A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO LEUCORRHOEA
KNOW ALL ABOUT THIS PROBLEM HERE.
Leucorrhoea or Leukorrhea or Fluor Albus is a thick discharge from the vagina. Leucorrhoea discharge can be whitish, yellowish, or greenish in color. It is a condition usually experienced by women of their reproductive age.
It might sound like some huge medical term and a disease linked to it, however, it is just a simple and extremely common yeast infection. Women are often embarrassed to talk about it and mention it due to the society we live in who is habitual of making a mountain of a molehill. Leucorrhoea could result in a foul odor with the discharge and it might be an indication of a bigger or a more serious problem which is why a doctor must be consulted.
The discharge may be developing in the vagina, ovaries, fallopian tubes, or cervix. Leucorrhoea is considered normal when the discharge is white and thin. It might be normal or expected during pregnancy, before the onset of the menstruation cycle for the first time, and even in newborn girls.
It is an issue or worrisome when the discharge becomes thick, is green or yellow in color, and produces a foul and unpleasant odor along with it. Such discharges might cause other problems like irritation, itching, etc., and should be checked by a medical professional as soon as possible.
WHY DOES LEUCORRHOEA HAPPEN?
Leucorrhoea could be caused due to multiple reasons that are very different from each other and do not raise a direct question to someone’s hygiene. Women feel embarrassed about a problem as common as Leucorrhoea because they feel like they did not take care of their vagina or the vaginal region enough.
Maybe, maybe not. Well, improper hygiene could lead to a lot of issues, this one too. But, that’s not a set parameter. As women, we have complex yet magical bodies. We do have the magic of reproduction in us but we forget to glorify and accept the complexities, too.
- Some of us are extremely fond of oily, spicy, and unhealthy food. Street food mostly fulfills all three categories and we cannot seem to control it. Well, these kinds of binging or food habits could cost you.
Excess consumption of oily, spicy, etc. food could result in an infection down there, that is, Leucorrhoea.
- Hormonal imbalances caused due to any reason could also lead to Leucorrhoea. Vaginal functions are vastly influenced by hormones, during your periods, you feel a range of emotions because your hormones are not in your control and neither is your mood as a result.
Similarly, Leucorrhoea could also be an outcome of hormonal imbalances.
- Psychological stress or any kind of trauma could also lead to Leucorrhoea. This one should not come as a surprise after the last one. Distress or psychological well-being is all linked with your hormones.The entire human body b=is interconnected in some way or the other. Why does hormonal imbalance lead to mood swings during your periods? Similarly, mood swings or prolonged stress could lead to hormonal issues, which in turn could result in Leucorrhoea.
- We have already mentioned a certain kind of food in the causes. Food is not alone. Not following a healthy diet and lifestyle, especially during periods could result in all kinds of abnormalities within the body as the body is already dealing with hormonal changes during periods.
Not following a proper diet or sleeping pattern or etc. could also lead to Leucorrhoea. When we talk about healthy habits, alcohol and smoking could add to the problem.
- There are certain medical conditions that could be linked with Leucorrhoea. Conditions like anemia, tuberculosis could also lead to Leucorrhoea.
- Usage of pills as contraceptives or contraceptive devices like intrauterine devices could also result in Leucorrhoea. Most morning pills, contraceptive pills, or I-pills work by altering your hormones.A common symptom or downside of a contraceptive is depression as hormones are directly linked with emotions and psychological health. Disturbance with the natural amount of hormones would result in a Leucorrhoea.
- Sexual activities could lead to a transferred infection in the form of an STD or sexually transmitted disease. Any form of bacteria transferred from one individual to another during intercourse could be problematic and result in Leucorrhoea.
- Congestion in the uterus, pregnancy, premenstrual, or periods could also lead to Leucorrhoea but mostly in such cases, it is not alarming or causes any major discomfort that could need medical attention or any major treatment.
- Finally, we could come to the most obvious and predictable point – hygiene. If you are not taking care of your hygiene, down there or anywhere, be welcoming to infections and other diseases or medical complications because if you do not clean it well, it might be a home to bacteria and nothing good ever comes out of it, metaphorically and literally.
