All women have some vaginal discharge. But white, clumpy, cottage cheese vaginal discharge is a common symptom of a yeast infection. Vaginal infections are actually very common. Most women will experience some form of a vaginal infection in their lifetime. A yeast infection occurs when there is an overabundance of yeast. It’s often caused by a change in the pH balance of the vagina.
What’s a normal vaginal discharge?
More often than not, white discharge is perfectly normal. Normal discharge may appear smooth, clear, cloudy white, and/or yellowish. At times it may be thin and stringy.
Do vaginal fluids change throughout a menstrual cycle?
It’s normal for the color, texture, and amount of vaginal discharge to vary. For example, an increase in vaginal discharge is normal during pregnancy. Changes in normal discharge can occur for many reasons:
- menstrual cycle
- emotional stressors
- nutritional status
- usage of medications
- use of birth control pills
- sexual arousal
But some changes in discharge may also indicate a problem.
Is “cottage cheese” vaginal discharge a sign of yeast infection?
If you experience white, thick, clumpy discharge (looking like cottage cheese), this may be a sign of vaginal infection. A yeast infection usually does not cause a strong odor. But it may cause severe itching and burning. Other symptoms of a yeast infection are:
- Discharge accompanied by itching, rash or soreness
- Persistent, increased discharge
- Vaginal itching or burning (the burning may be worse with urination or sex)
- Discomfort during or after intercourse
Always consult your doctor to ensure an accurate diagnosis. A pelvic exam will be done to examine your vagina and other reproductive organs. A sample of vaginal discharge will be also collected to determine what organism is causing your problem. Yeast infections are not known to cause any serious health problems. However, experiencing cottage cheese-like vaginal discharge and other symptoms of yeast infections can be very unpleasant. Get it diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.
How to prevent a yeast infection?
- Keep genital area clean by using plain, unscented and natural soap.
- Avoid vaginal douching. Douching upsets the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina.
- Resist itching to prevent the infection from spreading.
- If you use skincare products in the vaginal area, make sure they are chemical-free (read this post)
- Pads and/or tampons should be changed frequently. Using reusable and washable cotton pads is best. Disposable pads and tampons contain all kinds of chemicals that may irritate skin and cause vaginal itching. Tampons may create a more ideal opportunity for the growth of bacteria.
- Avoid synthetic fabrics and wear cotton underwear.
- Learn about the best natural remedies that have strong antifungal properties. For example, coconut oil is a potent “bad yeast” killer.
- Following an anti-candida diet can be beneficial. Eat probiotic-rich foods and reduce foods that promote the growth of yeast. The main culprits are sugar, bread, cheese, alcohol and all kinds of packaged and processed foods. Here are the best antifungal foods!
- Use antifungal essential oils to prevent and get rid of a yeast infection.