Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is it normal to have smelly discharge?"
I have a thick, white, smelly discharge between my periods. Its so bad some of my friends have started to notice it. I have had my periods for three years now and I am 15 years old. The opening of my vagina is also extremely itchy and uncomfortable. What can I do?
I recommend speaking with your doctor about your concern. A normal vaginal discharge is a clear or whitest fluid that is produced by your uterus, cervix, or vaginal. When your normal discharge changes color, becomes heavier, or smells different, it is an indication of a vaginal infection if it also causes itching and swelling and has a foul odor. It is often a symptom of an inflammation of the vaginal area due to infection in or around the vagina. Such inflammation is termed vaginitis. The most common causes of vaginitis are bacterial vaginosis and yeast infection. Bacterial vaginosis is a bacterial infection characterized by a yellowish, grey, or white vaginal discharge that may have a strong, unpleasant odor, often described as fishy. This fishy odor may be strongest after sexual intercourse or after washing with soap. There are some other vaginal infections that may also cause a foul-smelling odor and abnormal discharge. Your symptoms sound more like a yeast (fungal) infection. A yeast infection can cause a white, cottage cheese-like discharge with a foul odor. Its other symptoms are intense itching, swelling and pain around and outside of the vagina, or both. Anti-fungal vaginal creams or pills can be used to treat a yeast infection. I recommend visiting a doctor who can help you figure out whether you are dealing with a bacterial or fungal infection or another problem. Once diagnosed, your doctor will recommend treatment options to clear up your infection and prevent it from returning.
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