White and creamy discharge: causes and treatment

The presence of creamy white vaginal discharge can be alarming. However, in most cases it is due to normal changes in the menstrual cycle.

Last update: 15 March, 2022

In most cases, creamy white discharge should not be a cause for concern. The usual thing is that it is due to the changes that take place during the menstrual cycle. However, sometimes it could also be the sign of a health problem.

Regarding this, it must be clear that vaginal secretions are normal. The problem begins when there are noticeable changes in its color, texture and smell. Also, be alert if it occurs simultaneously with other symptoms such as itching, burning or irritation. Do you want to know more about it?

vaginal discharge

The glands in the vagina and cervix secrete small amounts of fluid each day. These leave the body and is what is known generically as “vaginal discharge”. Typically, it is light or white in color and has a subtle odor..

The function of these fluids is to lubricate the vagina, clean and eliminate old cells and prevent infections. The latter is achieved due to the acidic environment that it causes in the area, which leads to the elimination of infectious agents.

It is estimated that almost all women secrete about a teaspoon of vaginal discharge per day. This increases after ovulation. The color varies between transparent, yellow, white or even a little brown. This largely depends on the menstrual cycle and is considered normal.

The color of vaginal discharge is usually clear or white. Even so, its tone can vary a little throughout the menstrual cycle.


Creamy white discharge

White, creamy discharge is normal after ovulation. This occurs approximately in the middle of the menstrual cycle. As noted before, it is a sign of intermediate fertility.

At the beginning of the period there is also usually a white discharge, but it is less and has a less creamy texture. In fact, it is usual for it to take on a yellow tone and look drier. It is the least fertile phase of the cycle.

Meanwhile, towards the middle of the period, when ovulation occurs, the flow becomes more transparent and elastic. This corresponds to the stage of greatest fertility. After that, the white and creamy discharge begins to segregate.

These changes in the appearance of the fluids should not be a concern, since they are part of the normal processes. On the other hand, if the changes are very noticeable and, especially, if they are accompanied by irritation, itching, bad smell or any other symptom, it is necessary to consult a doctor.

The main causes of white and creamy discharge

Creamy white discharge before menstruation is normal. It looks that way because it contains more white blood cells, dead cells, and bacteria than at other times of the month. It is a mechanism of the body to clean the area of ​​microorganisms and unwanted substances.

Another common reason why it appears is pregnancy. It is due to the increasing hormonal levels that are registered during pregnancy. The production of fluids increases, since it is a way to increase the protection of the uterus and, in turn, of the baby.

In certain cases, it can also appear during or after sexual intercourse. It is possible that this is the result of lubrication of the vagina during intercourse, female ejaculation or because the dates are close to menstruation.



White and creamy discharge: when is it abnormal?

As a rule, when the white and creamy discharge has a bad smell, it means that there is a health problem. The same happens if there are other clinical manifestations such as itching, irritation or redness of the vaginal area.

Most often, this is thought to be a sign of candidiasis, a fungal infection. However, this produces a lumpy flow, similar to cottage cheese. Possible causes of an abnormal white and creamy discharge are as follows.

bacterial vaginosis

Bacterial vaginitis is an infection caused by bacteria. It makes the white and creamy discharge more abundant. Even, it may take on a grayish hue and a strong fishy smell. The latter is the most characteristic symptom of the disease.

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease that affects men and women. In addition to generating flow with these characteristics, it causes a bad smell, burning when urinating and pain during sexual intercourse. If it spreads, it causes pain in the lower abdomen, nausea and fever.

Vulvovaginitis

A creamy white discharge accompanied by swelling and tenderness in the genital area could be a sign of vulvovaginitis. This word refers to inflammation as such, but its cause is usually a fungal or bacterial infection. In certain cases, it is derived from the use of some irritating substance or garment.

trichomoniasis

When this condition occurs, the flow is disturbed. It changes from a white color to a greenish or yellowish tone. It is a sexually transmitted infection that also causes bad odor and vaginal itching.

fistulae

The presence of fistulas or abnormal openings between the genital tract and the intestinal tract, sometimes leads to changes in vaginal secretions. These are formed for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Crohn’s disease.
  • Damage to the vagina during childbirth.
  • Radiation therapy in the pelvis.
  • pelvic tumor.
  • Injury during pelvic surgery.

White and creamy discharge treatment

Whenever the creamy white discharge is accompanied by bothersome symptoms, what is indicated is to consult with the gynecologist to explore the reasons. Also if there is a significant change in color or texture.

The treatment will depend on the cause that provokes it. The doctor often conducts an initial interview and reviews the medical history. Then he proceeds with the physical examination and other complementary diagnostic methods.

Once this is done, may suggest treatments with antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, antifungals or others, depending on the case. It may be tablets or creams, depending on what is required. Only on some occasions are injection treatments applied.

If there are doubts about changes in vaginal discharge, it is best to go to the gynecologist.

Final recommendations

White vaginal discharge almost never needs to be treated. In any case, if there are doubts or if there are other symptoms such as bleeding, irritation or pain, it is better to consult a gynecologist. While it may not be an emergency, it is best to intervene quickly.

Ideally, every woman should maintain good hygiene in the genital area, especially during menstruation. It is important to practice safe sex. It is not advisable to use vaginal douches or other similar products, nor very tight clothing. All this helps to prevent difficulties.

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