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What causes abnormal vaginal discharge?

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Any change in the vagina's balance of normal bacteria can affect the smell, color, or discharge texture. These are a few of the things that can upset that balance:

  • Antibiotic or steroid use
  • Bacterial vaginosis, a bacterial infection more common in pregnant women or women who have multiple sexual partners
  • Birth control pills
  • Cervical cancer
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Douches, scented soaps or lotions, bubble bath
  • Pelvic infection after surgery
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Trichomoniasis, a parasitic infection typically contracted and caused by having unprotected sex
  • Vaginal atrophy, the thinning and drying out of the vaginal walls during menopause
  • Vaginitis, irritation in or around the vagina
  • Yeast infections

From: Vaginal Discharge: What’s Abnormal? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

National Institutes of Health: ''What is Vaginitis?''

American Family Physician , 2004; vol 69: pp 2191-2192.

Mitchell, H. , 2004; vol 328: pp 1306-1308. BMJ

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: ''Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2010.''

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on February 25, 2018

SOURCES:

National Institutes of Health: ''What is Vaginitis?''

American Family Physician , 2004; vol 69: pp 2191-2192.

Mitchell, H. , 2004; vol 328: pp 1306-1308. BMJ

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: ''Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2010.''

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on February 25, 2018

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How is abnormal vaginal discharge treated?

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