Hey, let’s talk intimate today – woman to woman on internal health issue on vaginal discharge.
What is vaginal discharge? It is a fluid released by glands in the vagina and cervix. The fluid carries dead cells and bacteria out of the body, and vaginal discharge helps keep the vagina clean and prevent infection. The normal consistency varies in amount and ranges in color from clear to milky, white discharge. While slight vaginal discharge is normal in healthy women, changes in the color, consistency and smell are telltale sighs of the health of your reproductive organs.
Let’s explore with the lenses of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
In Chinese Medicine, healthy discharge occurs when the kidneys and spleen functions are normal, and well-controlled by the Directing Vessel (Du Mai) and the Girdle Vessel (Dai Mai). Both of these Vessels are important and life-giving. The Du Mai is also called the “Sea of Yang,” and stores, nourishes and moves the yang energy within the body, and influences all of the yang meridians. It particularly strengthens the yang of the kidneys, which is the root of all yang within the body. … Without yang, there is no life. On the other hand, the Dai Mai, is one such unique Extraordinary Vessel because it is the only channel – primary or extraordinary – that flows horizontally. The Dai Mai originates at a liver meridian point on the lateral ribs, descends to the waist line and then encircles the waist like a belt.
Dampness, heat and deficiencies in these organs and meridian vessels affect the gradual and obvious changes in the smell, color, texture and volume of your discharge.
What is Healthy Vaginal Discharge Like?
Vaginal discharge is normally colorless, without smell and light in volume. A slight increase in volume and thickness during the mid of your menstrual cycle is due to ovulation. Days before the start of your period and during pregnancy, you may experience an increase in discharge and that is normal.
But if you discerned white, yellow, green, brown and red discharge that is thick (chunky like egg white), has a strong smell (fishy or foul) and excessive are considered abnormal. Dampness invading your body or generated by deficiency in the spleen or kidneys, lead to excessive vaginal discharge.
Reasons for Abnormal Vaginal Discharge
→Food and Eating Habits
Dampness can result from overeating of dairy products, sugar, greasy and cold drinks. Women are particularly prone to be invaded by dampness during and after each period cycle, and more after childbirth. Avoid consumption of above foods during your period. Irregular eating habits can also stress the spleen causing dampness and lead to abnormal discharge, so always eat well and do not skip meals!
→ Excessive Physical Activity and Overwork
Excessive physical work such as exercises, lifting and workout can weaken the spleen and lead to dampness. While we advocate exercises and weightlifting for health benefits, go easy on yourself when working out during your period and when feeling tired.
Likewise, if there is not enough rest after working long hours or no adequate sleep as a result of stress, fast paced life, this will be bad to your spleen. Try to have 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night, and get a power nap in the day whenever you can. Do not guilt treat your body as you juggle daily between work and family, but to schedule some time for yourself to heal your mind and body respectfully
→ Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Excessive vaginal discharge with abdominal pain may be a sign of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Other symptoms of PID are vomiting and fever. It is most commonly caused by sexually transmitted bacteria. If your symptoms are severe, seeing a doctor is recommended. If you experience recurrence of PID, it is most likely caused by the deficiency conditions of the spleen and kidneys.
Of course the above observation diagnoses come from TCM view point, but it is always a good balance to understand from the western medicines how vaginal discharge could pose a problem if the symptoms left untreated timely. Let’s have a quick dissect of the matter below.
Vaginal Discharge Color Meaning
Thick, White Discharge
If thick, white discharge goes along with other symptoms, such as itching, burning and irritation, it is probably due to a yeast infection. If not, it is normal discharge. You may also notice an increase in thick, white discharge before and after your period.
Yellow discharge is abnormal discharge, as this is a sign of a bacterial infection or sexually transmitted infection. There also may be an odor associated with it.
Brown discharge may be caused by irregular period cycles. If brown discharge keeps appearing, a patient should schedule an appointment with a provider to be evaluated. This could be a sign of uterine or cervical cancer. Additionally, during menopause, a woman should not have any type of vaginal bleeding, which is also a sign of uterine cancer.
Having green discharge is not normal. This is a sign of bacterial infection or a sexually transmitted infection, such as trichomoniasis. Anyone experiencing green discharge should see her provider. If you are diagnosed with trichomoniasis, you’ll be placed on antibiotics.
Yeast Infection Discharge
Yeast infection discharge is caused by an overgrowth of fungus in the vagina. Symptoms of yeast infection discharge include a thick, white, cottage cheese-like discharge, along with itching, redness, irritation and burning. Roughly 90 percent of women will have a yeast infection at some point in their life. Yeast infections are not contagious, and over-the-counter antifungal creams are available for a patient to use. But, if symptoms don’t improve with treatment or she has more than four yeast infections in a year, she should see her provider.
Remedies to overcome vaginal discharge frequency
TCM herbs such as Codonpsis (Dang Shen), Chinese red dates, Chinese liquorice and Chinese yam in your soups and daily diet is a great way to nourish and strengthen the spleen. Meditrina Ageless herbal cream formulate to help women achieved woman’s well-being, contains Mexican Wild Yam to specifically target spleen deficiency is a great product to use daily in your body care routine. Apply it daily once on the lower abdomen, inner thighs and lower back.
Lastly, try to schedule a visit to a TCM practitioner to rebalance your spleen and kidneys with acupuncture and herbal medicine support.
“Stay aware of normal and abnormal changes in vaginal discharge. This allows you to identify infection and other problems promptly to seek early treatment.”