One reason that a woman might have continuous mucus is poor vaginal hygiene. There are certain products, cloths, and behaviors (hygiene practices) that may cause a vaginal irritation and a continuous or patchy type of pasty/sticky or cloudy type of mucus. The mucus might also appear creamy like a white hand lotion.
Proper vaginal hygiene might prevent or eliminate some of these vaginal type discharges. Proper vaginal hygiene includes avoiding behaviors and products that may cause vaginal irritations.
Women should realize that the vagina is a self-cleansing structure and that there is no need to douche. Cleaning the vaginal area with mild soap and water is all that is necessary. Products that might irritate the vagina (and that should be avoided) are scented toilet tissue, bath oils, fabric softeners that go in the drier, and scented tampon products. Talcum powder, vaginal deodorants, and bubble baths should also be avoided. Women should try to use cotton undergarments (rather than synthetics), because cotton absorbs moisture rather than trapping it. Tight jeans, nylon tights and tight pants can trap or increase perspiration and set up an environment for vaginal/vulval irritations.
How a woman manages her menstrual discharge is also important. Again she should avoid using scented tampons. Use of the least absorbent tampon for the amount of bleeding is encouraged. Women should not use tampons when the menstrual flow is very light. This practice might overly dry the vaginal area, damage the normal good bacteria and cause a rebound irritation and discharge. Use of tampons on light and very light days also might confuse the ability to detect cervical mucus. Tampons should not be left in for long periods of time and should be changed often.
Vaginal infections may also be a source of continuous vaginal mucus secretions. If a woman observes symptoms of a foul-smelling, yellow/green, frothy mucus and/or intense vaginal itching she might suspect a vaginal infection and seek appropriate treatment. Any vaginal discharge from the vagina that is unusual in amount or odor, or causes symptoms of itching or burning should be reported. If not treated, vaginal infections could transmit to the cervix and cause a cervicitis, which in itself would cause a cervical secretion. Overuse of antibiotics can cause vaginal infections by destroying the normal vaginal bacteria.
Dr. Sharmila Majumdar
Make an Appointment at the Sexual & Mental Health Clinic, Avis Hospital, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad.