Is Vaginal Discharge Common In Endometriosis?
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The Relationship Between Endometriosis and Discharge
It is not typically seen in endometriosis patients a significant change in the amount or consistency of vaginal discharge. While an old study from the 1980s links endometriosis to increased vaginal discharge, it is not reported as a symptom that can be used for diagnosis.
However, endometriosis does influence the color of discharge due to menstrual irregularities. When the endometrial tissue growing outside the uterus bleeds into the discharge, it becomes pink, brown, or even black-tinted.
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Exploring Various Types of Discharge
Under normal circumstances, healthy vaginal liquid that oozes out appears clear or white with a mild odor. Throughout the menstrual cycle, its consistency can naturally vary. However, a shift in color, along with other symptoms, may signal an underlying health condition such as endometriosis.
- Pink Discharge: This tone usually signifies the presence of fresh blood. Endometriosis comes with irregular bleeding patterns, which is a primary contributor. Additionally, ovarian cysts linked to endometriosis may also play a part in the occurrence of pink discharge.
- Brown Discharge: This color is a result of the oxidation of the blood, which takes longer to exit the body. Endometriosis sometimes traps tissues, leading to brown-tinted discharge. Unusual bleeding patterns with endometriosis can also cause this.
- Black Discharge: Just like brown discharge, it results from oxidized blood taking its time to leave the body. In cases of endometriosis, black discharge may occur when endometrial tissue causes a blockage within the vaginal cavity.
While it is not particularly established that endometriosis alters the smell or texture of discharge, comprehensive research in the year 2020 suggested that it might increase the likelihood of lower genital tract infections, potentially impacting the color, smell, and texture.
Knowing When to Seek Medical Attention
While variations in vaginal discharge are considered generally normal during the cycle, it is crucial to recognize what deviates from your personal norm. Consult your gynecologist if you observe the following:
- Flow with a strong odor.
- Heavier-than-usual discharge.
- Deviation in texture, particularly resembling cottage cheese.
- Changes in color, including yellow or green.
- Discharge is accompanied by pelvic pain, pain during urination, redness, burning, itching, or irritation of the vulva or urethra.
Dr. Munira Dudhbhai, MD, FACOG, certified with the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, says to go for tests to check out bacterial or viral infections if you notice any of the above-mentioned changes.
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