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Date of last update: 10/14/2017.

Forum Name: Gynecology

Question: Odd occasional discharge+intense period pain, not likely STD


 Skarlet - Mon Oct 24, 2005 5:09 am

I have this weird smelling white discharge every once in a while. I don't really know what it is or why it happens because it only happens occasionally and I only started noticing it recently (although I haven't been sexually active since may). I frequently have discharge but the smell isn't common. I don't think it's an STD because I ALWAYS use condoms and get tested before and after each partner plus have annual pap smears. I'm wondering if it might be a symptom of something else because I've never had regular periods. I'm almost 19 and I've been off and on birth control for years because I essentially don't have periods w/o it (I was first put on it when I was about 16 so that I would start having periods and it stops shortly after I go off the pill). I've had numerous hormone tests and that doesn't seem to be the problem. Recently I've been getting intense abdominal pains around my period and they seem to get worse and worse every month. Last month during my period my cramps/shooting pains were so bad that I literally couldn't function, I was driving with a friend once and they started and I had to pull over and let her drive because they were so bad all I could do was curl up and cry plus I've been getting more irritable. This month during my period I still had the pain and the mood swings (which were uncommon) as well as really frequent migraines, hot flashes, and night sweats (Also very uncommon).

If anybody has ANY advice, similar experiences, ANYTHING would be helpful.
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Mon Jan 02, 2006 6:31 am

User avatar Changes that may signal a problem include an increase in the amount of discharge, a change in the color or smell of the discharge, and irritation, itchiness or burning in or around your vagina. This is called vaginitis. The 3 most common causes of vaginitis are bacterial vaginosis, vulvovaginal candidiasis (yeast infection) and trichomoniasis.[1] Vaginal discharge may also result from sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea or chlamydia.

A white, curdlike discharge that looks like cottage cheese is a classic sign of yeast infection. Yellow, green or gray discharge is usually a sign of trichomonas or bacterial vaginosis. Bacterial vaginosis also has an unusual, fishy odor.[1] Gonorrhea and chlamydia usually don't cause any symptoms at all. In some cases they present as a new vaginal discharge accompanied by fever, abdominal pain or pain during intercourse.

Studies have shown that the risk of yeast infection is increased in women who use oral contraceptive pills, a diaphragm and spermicide, or an IUD.[2]

Usually yeast discharge does not present with any odor. This usually more common with bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis.

Microscopic examination in the lab can usually tell which type of infection it is.

References:
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1. Carr PL, Felsenstein D, Friedman RH. Evaluation and management of vaginitis. J Gen Intern Med 1998;13:335-46, and Sobel JD. Vaginitis. N Engl J Med 1997;337:1896-903.
2. Barbone F, Austin H, Louv WC, Alexander WJ. A follow-up study of methods of contraception, sexual activity, and rates of trichomoniasis, candidiasis, and bacterial vaginosis. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1990; 163:510-4.

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