TYPES OF LEUCORRHOEA
Leucorrhoea could be of different types. One could be more alarming than the other and require medical attention. Whereas one could just pass as a normal mechanism of the vagina.
· Physiological Leucorrhoea –
This one is considered normal and most people experience this at least once in their lifetime. It is just a result of the vagina trying its best to maintain the PH levels of the vagina and keep it functioning healthy, protecting its tissue health, etc.
During pregnancy or when a female infant is born or before the onset of periods for the first time, the female hormone is also known as, estrogen increases and results in Leucorrhoea. It is seen as a vagina’s attempt to clean the vagina and get rid of anything extra and is considered normal.
However, sleeping on it is not advised as it might be normal and minimal in terms of symptoms and problems but nonetheless, it is a condition and should be discussed with a doctor.
· Inflammatory Leucorrhoea –
Inflammation or congestion of the vaginal mucosa leads to inflammatory Leucorrhoea. It results in a yellowish colored somewhat thick discharge from the vagina which has an unpleasant odor.
It could point towards an STD (sexually transmitted disease) or a major bacterial infection that you might want to get checked. Infections post-delivery might lead to inflammatory Leucorrhoea. This usually has a bacterial issue linked to it and you should rush to a doctor immediately.
· Parasitic Leucorrhoea –
Leucorrhoea is also caused solely because of parasites, especially Trichomonas vaginalis. It would cause your vagina to experience a burning sensation, itching, and discomfort. A discharge that is thick and froth-like is linked with parasitic Leucorrhoea. It could be yellowish or whitish in color.
SYMPTOMS OF LEUCORRHOEA
Leucorrhoea symptoms are hard to avoid and ignore. Even a normal phase like menstruation disrupts our plans and daily routine in some way or the other. For some people, the disruption is minute but for some, it could result in a lazy day in bed with a hot water bottle and painkillers.
Even in case of infection down there, it could cause serious discomfort, and chances of you avoiding it are really low.
- We have all got a period scare, probably at the worst time and place possible. We rush to a washroom and after checking it is just a vaginal discharge, nothing more. Look for these symptoms carefully, thick white or yellowish vaginal discharge is a sign of Leucorrhoea.
- Pain in the lower abdomen region could be a symptom in several conditions, diseases, and infections, including Leucorrhoea.
- Leucorrhoea often leads to painful intercourse. Hence, if such issues arise, do not ignore the signs and consult a doctor.
- · Itching of the vagina is considered normal and to be honest, is normal to an extent. Your vagina is linked with hormonal shifts, fluid shifts, and even PH value shifts.An organ, experiencing changes in any form might have an itchy end sometimes but frequent itchiness that too with an increased intensity would drive you nuts.
We cannot function properly while a part of our body is feeling itchy and the discomfort is not the only reason. It could be a pointer of Leucorrhoea.
- Urinating might become an issue if you have Leucorrhoea. A person might feel the urge to pee frequently but there would not be enough urine in your bladder when you actually go to a washroom. That is not it. Even the passage of that little urine could leave your body while causing a serious burning sensation to your vagina.
- As mentioned before, our body and bodily systems are all interconnected internally and faulty functioning of one may result in a faulty functioning in the other part, too. Leucorrhoea often causes digestive issues like constipation.
- Discharge of important substances through fluids might result in feelings of tiredness and fatigue and could be another pointer of Leucorrhoea.
- Gen Z complains of backaches like anything. It is extremely normal due to the hours we spend in front of our screens in questionable postures but without any specific reason, backaches could be alarming.
Backaches and leg pains have all been associated with Leucorrhoea.
- Leucorrhoea so far does not scream comfort and relaxation. Hence, goes without saying, symptoms like backache, tiredness, itching, etc. could result in lower concentration and irritability.
- Every vagina has its own natural odor and it is not lavender and roses but it is not trash, also. A bad or unpleasant odor is linked with Leucorrhoea. If you smell something fishy down there, no pun intended, please consult a doctor.
Your vagina is probably screaming – infection.
HOW IS LEUCORRHOEA DIAGNOSED?
When you pay a much-advised visit to your doctor, the doctor would ask you a series of questions to make sure whether or not you are suffering from Leucorrhoea, and how bad it is.
