A white creamy discharge or a white milky discharge from the vagina is said to be very normal as it contributes in keeping your vaginal tissues heathy and also free from any infection. Research reveals that a normal creamy white discharge from a vagina usually change consistently during menstrual period and does not have a bad smell. The discharge from the vagina may vary from clear and watery discharge during ovulation to a milky white sticky discharge during other times. It is believed this white discharge may increasingly be accompanied with sexual arousal and pregnancy.

If it happens that there is change in your milky discharge color, consistency, and smell, then this could be an indication that you have a vaginal infection. There are number infections such as fungal and bacterial infections that can cause your milky white discharge to change its color from white to yellow, green, or brown.

In more severe cases, if yeast infection has a hand in it, your white creamy discharge can turn into a lumpy discharge from the vagina. If your vaginal discharge is not normal, you have realized this through the following changes:

  • Painful discharge
  • Itchiness accompanied by the discharge
  • A strong odor smell from the discharge
  • Swelling around the vagina
  • Redness on the vaginal area

In this study, we are going to discuss more about types of vaginal discharge, normal one and the abnormal ones, causes and ways in which you can treat this condition both at home and medical treatment.

Milky White Discharge Reasons

It is normal and healthy for a vagina to produce a white creamy discharge during the different months of your menstrual cycle.  So long as the discharge is not associated with other symptoms that we have talked about above, this should not cause you a worry. Sources suggest that a white creamy discharge is essential as it help in keeping the vaginal tissues healthy and free from any impeding infection.

Doctors from mayo clinic reveal that the creamy white discharge from your vagina is a mixture of mucus and some cells from a woman’s reproductive system. This mixture is helpful in the protection of your vagina from any irritation and infections.

Normally, the discharge should be white or at least clear and without any bad smell. The discharge may range in amount, consistency, and color and also it may also range from a thin, clear water-like fluid to a thick sticky creamy white discharge.

What are the causes of milky white discharge?

As we have said, a milky white or creamy white discharge is very normal and it should not pose any worry to you. Therefore, causes of a normal discharge are as follows:

  1. Ovulation

While you undergo ovulation, the cervix usually produces some mucus that arises from an egg white color and consistency. This is very helpful in assisting a sperm to locate the egg so that conception can take place and it usually signifies that a woman is very fertile.

Some sources reveal that increase in hormones that facilitate conception such as estrogen result in this discharge. This discharge is sometimes referred to as egg white cervical mucus (EWCM). The mucus usually provides the best environment for a woman to conceive.

If it happens that you are producing a pale milky white discharge every 12 to 14 days before you attend your menstrual period, it could be a sign of normal ovulation.

  1. Pregnancy

One of the early signs that you have conceived is by discharging a milky white substance from your vagina. In addition to this discharge, some women may notice spotting before the time they used to attend their period, associated with implantation cramps which are almost thought to be menstrual cramps. Sources suggest that the milky white discharge is because your uterine walls are thickening up while preparing for pregnancy.

While the pregnancy process if ongoing you will produce a white discharge which is commonly referred to as leucorrhea and it is a completely common activity during conception.

Other research says that your white discharge is as a result of mucous membrane which is usually more active during conception. In pregnancy, white discharge is common during the second trimester and may get thicker gradually in consistency as you progress in it.

  1. Stress

Also, when a woman is under extreme emotional depression she may end up producing a white creamy discharge. Regardless of the reason why stress causes a white discharge being not known, scientists still insist that stress has a hand in production of white creamy mucus from your vagina.

Numerous studies have revealed that psychological issues can have an effect in the reproductive systems of some women. At least a third of women were found to link their vaginal discharge to stress and anxiety in a study that was done by international journal of epidemiology.

Also stress can affect your body’s well -being by facilitating the release of hormones that affect your immune system thereby interfering with your menstrual cycle. All these issues when combined can affect the delicate balance of bacteria in the vagina thereby resulting to a milky white discharge.

  1. Menopause

Also, women who approach perimenopause stage in their life may as well undergo irregular white creamy discharge. This is because during this stage, there are increased changes in hormone levels and periods are not attended as usual.

