Yeast infection discharge is among the most common symptoms present in women suffering from an overgrowth of the Candida fungus in their genital tract. This fungus is among the microbes constituting the normal microflora of the body, and this includes the genital tract as well. However, it can turn into an opportunistic pathogen when the growth conditions are to its liking, and often cause a recurrent and persistent infection in a number of women. However, terming vaginal discharge as the possible symptom of ‘some disease condition’ would be grossly inaccurate because it is quite normal for almost all women to experience discharge of some type and quantity irrespective of their health conditions. Thus, it becomes essential to know all about this topic to be able to differentiate vaginal discharge from yeast infection from discharges caused by other infections, or health conditions.
The vaginal discharge in women performs an extremely crucial role of housekeeping inside the genital tract by flushing out all the dead cells and microbes to maintain the fine balance of the resident microflora. Moreover, this discharge can experience subtle changes in color and texture at different time of the month depending on the periodic cycle. In addition to that, several other factors such as heavy exercise and sexual arousal can also significantly alter the amount and consistency of the vaginal discharge. Therefore, it would be grossly incorrect to form a simple vaginal discharge yeast infection correlation because the working of the human body is much more complex than that. Thus, it is essential to become aware of the various different types of vaginal discharges that women may encounter because of a variety of different causing factors.
What is a Normal Discharge?
Clear and watery vaginal discharge in women is the most commonly experienced type, and this performs the function of cleansing the genital tract, and providing it with much needed lubrication at the time sexual intercourse as well. Apart from that, white and watery discharge is an extremely common phenomenon at the beginning and ending of the periodic menstrual cycle. However, women may experience clear discharge, which is stretchy or mucous-like in consistency rather than being watery at the time of their ovulation phase. However, this is not a case of yeast discharge and there is no need to take any medication or other curative measure.
What does a Yeast Infection Discharge look like?
Changes in the color and consistency of the vaginal discharge can take place under the influence of a number of diverse factors. The most common cause of changes in the color and texture of the discharge are because of an infection, which makes the vaginal discharge an extremely significant symptom for early detection. In a yeast infection discharge, the vaginal discharge turns whitish or whitish-gray in color and develops the thick consistency of cottage cheese then it is most likely to be because of an infection by the Candida fungus (yeast infection discharge). However, not all women suffering from genital yeast infection experiences such uniformity in the consistency of their discharge. As many women do also experience their vaginal yeast discharge to be much more watery in consistency at times. This can make the prompt detection of such a yeast infection based on visible symptoms to be a lot trickier. Doctors usually make note of the vaginal discharge in conjunction with a number of symptoms for making prompt detection of the yeast infection before turning to more accurate scientific diagnostic tools for being sure. Moreover, women who experience a yeast infection discharge should look to seek treatment quickly, as the infection could increase symptoms of: itching, pain, and discomfort in the vagina, and if left untreated, it could spread to other areas of the body.
How to Treat a Yeast Infection Discharge
– Natural Remedies vs Medication
There are a number of antifungal medications available to use via both the oral and vaginally administered route to take care of the yeast infection and eliminate the symptoms including the abnormal vaginal discharge.
However, treating a yeast infection discharge using natural remedies, and making changes to your diet, is by far a better way to fully resolve the problem, than by treating the illness with over the counter medication. This is because over the counter medication may clear the infection at first, but the yeast infection could re-occur again and again in the future. Moreover, most of the antifungal medications also have many side effects from mild to severe, which include: increased itching, burning, skin irritation around vagina, stomach pain, and many more. This is where using natural remedies instead of antifungal medications can be a far better option, as they are highly effective in treating the problem by gently cleansing it from the root cause, and are generally very healthy for the body, and they have no harmful side effects associated with them. If your interested in trying special home remedies for your yeast infection, and would like a comprehensive guide with powerful remedies to treat it properly and naturally, then Check out Linda’s 12hr Yeast Infection Treatment, Click Here!
If you still prefer to take antifungal medication, then you must bear in mind, that a number of women have experienced heavier amounts of vaginal discharge right after they begin treatment with an antifungal agent. However, this increased amount of vaginal discharge after taking antifungal medication is because the dissolved medication starts to ooze out in the form of excess discharge, along with the excess yeast it self. Thus, what many women mistakenly believe to be lots of discharge is nothing but the dissolved medication coming out along with the regular vaginal discharge. Moreover, the yeast discharge takes around a week to clear out, from the day an infected person starts taking the antifungal medication, and it would not be prudent to expect the discharge to turn normal just the day after anyone starts using the oral or vaginally administered medications. In fact, this makes it even more important to continue the medication for its entire course to ensure that the infection does not recur back again quickly.
