What To Do If You Have A Lot Of Vaginal Discharge
Vaginal discharge is, admittedly, not the sexiest phrase in the English language. It is scientific, detached and has an ‘infectious’ undertone which might give the wrong impression. However, it is also a very vague term for what could be many things. The most important one is far from sterile or gross, it facilitates some of the most fun a gal can have. Unfortunately, many women can get self-conscious if they have a lot of it. It can make it seem like there is something wrong and even lead to anxiety when it comes to coming (having sex or otherwise). oneHOWTO looks into what to do if you have a lot of vaginal discharge to provide a little reassurance for you to have a lot of fun.
What is Vaginal Discharge?
Simply put, vaginal discharge is discharge from the vagina. Less simply put, this is the fluid which is secreted by your vagina for a range of purposes. For our purposes here, we mean the mixture of liquid, mucous and cells which are produced in the most part by the cervix. This is a lubricant which keeps the vagina healthy, not just for sexual purposes, but in general. The mucous is released by he Bartholin's glands at the opening of the vagina which control flow.
It is perhaps helpful at this point to explain what we don't mean. We don't mean the kind of discharge which signals there is an underlying health condition affecting vaginal discharge. By this we mean one of the following:
- Yellow discharge: before you might worry, not all yellow discharge is problematic. If there is some yellowness, it could simply be the removal of some bacteria which is a normal process. However, if the yellow discharge is thick, clumpy and/or accompanied by an abnormal foul odor, it is likely due to an infection.
- Green discharge: if it is green, thick and has an abnormally foul smell, then this is likely an infection. It could be a sexually transmitted infection (STI) such as trichomoniasis, but a doctor's diagnosis is needed to determined the cause.
- Brown/rust colored discharge: this signifies the presence of blood coming from the vagina. If this is due to menstruation, then this is normal and expected. However, if it persists after menstruation, it could be a sign of something abnormal and must be examined by a physician.
- Thick white discharge: white discharge is most often normal, but there are exceptions. At the beginning and end of your period, some white discharge can be expected. However, if it is thick, smells malodorous and/or is accompanied by itching, it is likely an infection. This could be something like bacterial vaginosis which has a fishy odor and white to grey discharge.
Healthy vaginal discharge is clear or a little white. It can be tacky or thin and usually has a slight odor, but not too strong. This odor is characteristic of you and is a good way of telling when your vagina is feeling healthy. Blood vessels engorging leads to greater production of vaginal fluid. This happens during sexual intercourse and is what stops friction from damaging the vagina.
Why do you have a lot of vaginal discharge?
Our article presupposes that your vaginal lubricant is healthy. Now we need to know why you might be producing more of it. There are a couple of major causes of excessive wetness:
- Sensitivity to arousal: some women are more sensitive to arousal and whenever they get sexually stimulated, they can increase the amount of fluid they release. The gland which release this moisture are hyperactive and this leads to more wetness.
- Hyperarousal: this is very similar to the above, except that it doesn't necessarily need sexual stimulation to happen. Hyperarousal means becoming aroused without sexual desire, but often resulting in engorged blood vessels and, therefore, increased vaginal fluid. A relatively recent diagnosis and a lack of scientific literature on the subject, it can have a greatly negative effect on a person's overall well-being. On a side note, persistent genital arousal disorder which affects women is not part of a mental health diagnosis, yet priapism, the male equivalent, is.
- Hormone imbalance: there may be problems such as excess estrogen or prolactin, or hyperthyroidism which all can alter the vaginal blood vessels, producing excessive lubrication.
- Medication side-effects: increased vaginal discharge can also be a side effect of certain medications.
What to do if you have a lot of vaginal discharge
If you have excess vaginal discharge, then there are some things you can do. Unfortunately, not everyone will be able to find a way to stop excessive vaginal discharge, but we have more on that below.
- First of all, if it is a hormone imbalance then a trip to the doctor is necessary. If it is hyperthyroidism, then antothyroid drugs or beta blockers might be employed. If it is another type of sex hormone imbalance, then your physician will find the best course of treatment.
- Lifestyle and diet can also affect hormone imbalances. If you have been eating unhealthily or leading an unhealthy lifestyle, it could be the cause of increased vaginal discharge. Even if it hasn't, there won't be anything wrong in making some positive lifestyle changes.
- Hyperarousal is not directly linked to psychological conditions such as nymphomania. However, there could be a link between your mental well-being and vaginal discharge. There is not enough scientific study to confirm these claims, but it is known that sexual arousal and mental health are linked. Speaking to someone about your overall mental health might be able to help you address other issues such as discharge.
- Stop taking or change medication to an alternative which doesn't have increased vaginal discharge as a side effect.
Management of vaginal discharge
Unfortunately, many people may still find themselves getting wetter or wet more easily than others. It can cause anxiety, especially if we are with sexual partners whom we don't know as well. However, although there may be some practical issues, this does not mean you can't have a very fulfilling sex life. In fact,m some may be able to incorporate into even more sexual experiences. Management of the issue is the best way to ensure this happens:
- Limit foreplay: If you can't be open with someone you are sleeping with, then perhaps it may not be the healthiest decision to do so. However, if you are worried about having too much too soon, you can limit foreplay and use your natural lubrication to your advantage. i.e. hot passionate sex.
- Speak to your partners: whoever you are engaging in sex with, being honest is the best way to be. If you are starting a relationship with someone and you are worried about vaginal discharge during sex, then it may be difficult to speak to this person. However, it is always advised that you do. If they are worth being with, they will understand and not react surprised when it happens.
- Practical considerations: if you are in your bed, you may be used to it. If you are in someone else's bed, you may need to take practical precautions such as putting down a towel. This will help keep your mind on enjoying sex rather than making a mess.
- Enjoy the benefits: female ejaculation is not well understood, but it could be that your increased vaginal lubricant has something to do with it. Try to explore new ways to orgasm. Increased lubrication can mean less enjoyable friction during penetration. This might mean your partner will need to use their hands or mouth more, but this might as easily lead to stronger, more enjoyable orgasms.
Beyond these suggestions, we urge you to see a specialist about the problem. Go to your gynaecologist and talk to him/her about your problem. This specialist will assess the issue and, if necessary, will refer you to an endocrinologist to test for any hormonal imbalances.
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- Wash with pH neutral soap daily.