The vaginal discharge can look like poop

Discharge in the woman

Women know that, sometimes they have more, sometimes less discharge. An odorless, whitish-milky secretion is secreted from the vagina. Especially in the middle of the cycle, the discharge (fluor vaginalis) often becomes somewhat stronger. Nervousness, stress and emotional stress can also influence this normal excretion.

Secretion is also increased during pregnancy. Even before puberty, young girls can notice a whitish secretion. With the menopause, the vagina usually becomes drier, but more prone to abnormal discharge. The female sex hormones are always involved, especially estrogens.

Vaginal secretions: natural protection for the vagina

The vaginal fluid is a fluid from the cells of the lining of the vagina. It contains flaked cell material, mucus from the cervix, salts and microorganisms, especially lactic acid bacteria, in varying compositions. These form lactic acid from starch reserves in the vaginal skin cells and thus ensure an acidic environment (pH value around 3.8 to 4.4). This is important to ward off germs and fungi or to prevent them from multiplying and setting disease processes in motion. During sexual activity there is also secretion from special small glands at the vaginal entrance.

What is bacterial vaginosis?

A disruption of the bacterial balance in the vagina leads to colonization with atypical germs, to the detriment of the native lactic acid bacteria. Technical term: bacterial vaginosis. This "dysbiosis" is neither an infection nor a vaginal inflammation. The exact causes are unclear.

Doctors, however, have certain risk factors in mind, such as hormonal fluctuations, previous antibiotic treatment, smoking, genetic factors, and sometimes sexual activity (more in the list below). Bacterial vaginosis is particularly important during pregnancy because it can lead to premature birth or a uterine infection during delivery. More on the topic in the chapter "Discharge in women - causes: vaginal infections".

How it comes to inflammation in the genital area

Changes the Vaginal fluid In terms of color, texture and smell, if there is unpleasant itching, burning or pain outside or inside in the vaginal area, their natural composition, the environment, is disturbed for various reasons. Germs such as bacteria, viruses, fungi or other species have spread and lead to vaginal infections. An altered vaginal secretion can also indicate sexually transmitted diseases or cancer.

Danger: Fungi such as the yeast Candida albicans often colonize the vagina without being noticeable or causing damage. But: If the environment is out of balance and the fungi get out of hand, they can trigger inflammation. This also applies to other microorganisms. However, certain infections, such as venereal diseases, or pathological changes caused by a tumor can no longer fend off even an intact vaginal fluid. Also with the lack of sex hormones during the menopause, the germ defense decreases.

Pathogenswhich cause vaginal infections are very often transmitted through sexual contact. Infections or health problems in neighboring areas, for example of the anus, urethra or intestine, can also spread to the sexual organs of women.

The external genital area, the vulva, mainly includes the labia, clitoris and vaginal vestibule. The inner genital area includes the vagina, cervix and uterus (uterus) as well as fallopian tubes and ovaries. Inflammatory discharge can develop in either area. If a vaginal infection (colpitis, vaginitis) also affects the area of ​​the vulva (vulvitis) and vice versa, medical professionals use the broader term vulvovaginitis.

Factors that attack the natural vaginal environment

  • Excessive or incorrect intimate hygiene. When women wash themselves intensively with normal soap, use intimate deodorants or even do deep rinses, they upset the self-cleaning mechanism of the vagina and the balance between the vaginal environment and the naturally occurring germs. Irritation occurs and the acidic environment changes. Bacteria and fungi can multiply and enter the vagina more easily. Increased discharge and vaginal infections are often the result. Tampons that remain in the vagina too long or are forgotten, as well as tight-fitting, synthetic underwear and clothing disrupt the balancing processes in the vulva and then the vaginal fluid. Incorrect cleaning after a bowel movement, from back to front, also carries fungus and germs out of the anal zone in the vulva and vagina. During sexual intercourse, bacteria-containing smegma, which accumulates under the penis foreskin if the partner is poorly hygienic, can get into the vagina.
  • Contraceptives like spiral, foam suppository. Mechanical and chemical stimuli can lead to increased discharge.
  • Allergies. Allergic reactions, for example to latex from condoms, sometimes affect the balance in vaginal secretions. Otherwise, condoms are usually tolerated and especially recommended as protection against many sexually transmitted diseases! Soaps, disinfectants, intimate sprays, synthetic textiles or certain externally and internally applied drugs can trigger allergies in the external or internal genital area and lead to inflammation.
  • Antibiotic therapy. Taken over a long period of time, antibiotics can also affect the vaginal environment.
  • Hormone fluctuations during puberty, pregnancy and menopause. The female sex hormones, especially the estrogens, are the decisive regulators for the vaginal environment. For example, menopausal women are more prone to vaginal infections due to a lack of hormones and decreased vaginal secretion. The birth control pill also often changes the natural acid protection.
  • Weakened immune system. If the immune system is attacked by illness or stress and psychological stress, this also affects the vaginal environment. Mushrooms often have an easy time of it. Treatment with drugs that reduce the immune system, such as cortisone preparations, can also promote vaginal infections.
  • Diabetes (diabetes mellitus). Above all, the increased blood sugar level promotes the multiplication of mushrooms, as yeasts feed on sugar, for example. The immune system is also weakened by diabetes.
  • Inflammation in the area of ​​the genital organs. Inflammatory processes in the abdomen and on the internal and external genital organs disrupt the natural acidic environment.
  • Tumors in the vagina, on the cervix, on the uterus. These can be harmless polyps, benign tumors, but also forms of cancer. One of the alarm signs is a bloody discharge.

Discharge: when to see a doctor?

When the natural discharge changes appearance, gets stronger, and smells, a woman should pay attention and hers Gynecologist or dermatologist consult. This is especially true if there are other symptoms, such as itching, burning, redness and swelling in the pubic area. In the event of abdominal pain or pain in the lower abdomen, fever or blood from the vagina, those affected should go to the gynecologist immediately.

The Type of discharge as well as any accompanying symptoms can already provide initial clues. A detailed examination will then show the way of treatment, in which the sexual partner must often also be included.

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More about the possible causes, each characteristic symptoms as well as information about diagnosis and therapy in the following chapters of this article (see overview at the beginning of the text).