There are a number of different antifungal medications like Miconazole and Clotrimazole that can help clear a yeast infection discharge, but again you could expect some side effects when using them.
Overall, it is quite apparent that noticing a vaginal discharge can prove to be an extremely effective method in detecting presence of any infection or other diseases affecting the genital tract. This stands true in case of yeast infection as well, and even in men who may experience discharge from the genital organ. Therefore, the white discharge from yeast infection provides an extremely important visual clue to both women and men to notice the presence of a yeast infection in the genital areas. And adequate treatment should be started promptly once any such signs are seen, as leaving the infection as it is, will only make it worse over time.
What is a Bacterial Discharge?
It would be wrong to surmise that abnormalities in the color and consistency of the vaginal discharge only in case of genital yeast infection. In fact, vaginal infections caused by a number of other infectious agents can also cause considerable changes in the color, consistency, and odor of the vaginal discharge. Bacterial infection of the vaginal tract can also give rise to whitish or whitish-grey discharge, which is of watery consistency. Thus, many cases of bacterial infection can be indistinguishable from vaginal yeast infection in terms of the color and consistency of the vaginal discharge. However, the vaginal discharge caused by bacterial infection possesses one prominent distinction from the yeast infection discharge, which is the foul fishy smell accompanying such discharges. Heavy and foul smelling vaginal discharge in women may also occur because of bacterial infection of the genital tract in case of pelvic inflammatory disease. This disease usually spreads through sexual contact with an infected person, and can spread up the vaginal canal to other reproductive organs.
What other Vaginal Discharges are there?
Apart from the discharge caused by bacterial infections of the vaginal tract, Trichomonas infection is another extremely common infection in women. This infection cases vaginal discharge of yellow-green color with frothy consistency, and a characteristic strong odor. Gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease often does not produce any symptom in the infected women. In fact, as many as half the women infected with the pathogen of Gonorrhea may not show any outward indication or symptom of the infection. However, some women can experience a yellowish vaginal discharge along with an assortment of other usual symptoms present in sexually transmitted diseases. Thus, yeast discharge is not the only cause for abrupt changes in the normal color and consistency of the vaginal discharge in women. In fact, women suffering from advanced stages of cervical cancer may experience a brownish or bloody color discharge, even though the presence of this symptom is exceedingly rare, and this is not a yeast infection discharge.
Can Men get a Yeast Discharge?
One common misconception that is prevalent in most circles is that the yeast infection discharge is present only in case of women suffering from a bout of genital infection by Candida albicans. However, this is as far from the truth as one may imagine because men suffering from genital yeast infection can experience some form of discharge as well. In fact, male yeast infection discharge can also be white in color and clumpy in consistency, which makes it resemble the discharge seen in infected women rather closely. Thus, presence of any such discharge coupled with other likely symptoms such as itching or irritation on the head of the penis, or presence of blisters on the penis ought to be reason enough to get treatment at the earliest.
Its also to be noted that a yeast infection could also occur without discharge as well, but the main common yeast discharge visual signs are seen from within the mouth of the common symptoms.
Does Stress Trigger Vulvovaginal Candida?
A 2005 study published by PubMed investigated a relationship between stress and recurrent vulvovaginal candida. Saliva of patients and control subjects were studied. Women with signs of recurrent vulvovaginal Candida had blunted morning levels of cortisol, indicating signs of chronic stress. Sexual hormone differences were not found. Stress and weakened immunity were found particularly in patients.
Another 2006 study published by PubMed saw 2 research projects to discover if stress was a factor that may cause vulvovaginal, that cannot be treated with antimycotic medication. 309 random patients were selected in 1999, of which 117 had at least 1 event of vaginal candidosis reoccurring during the 2 years prior to the start of the study. All end results of the study showed that psychological factors and especially stress are one of the chief causes of Candida albicans vulvovaginitis. Antimycotic medication treats only the symptoms and relapses are possible.
Both studies reached positive conclusions that stress factors were responsible for causing vulvovaginal candida in comparison with control subjects. Weakened immunity systems are also another precipitating factor. It is obvious that efforts must be made to control psychological factors like stress to prevent the prevalence of Candida albicans vulvovaginitis.
There are a number of different therapies for dealing with stress, including natural remedies and yoga.
Clinical Infectious Disease – Book By David Schlossberg – 2015
Chronic Stress with Recurrent Candida Vulvovaginitis – 2005 – by Ehrström SM1, Kornfeld D, Thuresson J, Rylander E. (Am J Obstet Gynecol) PubMed
Stress as a cause of Chronic Vulvovaginal Candidosis – 2006 – by Meyer H1, Goettlicher S, Mendling W. (Mycoses)