How to prevent white discharge
Normal white discharge is milky white or clear, without a strong odour, and either wet and slippery or thick and sticky. This discharge is a natural and essential bodily function. It helps to lubricate the vagina and prevent infections.
Scented soaps, hygiene wipes and vaginal douches are all ways women prevent vaginal discharge. Medical experts do not recommend these as they interrupt your body’s natural processes.
White discharge with a consistency of cottage cheese is usually caused by a yeast infection. You can prevent a yeast infection by:
- drying properly after washing
- not using soap or shower gels when you wash or deodorants or douches on your genitals
- wearing cotton underwear or tights
Watery white discharge with a fishy odour is usually caused by bacterial vaginosis (BV). It can be prevented by:
- not using vaginal washes, deodorants or douches
- avoiding strong-smelling soaps for your clothes and body
- stopping smoking
- reducing your stress levels
If you get yeast infections or BV regularly, it is helpful to understand your triggers to avoid them if possible. It’s also a good idea to contact your GP to confirm the diagnosis and rule out any other causes for your symptoms.
If you need to treat either a yeast infection or BV, our doctors at Superdrug Online Doctor can review your symptoms quickly and easily using our online service. They can then issue you with the appropriate treatment if this is suitable, which can be delivered discreetly to an address of your choice.
Is white discharge a cause for concern?
White discharge that is normal for your body is not something to worry about.
If you notice changes in the smell and consistency of your discharge, this can indicate you have an infection or rarely can be due to a more serious underlying condition such as a gynaecological cancer. You should talk to your doctor or a sexual health clinic about your symptoms.
The following symptoms occurring at the same time as a change in your white discharge can be a sign that something more serious is happening in your body. Seek medical advice if you also have:
- extreme tiredness
- weight loss that you cannot explain
- increased need to pee
- abdomen or stomach pain
- bleeding durig or after sex or between periods
- pain during sex
- post menopausal bleeding