My vaginal discharge smells foul. Is this normal?

My vaginal discharge smells foul. Is this normal?

Q. I am a 16-year-old girl. Recently, I realise that a white liquid would be discharged from my body whenever I sit down, even though I had urinated already.

The problem is becoming worse and affecting my life. I become self-conscious about the back of my school skirt becoming wet and have to go to the toilet often to check if it is indeed wet.

Do I have a urinary tract infection? How can I solve this problem? Is there any treatment or medication for such cases?

A white discharge is usually from the vagina, that is, the birth canal, and not from the urinary pipe.

Discharge of different colours is at times associated with different types of infection. For example, fungal or yeast infection is associated with curdy white discharge. A urinary tract infection, on the other hand, is a bacterial infection that affects the urinary bladder.

Symptoms include painful urination, feeling an urgency to urinate but passing small amounts of urine frequently and a sensation of incomplete bladder emptying.

The urine may appear cloudy and even bloody.

Discharge is, therefore, possibly a symptom of vaginal infection and not urinary tract infection. In the absence of any itching and foul smell, vaginal discharge can be considered normal and physiological.

During certain times in the menstrual cycle, the discharge may be of a larger amount than at other times.

Frequent washing of private parts with soap or disinfectants may also increase the production of discharge.

Using panty liners can ease your worry about wetting your skirt.

If you experience any itching or excrete foul-smelling discharge, it will be advisable for you to see a doctor to rule out the possibility of any infection.

Dr Anita Kale
Consultant at the department of obstetrics and gynaecology at the National University Hospital

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