Vaginal discharge is common in women of all ages and sometimes, the discharge is very high, which can cause anxiety and distress. The discharge can be heavy during certain phases of monthly cycle and the main cause for high discharge is cervical secretions. Sometimes, the fluid released by the internal reproductive organs helps in cleaning the body and the reproductive passage. The discharge released is mostly acidic and the ph is balanced by the bacteria found around the area.
Sometimes, the discharge may contain certain cells, white blood cells, proteins, glycogen, lactic acid and vagina cells. Vaginal discharge can vary in thickness and color. It can be grayish, yellowish, and greenish, pus like mucus or blood like discharge. Discharge can be thick during the time of ovulation and when a woman is breast feeding. Many women have discharge due to psychological reasons and sometimes, it is caused due to some disease.
Thick milky-white discharges generally do not indicate any infection. The fluid is secreted by the cervix and it may have normal bacteria, which are commonly found in the reproductive parts. But if a woman has abnormal discharge, it can be caused by the use of certain lubricants and condoms. If a woman fears of any kind of infections, she may go for a Pap smear test, to clear her doubts.
If the discharge has other symptoms such as irritation, itching and pain, then the women should get examined.
Ovulation: The stimulation of cervix may increase the level of estrogen and it secretes clear vaginal fluids and sometimes, it may be have white specks.
Vaginal Adenosis: It is caused by abnormal development of tissues in vagina, which is caused if the woman comes in contact with diethylstilbestrol. The woman may have white discharge as a result of the growth of the columnar mucosa in some parts of the vagina. The women affected from Vaginal Adenosis, got the problem from their mothers because their mother took DES hormone during pregnancy. In America, the hormone was taken before 1971 by women who had difficult pregnancies but its use was stopped after 1971.
Tumor: Tumor can cause white discharge. The condition is called cervical polyp and it may result in continues release of white creamy discharge, which may not have a foul smell but if the secretion gets infected by bacteria, it may smell.
Bacterial vaginosis: In bacterial vaginosis, the woman may have whitish cottage cheese like discharge and sometimes, the discharge appears like curd. There are different types of bacterial vaginosis such as infections caused by yeast called "thrush" and Trichomoniasis, which is caused by the infection of Trichomonas vaginalis. In this type of infection, the woman may have fishy smelling discharge, but there may not be any irritation or pain.
Thrush: It is caused by fungal infection, in which the women may suffer from irritation, itching, burning sensation and pain.
Prolonged illness: Certain psychological states and prolonged illness can cause the release of white sticky substance, which can be thick and cause irritation.