Symptoms and Signs of Vaginal Discharge Types, Causes, and Treatment

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Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Vaginal Discharge Types, Causes, and Treatment

Vaginal discharge is fluid produced by glands in the vaginal wall and cervix that exits from the opening of the vagina. A certain amount of vaginal discharge as normal. However, an increased amount of discharge, an abnormal odor or consistency of the fluid, or vaginal discharge accompanied by pain may be signs of a vaginal infection or other condition. Vaginal discharge can be caused by bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, or infections like Chlamydia, gonorrhea, or Trichomonas that are passed to others through sexual contact. Soaps, douches, or spermicides are other possible causes of vaginal discharge.

Depending on the cause of the vaginal discharge and particularly when an infection is present, there can be other symptoms associated with the condition, like pain during urination, pain with sexual intercourse, and burning or itching of the vagina.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.