White discharge, also known as leucorrhoea, is cervical mucus produced by cells in the cervix, vagina and certain bacteria in the vagina, due to the action of estrogen. These discharges are natural, odorless and present in all women of childbearing age. They vary in texture and quantity from one woman to another, depending on her menstrual cycle.
In general, they are translucent or whitish: this means that the genital organs are functioning well. They enable the vagina to clean itself, protect itself from bacteria, lubricate itself naturally and facilitate the ascent of spermatozoa to the cervix in the event of procreation.
Since white discharge is present throughout the intimate life of women of childbearing age, and its presence is due to female hormones, it's only logical that it should disappear with menopause and the drop in estrogen hormone levels. However, some menopausal women still experience them.
What causes white discharge during menopause?
It may be normal to still experience white discharge after menopause, but it's important to determine its origins and pay attention to the symptoms associated with it. These are generally much less abundant, more liquid and transparent.
If white discharge persists, it may be due to an infection or senile athrophic vaginitis.
- If you notice that your discharge is abundant, colored and/or foul-smelling, it's probably infectious vaginitis. With the decrease in hormones and thinning of the vaginal walls, the balance of the environment is weakened and bacteria develop more easily. Several agents may be responsible for this infection: a parasite transmitted sexually (discharge is greenish/greyish and bubbly). It is treated with metronidazole. Vaginitis can also be due to the development of a yeast that is naturally present in the vagina (the white discharge then has a "curdled milk" appearance). A final cause may be the development of bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus.
To determine which agent is responsible for the infection, a secretion sample is taken and microbiologically analyzed.
- Vaginal atrophy, also known as senile atrophic vaginitis. This condition is due to estrogen deficiency. Vaginitis can be detected by a number of symptoms. In addition to purulent discharge, senile atrophic vaginitis will: cause reduction of the vulvar orifice, vaginal dryness vaginal drynesspain during intercourse.
Treatment is based on the prescription of hormone substitutes: either orally or locally, by inserting an ovule into the vagina.
In more serious cases, discharge can be indicative of vaginal or uterine cancer. In fact, liquid vaginal discharge (water) known as hydrorrhea, or bloody discharge, can reveal lesions of the cervix, endometrium (the mucous membrane lining the walls of the uterus) or fallopian tubes. They can take the form of polyps, fibroids, pre-cancerous lesions or lesions already at the cancer stage. In all cases, they should prompt a consultation with a gynecologist to determine the cause of the lesions.
Discover our menstrual panties, ideal for white discharge.