What is Leukorrhea?
Leukorrhea, also spelled leucorrhoea, flow of a whitish, yellowish, or greenish discharge from the vagina of the female that may be normal or that may be a sign of infection. Such discharges may originate from the vagina, ovaries, fallopian tubes or, most commonly, the cervix. Leukorrhea may occur during pregnancy and is considered normal when the discharge is thin, white, and relatively odourless.
Physiologic leukorrhea is a normal condition occurring within several months to a year of the onset of menses in adolescent girls and is sometimes present in newborn girls, usually lasting one to two months. However, in many cases, leukorrhea is a sign of infection, especially when the discharge is yellow or green, has an offensive odour, and is accompanied by irritation, itching, pain, or tissue inflammation.
In some women, the discharge can be a few drops, while in others, the discharge may be continuous. These mucous-like secretions help protect the interior of the body and they might not necessarily be harmful. It is believed that estrogen imbalance is one of the causes of leucorrhoea. Under infectious conditions and sexually transmitted diseases (STD), the amount of discharge increases significantly. Vaginal infections can include bacterial infections, yeast infections, and fungal infections. Leucorrhoea is also observed during a woman’s menstrual cycle.
When is it normal to have this white vaginal discharge?
Leukorrhea is normal when you’re experiencing major changes in hormones like estrogen, so you might notice more of this discharge around the time of ovulation or early in pregnancy. And if you’re interested in figuring out when you ovulate, cycle tracking can help. This white discharge is not normal if it comes with itching or odor. In these cases, it’s possible you have an infection.
The most common vaginal infection is a yeast infection, but sometimes foul discharge can be a sign of bacterial infection or a sexually transmitted disease. Talk to our doctor so you can get the right diagnosis and the treatment. Because white vaginal discharge can sometimes seem like an infection, like a yeast infection, it’s important to know when it’s normal to experience leukorrhea and when it’s a problem.
These are the two types of leucorrhoea;
Physiological leucorrhoea - In this condition, there is an excessive discharge or secretion from a normal vagina. This generally occurs in teenage girls when there is a hormonal imbalance, at the time of the ovulation period of the menstrual cycle and sometimes before the period properly begins. In adults, physiological leucorrhoea is seen in the early days of pregnancy and during sexual excitement.
Leukorrhea during Puberty - It begins in the generative age (puberty) within some months to a year after the onset of the girls menstration. Leukorrhea occurs between girls menstrual cycles and lasts for a few days to weeks. Vagina provides a lot more watery or sticky discharge during ovulation.
Leukorrhea during Pregnancy - Leukorrhea is normal in pregnancy due to the increase in the levels of estrogen hormone and changes in the walls of the cervix. It is seen around the start of the second trimester (at 13 weeks) and increases as the pregnancy progress. It offers security to the birth canal from infections and allows growth of healthy bacteria in the vagina.
Newborn Infants - Leukorrhea is viewed in new-born female infants for the initial one to two months after their birth. This is due to intra - uterine susceptibility to estrogen when the infant was in the womb.
Pathological leucorrhoea: Pathological leucorrhoea is caused by a malfunction or disease in the female reproductive tract. The discharge can be slimy or may contain blood and can have a foul smell. Ignoring the symptoms of this type may lead to problems such as uterus removal or the loss of fertility. It can be seen in women suffering from cervicitis or vaginitis.
Note: Pathological leukorrhea definitely needs medical attention and needs to be treated to prevent complications. Hengkang Clinic can help you to cure your health problems . If you are experiencing any unusual type of vaginal discharge at any time, you should see a our doctor specialist and should not try any over counter treatments or home remedies by yourself.
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