- What change or symptoms brought you to the doctor?
- When did you start noticing the symptoms?
- How does the discharge appear? In color as well as concentration?
- Does the discharge have an unpleasant odor?
- Is there any itchiness?
- Does the vagina hurt?
- Does the vagina feel a burning sensation?
- Is there a specific time for certain symptoms? For example, is the burning sensation caused only while urinating?
- Any concerns during sexual intercourse?
- Any relevant medical history like intake of contraception medicine?
After these sets of questions, the doctor would get a fair idea of all that you are facing, that is, all your symptoms and to make sure it is not any other concern or to pinpoint Leucorrhoea, the doctor might suggest a few more things. You might be asked to get a blood test, submit a sample of your discharge or go for a pap smear test to test the cells from your cervix area.
HOW IS LEUCORRHOEA TREATED?
Leucorrhoea treatment should not scare you. There are several alternatives to choose from when it comes to treatment.
Leucorrhoea is primarily an infection, hence, oral or physical medication for specifically that is more than sufficient. The doctor might prescribe you antibiotics to take orally or creams and soothing gels to apply externally in your affected area.
Antibiotics are heavy medicines and can sometimes worsen your symptoms temporarily like the burning sensation might increase. Hence, applying a gel or cream with antifungal and antibiotic properties would not only decrease or limit the infection.
Also, cause relief with issues like swelling and inflammation if any.
CAN SELF-CARE HELP?
Yes, of course, it can. Certain healthy habits and rituals could go a long way and not only help you out in the case of Leucorrhoea but would be great for you in general and might boost your health.
· Fancy underwear is a scam. It might feel good for a while but then it’s uncomfortable and most of the time, heavy on your pocket. Underwear that is made from any material other than simple cotton can harm you as it might not be as breathable and friendly to you down there as much as cotton is.
You could wear whatever down there but limit it if you feel like the material might not be so good after all.
· Wearing tight clothing for long durations, that too frequently could result in a similar issue which is mentioned above. Let your vagina breathe and do not restrict it by going for incorrect clothing all the time.
· Vaginas have their own specific smell and it is not supposed to smell like cookies, lavender, cherry blossoms, British rose, or whatever fragrance you prefer.
Please avoid the usage of scented products or “vaginal perfumes.” Such products would not only be a waste of your money but also, might result in a terrible infection due to an imbalance in the PH level of your vagina.
· Hygiene down there, up there, everywhere is important, and please take care of your vagina by leaving it alone. Yes, you read it and write. Vaginas self-clean them. The maximum YOU could do is change pads frequently to not wear the same one for more than 3-4 hours and use a doctor’s prescribed wash during periods or if stated otherwise.
Other than that, water is enough. You do not need to “clean” your vagina, that it does it, itself unlike the rest of your body.
· We love junk, we’re sure you do, too. But do not love it more than yourself as a whole. Bad food habits are somewhere the root cause of all kinds of health issues. Better safe, than sorry. Keep a check on your diet, a cheat is not an issue, a cheat day-like lifestyle would lead to a greens-only lifestyle real-quick, and let us face it, we would not like that.
· Please, seriously consider the drying habits of your clothes. You might leave the towel on the bed for a day and use it the next day, not great but it would be alright every once in a while. But in the case of undergarments, not drying them properly could lead to bacterial growth through the air. Usage of sunlight or natural air or wind is your best and only alternative.
· Please calm down. Not that saying this works but take care of your mental health. We seriously undermine the effects our mental health could have on our health, physically. Stress is related to every other disease and condition be it as minor as hair fall or as major as a cardiac arrest.
· We have all read and heard that drinking water has uncountable benefits. Now that you read it for the millionth time, please take your hydration goals seriously.
We have got you covered but there are some things that require repetition. Leucorrhoea is extremely common and if you feel like you have it, you probably do but what is the issue? Let your medical issues be restricted to being medical, do not make it a bigger personal issue, and relate to things that would increase your stress and worsen your condition.
Leucorrhoea does not indicate that you are an unhygienic person and it also does not indicate that you are not cautious with your sexual life. Our society makes a bigger deal of most things, cannot change that anytime soon but don’t let that affect you.
Go see a doctor, get your treatment plan and relax.