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What is Yeast Infection Discharge?

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  • Written By: Mandi R. Hall
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 10 December 2016
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A yeast infection, also known as thrush or candidiasis, is typically accompanied by a thick, whitish yeast infection discharge. Vaginal yeast infection discharge is typically found along an inflamed vagina. Yeast infection symptoms that occur near the mouth are generally accompanied by white spots around the lips instead of the common discharge. The visible discharge residue around the vagina is called candida albicans, which is a naturally forming fungus. The fungus is a form of yeast.

When discussing yeast infections, people are typically referring to the type experienced by approximately three out of four women in their lifetimes. Described as a type of vaginitis, a vaginal yeast infection typically includes an inflamed vagina, local pain, itchiness, and a yeast infection discharge. It is often associated with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), although it technically doesn’t fall under that umbrella. Women who don’t participate in sex acts are still able to be infected.

Vaginal yeast infections and the associated yeast infection discharge can be contracted through oral sex among other things. It is caused, however, by candida, the actual fungus. Healthy vaginas contain a proportionate amount of both candida and bacteria. When that balance is skewed, the amount of yeast begins rapidly increasing.

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A woman can experience yeast infection discharge after a variety of occurrences. When a woman’s body, specifically her vagina, is introduced to new or different activities, it reacts. Activities such as douching, antibiotic use, a drastic change in one’s diet, or a variety of sexual partners can cause the genital area to become irritated. The vagina reacts by producing more yeast, which results in the thick, curd-like discharge. Remnants of it may be found on underwear or toilet paper.

This discharge is generally described as looking similar to cottage cheese. White or gray in color, the yeast infection discharge is generally quite noticeable. The odor may vary from mild to slightly stronger than normal, but this odor is typically associated with the vulva rather than the yeast infection itself. Many doctors suggest that douching is one of the vaginal area’s biggest enemies. A combination of water and mild soap is often suggested instead of the scented vinegar solution that comes with douching.

In order to treat a yeast infection with prescription medication, the woman must first be examined by a physician. Generally, a family practice doctor, gynecologist, or sexual health clinic doctor can perform such exams. During the test, the doctor will gather the patient’s medical history and records, perform a basic pelvic exam and possibly have some cultures and vaginal secretions sent to a laboratory for analysis. Most yeast infections are somewhat basic and easy to diagnosis, however.

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ZipLine
Post 3

I had the typical yeast caused discharge when I had a yeast infection. It was very noticeable and disturbing. I think most women will not have trouble identifying it, it does become obvious that something is wrong.

Unfortunately, yeast infections are very common among American women. I think it's partly due to practices like douching and partly due to weak immune systems. Americans in general do not eat very healthy and there is a lot of processed food in our diets. Yeast love processed food, carbohydrates and sugars. We also do not eat enough plain yogurt, so it's easy for the bacterial balance in our bodies to become disturbed.

turquoise
Post 2

@bluedolphin-- Actually, it's not a good idea to rule out a yeast infection only because there is no discharge. Some women do not experience the typical, thick, cloudy, cheese like discharge that yeast infections are known for causing. A mild infection may not cause a discharge or the discharge may be normal vaginal discharge.

Aside from discharge, you should also look out for other common symptoms of a yeast infection like itching, a rash around the vagina, odor or irritation.

bluedolphin
Post 1

I was going to say that normal vaginal discharge can also be white in color. So how do I tell apart normal discharge and a yeast infection discharge? But the article already answered my question. My discharge certainly does not look like cottage cheese, so I guess that rules out a yeast infection.

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