Milky White Discharge: What Does it Mean? Treatments & More
It can be alarming to see milky white discharge if you aren't used to it. However, it can also be perfectly normal at times. In other cases, it may indicate that a medical professional should be consulted. This article will teach you about milky white discharge, its causes, and possible treatments.
Milky White Discharge Meaning
Vaginal discharge that looks milky white can indicate that the sexual organs undergo natural processes to keep them healthy. The cervix and vaginal glands routinely produce mucus. Typically, cervical mucus and vaginal mucus are clear. White or yellow colour can be seen when exposed to air. The amount of mucus can change during a menstrual cycle or pregnancy due to hormonal changes. It is also possible to notice milky white discharge before or during ejaculation in people with penises. The same is true for this. An infection, however, may be accompanied by a milky white discharge. A vaginal discharge with a characteristic milky white appearance or a foul odour should be reported to a healthcare provider.
In addition to experiencing milky white discharge after ejaculation, people with penises should see their healthcare provider if they experience milky white discharge while urinating or in any other way.
Causes of White Discharge and Possible Treatments
A variety of factors can cause white discharge. Some of them require medical treatments.
- Yeast Infection: People with vaginal discharge commonly suffer from this condition. In the body, Candida fungi live but are kept in check by the immune system. Infections caused by yeast may occur after antibiotics or due to other systemic imbalances. Symptoms include white discharge smelling like cottage cheese and appearing like cottage cheese. Antifungal medications can be used to treat some yeast infections. Antifungal creams are available over the counter for treating yeast infections.
- Bacterial vaginosis: Unlike a yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis occurs when the vaginal bacteria overgrow. Symptoms may include white, grey, or green discharge and a strong odour. Additionally, itching or burning may occur during urination. Treatment for bacterial vaginosis involves oral or vaginal antibiotics, which are unavailable over the counter.
- Ovulation: Before ovulation, cervical mucus changes consistency. In some women, watery or egg-like mucus may be present in the vagina for several days before or during ovulation. Underwear may appear white when this is present. It is normal to experience increased discharge around ovulation if there is no odour or foul smell. Everyone with a vagina does not experience the mucus around ovulation.
- Pregnancy: Vaginal secretions can change in response to pregnancy before a person has a missed period. Leukorrhea is the term used to describe normal pregnancy discharge. A white or clear substance may be present. Volume may increase significantly. There is a mild smell to pregnancy discharge. During pregnancy, leukorrhea usually lasts the entire time. It may increase in the third trimester. In most cases, pregnancy discharge does not require treatment unless accompanied by other symptoms of concern, such as a foul smell, itching, or is tinged pink, red, or brown.
- Urethritis: The symptoms of urethritis may include milky white discharge, frequent urination, pain during urination, and more in people with penises. Viruses, bacteria, injuries, or allergies can cause infections. Sexually transmitted infections can cause it. Urethritis can also affect people with vaginal canals. Identifying the cause of the problem is the first step in treating it. If the cause of the urethritis is bacterial, antibiotics will be prescribed, while if the reason is other, treatment will depend on the severity of the symptoms. Urinary tract symptoms should be discussed with a healthcare provider if you are experiencing them.
- Chlamydia: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like chlamydia are common in the United States. There may be pain when urinating and a white discharge from the penis. The treatment of chlamydia and prevention of its spread require antibiotics.
- Gonorrhea: White, yellow, or green discharge can be caused by a sexually transmitted infection, such as gonorrhoea. There may be swelling in the testicles. Gonorrhea must be treated with antibiotics.
- Trichomonas: The parasite that causes trichomoniasis is another cause of STIs. Vaginal discharge may be milky white, and discomfort and painful urination may occur. It is possible to experience some of the same symptoms with penises or none. In most cases, antibiotics are used to treat the condition.
What to Pay Attention To
If you notice an increase in discharge, you must be aware of any other symptoms that may accompany it. During and before ejaculation, discharge is common among people with penises.
Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you notice discharge at other times or have other symptoms, such as foul-smelling discharge, painful urination, burning during urination, swelling, or any other irregularity.
Menstrual discharge may occur throughout a woman's cycle if she has vaginal discharge. The vaginal mucus will be thicker before ovulation. You should consult your doctor if your discharge volume suddenly increases outside of ovulation, a possible pregnancy, or if it smells foul. Consult your healthcare provider if you have other symptoms, such as painful urination or vaginal itching, or if your discharge pattern changes.
When to Seek Medical Attention
It is not uncommon for vaginal discharge to be unproblematic. Your system may be removing debris and old cells from cleaning itself effectively. See your doctor immediately if you notice a sudden change in the colour or smell of your vaginal discharge. An infection is more likely to be found in discharge that is yellow, green, grey, or has a cottage cheese-like consistency. To rule out potential infections, your doctor can perform an exam.
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