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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Medical Symptoms > Vaginal Discharge: Prevention & Expectations
      Category : Health Centers > Reproductive System

Vaginal Discharge

Alternate Names : Discharge from the Vagina

Vaginal Discharge | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What can be done to prevent the condition?

Prevention of vaginal discharge depends on the cause. Candida infections can be prevented by avoiding a humid environment around the genital area. This can be done by wearing loose-fitting and absorbent clothing. Women should practice good hygiene methods, such as bathing, showering, wiping front to back after urinating, and frequent handwashing. Practicing safer sex and having fewer sexual partners should reduce the chances of spreading STDs. Hormone replacement therapy can prevent atrophic vaginitis caused by low levels of estrogen.

What are the long-term effects of the condition?

Normal vaginal discharge does not need treatment. Feminine hygiene products and douching should not be used. These products can mask the symptoms of an sexually transmitted disease as well as force the bacteria higher into the pelvic organs. These products may cause a contact dermatitis to the vulva and vaginal tissues.

With proper treatment, there are usually no long-term effects. However, certain causes may not be completely curable. Some of these include herpes, human papillomavirus (HPV), and HIV. If a severe long-standing STD has spread to the pelvic organs, pelvic adhesions may occur. This can lead to long-term pain and infertility.

What are the risks to others?

Normal vaginal discharge poses no risk to others. If there is an underlying infection, such as a sexually transmitted disease, the infection may be highly contagious through sexual contact.

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Vaginal Discharge: Diagnosis & Tests


Vaginal Discharge: Treatment & Monitoring

Author: Eva Martin, MD
Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
Date Reviewed: 08/09/01

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