According to Dr. Jack D. Sobel, women who are in menopause stage experience very minimal vaginal discharge. If it happens, though not often, that your discharge is yellowish instead of being white, this is a sign of an infection.

Infections that causes a milky white discharge

In case of an abnormal creamy white discharge, it will have a consistency which appears like cottage cheese, color change, with some odor smell. Some of the causes of abnormal white discharge are as follows:
1. Yeast infection

A lumpy, creamy white discharge from your vagina that is associated with a bad smell is usually a symptom of candidiasis infection in the vagina. Candidiasis is believed to be caused by an overgrowth of a yeast organism that naturally occurs in the vagina.

Apart from a lumpy white discharge, yeast infection is associated with itchiness and a burning sensation in the vulva and also swelling of the vagina.

Things that facilitate overgrowth of yeast in the vagina include use of antibiotics, high estrogen hormone levels, diabetes, poor immune system and obesity. A white lumpy discharge that results from yeast infection is normally odorless and it mostly occurs before you attend your menstrual period.

  1. 2. Bacterial infection

As well, there is natural existence of bacteria in the vagina in a delicate state. If the bacteria is disrupted therefore you can end up developing bacterial vaginosis (BV) which usually cause a production of milky white discharge that is very smelly.

There are numerous conditions that facilitate bacterial vaginosis. These may include excessive washing your vagina, use of bubble bath, or frequent change of sexual partners.

According a certain doctor, bacterial vaginosis usually release a whitish-gray discharge with an odor fishy smell. The discharge is usually a lot and it is also associated with vaginal burning sensation.

Also, sexual transmitted diseases can as well result in a milky-grey discharge as one of their symptoms. Some of the diseases that are associated with this symptom include chlamydia and gonorrhea. They may also be associated with a burning sensation in the genital area.

White Discharge after Period

After you are through with your period, you usually go back to your normal dry days. These dry days usually may range from 3 to 5 days. After the dry days you may get to what we refer to as thick and sticky days.

After a woman is through with thick and sticky days, it then follows fertile days. On the day a woman is very fertile she may produce a slippery and wet white egg which appear as cervical mucus.

This white mucus that is produced when a woman is most fertile is used to enable the sperm to reach the egg easily to facilitate fertilization. Moreover, during ovulation a vaginal fluid produced is required to give a sperm a good environment since vagina is considered a wrong environment for sperm.

A woman who has little or no cervical mucus may have fertility issues. Therefore this milky white secretion after period is usually very important when it comes to fertilization process.

White Discharge before Period

There are occasions when you just produce a white discharge before you attend your period and this is usually very normal as the discharge is produced naturally in the cervix or neck of the womb. The milky white discharge is usually produced due to the progesterone hormone which often dominant after ovulation in the reproductive system.

In case the produced egg during ovulation is fertilized, the progesterone hormone level will continue to increase as the pregnancy process progress hence producing more and more white discharge. In case the egg did not get fertilized the progesterone hormone level drops so that the shedding of the egg can take place from the uterine walls come your next period.

Thick White Clumpy Discharge

A clumpy white discharge that looks like a cottage cheese is said to one of the major symptoms of yeast infection. As we have said above, a white discharge from a woman’s vagina is very normal unless it is with extra colors or appearance.

Some research go ahead to explain that a white discharge is very necessary. So long as the milky white discharge is does not change color to yellowish or grayish, it keeps the vagina moist and wet, further more protecting it from numerous infections.

The vaginal discharge usually varies from one woman to another and the texture and quantity ay also change during ovulation, before monthly period and during pregnancy. Regardless of all importance that a white creamy discharge, there are other types of vaginal discharge that are not normal and may call for medical attention. For example, a clumpy white discharge is very abnormal and it may sometime vary its color to yellowish white color.

A clumpy white discharge is usually caused by an infection and it may also be associated with a bad smell. A part from clumpy discharge, you may also produce a yellowish or gray-white discharge which is all associated with vaginal infections. You should also know that hormonal fluctuations in a woman’s body may also cause change in appearance and texture of the discharge from the vagina.

