Lumpy vaginal discharge: what is it due to?

Lumpy vaginal discharge indicates that there is a problem in the genital area. It is a symptom that should never be overlooked.

Last update: 15 March, 2022

Lumpy vaginal discharge is not normal. In fact, any significant change in the color, smell or texture of the discharge speaks of some anomaly. Most commonly, this is caused by an infection that requires medical treatment.

It is normal for these types of secretions to change depending on the menstrual cycle. However, such changes are subtle and do not greatly alter the appearance of the fluid.

Normal discharge is clear or whitish in color. It hardly has an odor and has a texture similar to that of egg white. It presents changes according to each phase of the menstrual cycle, but maintains its basic characteristics. Why, then, does the vaginal discharge appear in lumps?

Vaginal discharge and its changes

The vagina secretes fluids every day. The function of these fluids is to create an environment with acidic pH.

This is important to maintain a good balance in the vaginal flora and to protect the area from infection. It also helps cleanse and remove dead cells.

Before your period starts, this discharge is filled with cells and fluid that comes out of the vagina. That is why it takes on a light yellow color. It is not a sign of any abnormality if there are no other symptoms, such as itching or pain.

In the middle of the cycle, during ovulation, the vaginal discharge becomes more elastic, watery and clear. It is the stage of greatest fertility.

After this phase, it is normal that the appearance changes and the discharge looks thicker and whiter. Other changes, such as a lumpy vaginal discharge, are abnormal.

Causes of lumpy vaginal discharge

Lumpy vaginal discharge looks like sour or creamy milk. It also usually has a different odor and can be accompanied by itching, burning or pain. Also, there may be swelling, redness and discomfort during intercourse.

yeast infection

Vaginal yeast infection is an infection caused by the fungus Candida albicans. This is a very common problem, which, in addition to vaginal discharge in lumps, causes itching and redness in the genital area. There is pain when urinating or during sexual intercourse.

bacterial vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis occurs when there is an abnormal growth of the bacteria Gardnerella vaginalis along with other microorganisms that accompany the imbalance of the microbiota of the area. This upsets the balance and leads to lumpy vaginal discharge, which can be white, gray or yellow. The smell is unpleasant and there is burning in the genital region.

Pathological vaginal discharge can be accompanied by persistent pain in the genital region.

vaginitis

Vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina and cervix. It is caused by fungi, bacteria or protozoa.

Its main symptom is vaginal discharge in lumps. There may also be a bad smell, swelling in the cervix, and red spots or red dots in that area.



trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease that affects men and women. It is caused by the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis.

Many of those affected do not experience symptoms. Sometimes vaginal discharge is presented in lumps with a bad smell, itching, burning and pain in the genitals or discomfort when urinating.

Chlamydia

chlamydia it is also a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Many women do not have symptoms or these appear after the sexual contact that caused the infection.

Sometimes it causes lumpy vaginal discharge and a burning sensation when urinating. There may also be rectal pain and bleeding.

Gonorrhea

Another STD that could lead to lumpy vaginal discharge. There may also be vaginal bleeding between periods and painful urination. Both this pathology and chlamydia can cause permanent damage to the reproductive system.



When to see the doctor?

The presence of vaginal discharge in lumps is reason enough to consult a doctor. Much more if accompanied by the following:

  • Itch.
  • bleeding.
  • Burning when urinating.
  • Missed period.
  • Rashes or sores in the area.
  • Pain during sexual intercourse.
  • Strong odor coming from the vagina.

The doctor will inquire about the symptoms and take note of the relevant data from the medical history. She will also ask about other symptoms such as abdominal pain, chills, or fever. He will then do a physical exam.

If required, order some tests to confirm the cause of the lumpy vaginal discharge. He may take a sample of discharge from your vagina or cervix.

The culture of the sample can provide guidance on the specific presence of some bacteria.

Treatments and prevention

Treatment will depend on the cause which causes vaginal discharge in lumps. Antifungal or antibiotic tablets, suppositories, or ointments are usually used. The duration ranges from 5 days to 6 months.

Even if the problem is not caused by an STD, it is recommended that the patient abstains from sexual intercourse during treatment. It is always recommended that the couple also be examined.

The best thing to do to avoid new infections is to observe some basic preventive measures, such as the following:

  • Maintain good hygiene in the intimate area.
  • Avoid douching.
  • Change tampons frequently.
  • Avoid using sprays or perfumed products in the vaginal area.
  • Prefer cotton underwear.
  • Always clean the area from front to back.

There is also lumpy discharge in menopause

Lumpy vaginal discharge also appears in older women after menopause. This is because the lining of the vagina becomes thinner from less estrogen production.

Although they can no longer conceive, it is convenient that if they are sexually active, they use a condom during intercourse. This will lower your risk of getting an STD.

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