of fluid that helps to keep the vagina clean. This normal vaginal
discharge is typically clear or milky white in color and does not have an
A number of different infections can cause a change in the amount,
consistency, color, or odor of vaginal discharge. These include:
- Bacterial vaginosis is a condition is caused by an
imbalance in the growth of the bacteria that are normally present in the vagina.
It is not known exactly why this imbalance in bacterial growth occurs. This
condition was formerly known as Gardnerella vaginitis after one type of bacteria that commonly cause the
- Trichomonas (trich,
trichomoniasis) is infection by a single-celled
parasite known as Trichomonas vaginalis. The infection is transmitted by sexual contact.
- Gonorrhea is the
resulting from infection by the bacteria known as Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
- Chlamydia is
another sexually-transmitted infection (STD) due to the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. Although infected women may not have symptoms, a vaginal
discharge may occur.
- Yeast infection (candidiasis) occurs when there is an
overgrowth of yeast in the vagina, often due to antibiotic use or other factors that affect the
natural balance of bacteria in the vaginal area. Candida species are the type of
yeast most commonly responsible.
While Trichomonas, Gonorrhea, and Chlamydia are examples of
sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs), bacterial vaginosis and yeast infection
are not considered to be STDs.
Vaginal bleeding is different from vaginal discharge. The infections listed
above are causes of abnormal vaginal discharge without the presence of
significant vaginal bleeding.
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