Symptoms, causes, and Treatment of Leucorrhea

Leucorrhea (also called Leucorrhoea) is a medical condition where a woman experiences  thin and sticky milky white discharge. It is also called as ‘Whites’. Women in their reproductive age are more prone to leucorrhea. Any difference in its color, consistency, and odor is a sign of infection and needs to be treated.

What is Leucorrhea?

Women all over the world at some point in their life experience vaginal discharge called Leucorrhea. It is white, sticky and odorless. Leucorrhea results from the mucus secreted from the walls of the cervix and vagina. Increase in levels of hormones, especially estrogen cause Leucorrhea. The presence of leucorrhea indicates that the vagina is kept clean and is in a healthy condition.

Types of Leucorrhea

There are two main types of leucorrhea:

Physiological Leucorrhea

The white discharge which occurs during puberty, pregnancy and in female infants is called physiological leucorrhea. It is a regular process and has no accompanying symptoms.

Pathological Leucorrhea

Pathological leucorrhea is caused by infections due to bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms which results in the vaginal discharge with a change in the color, consistency, and smell due to infections or diseases of the female reproductive system.

Symptoms of Leukorrhea

Commonly observed symptoms of leukorrhea are:

  • Change in color- yellow or green, consistency and odor.
  • Persistent and abundant vaginal discharge
  • Pain during micturition
  • Pain in the pelvic region and calves
  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Itching in the genital region
  • Spot on the undergarments
  • Headaches

Causes of Leucorrhea

Physiological Leucorrhea Causes: This type of leucorrhea is caused due to the hormonal changes which occur during puberty and pregnancy. During pregnancy, the amount of discharge may increase. However, it is not something to be worried.

Causes of Pathological Leucorrhea: It is caused due to many factors

  • Infections which cause inflammation of the mucous glands of the genital area leads to secretion of excess mucus mixed with pus.

o    Bacterial Infections: These are caused by Chlamydia and Gardnerella vaginalis. They cause sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as gonorrhea, syphilis and AIDS. Female patients with STDs show abnormal leukorrhea.

o    Fungal Infections caused by Candida albicans leads to white and lumpy discharge accompanied by intense itching in the genital region.

o    Protozoan Parasite Causing Leucorrhea: Trichomonas vaginalis is a most common cause of leukorrhea. It causes both vaginal discharge and chronic inflammation. It spreads through sexual intercourse. The discharge is profuse, clotted and greenish in color.

o    Infection due to Candida albicans and Trichomonas vaginalis is the most common cause of pathological leucorrhea.

  • Use of intrauterine devices
  • Poor hygiene:

o    Use of tampons for an extended time duration.

o    Wearing of nylon panties.

  • Excessive douching of vagina results in the removal of the normal flora and alteration of pH
  • Hormonal disorders
  • Application of jellies and lubricants
  • Poor nutrition diet
  • Medical conditions such as anemia, diabetes, and tuberculosis
  • Stress and anxiety which create an imbalance of hormones and the removal of healthy bacteria cause vaginal discomfort
  • Inappropriate eating habits, smoking and alcohol consumption

Prevention of Leucorrhea

When the discharge is too heavy and is not showing the normal characteristics, a woman should consult a gynecologist. The following are some of the precautions to be taken to prevent leucorrhea:

  • To maintain the normal flora and pH balance of the vaginal area avoid excessive douching of the vaginal area
  • Avoid using scented perfumes and soaps with strong odor for cleaning vaginal
  • Start wearing cotton panties, instead of synthetic, is advised to prevent sweat from being retained in the genital region.
  • Wash undergarments with an antibiotic solution which should be thoroughly dried in sun.
  • Drink at least 3 liters of water to flush out the toxins from your body.
  • It is necessary to restrict sexual activity with multiple partners to avoid infection and associated leucorrhea.

Physiological leucorrhea is normal and generally not a thing of concern. Pathological leucorrhea definitely requires medical attention and needs to be treated to prevent complications.

Willie Friedman

You must be logged in to post a comment Login