Vaginal discharge

Published on 10/03/2015 by admin

Filed under Obstetrics & Gynecology

Last modified 10/03/2015

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Chapter 41 VAGINAL DISCHARGE

Vaginal discharge is a common complaint of women and can either be physiologic or pathologic. Physiologic discharge is usually white or clear and thin and may have a mild odor. Accompanying symptoms such as itching, burning sensation, and redness should not be present. A woman’s vaginal discharge can change with the menstrual cycle. In addition, vaginal discharge may change as a woman ages and during pregnancy.

Pathologic vaginal discharge has many different possible causes. In the United States, the two most common causes are bacterial vaginosis and candidal vaginitis. Other causes include sexually transmitted diseases, especially infections with Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and Trichomonas vaginalis.

The appropriate diagnosis of vaginal discharge is very important in order to prevent potential complications. Both bacterial vaginosis and T. vaginalis infection can increase the risk of preterm labor. In addition, chlamydia and gonorrhea can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, which can result in infertility.

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