How to know a normal discharge

For you to know if you are having a normal discharge you must look at the following feature:

  • A normal vagina discharge may be milky white or clear
  • A normal discharge is made up of skin cells from the vagina and cervix
  • It may be thick, watery or with mucus
  • It does not have a bad smell
  • The one produced during ovulation is usually slippery and wet
  • May be thick and sticky before ovulation

How to know an abnormal discharge

For you know that your vaginal discharge is not normal you have to observe the following features:

  • It may be clumpy white discharge appearing like cottage cheese
  • A yellow or green colored discharge
  • Pink colored blood discharge
  • Odor or very bad smell, others describe it as fishy smell
  • Itchy vulva as associated symptom
  • An excess discharge more than usual
  • A burning sensation while urinating or having intercourse
  • Increased discomfort

Causes of white clumpy discharge

A white clumpy discharge from the vagina is normally associated with a fungal infection. The discharge may look like a cheese cottage. A fungal infection in the vagina is usually resulted from yeast which exists in the vagina naturally in harmless state.

The yeast organism that causes this infection is called candida albicans. When there is overgrowth of this naturally occurring yeast, a woman will then get a yeast infection. A clumpy white discharge that is caused by yeast infection is usually odorless.

In case a milky white discharge has a fishy smell, it may then be caused by a bacterial vaginosis. Yeast infection should be addressed in the doctor’s office immediately to prevent more complications. An imbalance that may occur between yeast and bacteria in your vagina may be the major cause of a clumpy white discharge.

Milky White Discharge with Odor

In case your vagina discharge is not normal, it may change its color from creamy white or clear mucus to either yellowish, greenish or clumpy white discharge which may be with some odor. In other words, an odor smell is a bad smell from the vagina or vaginal discharge and some people may refer to it as a fishy smell.

The vaginal discharge smell usually varies with what period a woman is going through. For example, the smell may be different when a woman is pregnant or she is not taking good hygiene of her body.

Charge in quantity, texture and clarity should not at any time cause you alarm. However, if there is change in color, smell and consistency, especially in association with itchy and burning sensation around the vagina, there could be a problem.

May be you are under an infection either bacterial or viral infection. These are types of infections that will interfere with your normal milky white odorless discharge to yellowish smelly discharge.

Milky white Discharge Treatment

A milky white or creamy white discharge from your vagina that may sometimes be clear mucus without any smell is very normal and it should be left alone. Doctors describe these types of vaginal discharges as very normal and instead very necessary for the well- being of your vagina. A white discharge is said to keep a vagina healthy and protected from infections.

However, if there is change in color either to yellowish, greenish, or gray-white, or change in texture such as clumpy white discharge, or change in smell from odorless to a very strong odor, then there is a problem that should be addressed immediately.

Treatments are administered according to the organism that is causing the infection. There are different treatments for bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection or sexually transmitted diseases.

  1. Treatment for bacterial vaginosis

Treatment for this bacterial infection will involve the use of antibiotics. The antibiotics are administered to the patient orally or by use of vaginal creams which are also effective.

Some women may experience medication side effects if they use oral drugs, therefore anti-bacterial creams may be the best to be used in this case.

  1. Treatment of yeast infection

Yeast infection may be treated by over the counter anti-fungal creams. There is no need for prescription while using anti-fungal drugs. However, your chemist may advise a little bit on the use of the cream.

In case the symptoms of yeast infection are not responding to the use of anti-fungal creams, you should see your doctor for examination and correct treatment thereafter.

  1. Sexually transmitted diseases

Sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhea can as well result in a vaginal discharge which is not specifically white associated with itchiness and burning sensation during urination and sexual intercourse. Treatment for these infections can either be addressed in the doctor’s office or even by use of over the counter medication. Your chemist may advise on the best anti- viral and anti-fungal drugs to use.

More references

  1. White creamy or milky discharge: http://www.healthyandnaturalworld.com/white-creamy-milky-discharge/
  2. Milky white discharge: what it really mean: https://conceivesuccess.com/milky-white-discharge/
  3. White discharge causes: https://www.checkpregnancy.com/white-discharge/
  4. White discharge before period: https://conceivesuccess.com/white-discharge-before-period/
  5. Thick clumpy discharge causes, diagnosis and treatment: https://conceivesuccess.com/clumpy-white-discharge/