Causes of Smelly Vaginal Discharge

November 12, 2012

Causes of Smelly Vaginal Discharge

Women, do not ignore smelly vaginal discharge. It is not a normal part of being a woman. This is often a symptom of a serious medical disorder such as a sexually transmitted disease or bacterial vaginosis. If discharge is accompanied by bleeding and it is not your period, call an ambulance, especially if you are pregnant.

This is clear or colored material that is often passed out when urinating. The discharge can be smelled while you are sitting upright in the toilet. It may smell strongly or urine, of fish or both. Some smelly vaginal discharge may be present on panty liners or other pads used on knickers. Unless the pads are changed, others may be able to smell this odor.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Smelly vaginal discharge is a common symptom of several sexually transmitted diseases (STDs.) If the discharge is yellow or tan, it may be gonorrhea. Chlamydia also can cause green, brown or blood-tinged smelly vaginal discharge. Most STDs can be prevented through using condoms. Symptoms of an STD can occur days, weeks or months after intercourse with an infected partner.

Although white or pearl-grey material is normal for a woman to pass, this material usually has little to no noticeable odor unless you place it right under your nostrils. It is also normal for a woman to begin producing white or clear discharge during the last trimester of pregnancy.

Bacterial Vaginosis

As its name suggests, bacterial vagnosis is caused by too much of certain species of bacteria in the vagina. The vagina normally has some bacteria in it, but can only handle a certain amount in order to maintain a healthy chemical balance. If bacteria reproduce rapidly, itching, pain and foul-smelling discharge can occur.

Bacterial vaginosis needs to be treated by a doctor or gynecologist. Untreated bacterial vaginosis can lead to complications such as becoming more prone to catching a sexually transmitted disease and having premature babies. Diagnosis may involve a pelvic exam and urinalysis.

Harsh Feminine Hygiene Products

Cleaning products that promise to reduce vaginal odor can irritate the vagina and cervix, causing smelly vaginal discharge. Some women are far more sensitive to cleaning products and soaps than others. These products include douches, strong-scented soaps, feminine sprays, feminine cloth wipes, bath oils, bath salts, aromatherapy essential oils and strongly-scented bubble bath.

Other Symptoms to Tell Your Doctor

Your doctor or gynecologist will need to know if you have been experiencing any other symptoms besides smelly vaginal discharge. These symptoms will help your doctor diagnose your condition. These symptoms include:

  • Pain or burning during urination

  • Pain during sex

  • Increase in foul-smelling discharge right after sex

  • Itching of the genitals

  • Blisters growing on the genitals or anus

  • Spotty bleeding in between periods

  • Unusual cramps when it isn¬ít your period

  • Low back pain

  • Incontinence

  • Fever

  • Nausea, with or without vomiting.

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