Leucorrhoea: Meaning, Diagnosis and Overview

What is Leucorrhoea?

  • The medical term leucorrhoea, means "white discharge," includes all no bloody discharges from the vagina of the female that may be normal or that may be a sign of infection.
  • It is not a disease, but a symptom of some diseases of any of the female sex organs – the vagina, cervix, uterus, or oviducts. In leucorrhoea, the vaginal discharges contain pus or mucus or both. The discharges are whitish, yellowish or greenish in color.
  • Leucorrhoea may occur during pregnancy and is considered normal when the discharge is thin, white, and relatively odorless.


Diagnosis includes a physical examination by the doctor. It depends upon the frequency, time and nature of the discharge. Sometimes cervix biopsy is surely necessary to rule out cancer of the cervix. To identify the germs, culture and sensitivity oral exam is helpful. Routine blood test and urine test gives idea about the infection.

FAQs prepared by doctor

Q1.  What is leucorrhoea?
Leucorrhea is a medical term that denotes a thick, whitish vaginal discharge. It is a catarrhal discharge from the mucus membrane of the female genital tract. It is commonly known as white or yellow discharge .It may be due to any precise pathology or due to poor health & unhygienic condition of the genital organ. This white or yellow discharge may be varying from white to radish or thick and viscid with or with no foul smells due type of infections continues. In normal cases it may be come into view just before or after menstrual bleeding. It results from inflammation or congestion of the vaginal mucosa. 

Q2.  Is it harmful?
Its usually a non-pathological symptom secondary to inflammatory conditions of Vagina or cervix.
Leucorrhea is a sign that the vagina is healthy and keeping clean. It may sometimes occur before a girl has her first period, and is considered a sign of puberty.
Leucorrhea may occur normally during pregnancy. This is caused by increased blood flow to the vagina due to increased estrogen. Female infants may have leucorrhea for a short time after birth due to their in-uterine exposure to estrogen.

Q3.  When do I know it is harmful?
There are many causes of leucorrhea, the usual one being increased estrogen. 
The amount of discharge may increase due to vaginal infection or STDs, in which case it becomes more yellow and foul-smelling. Vaginal discharge is normal for a woman, and all women are different. Causes of change in discharge include infection, malignancy, and hormonal changes.
In case it is yellowish or gives off an odour, it ceases to be healthy and a doctor should be consulted.
Different Types of Discharge:
White: Thick, white discharge is common at the beginning and end of your cycle. Normal white discharge is not accompanied by itching. If itching is present, thick white discharge can indicate a yeast infection.
Clear and stretchy: This is "fertile" mucous and means you are ovulating.
Clear and watery: This occurs at different times of your cycle and can be particularly heavy after exercising.
Yellow or Green: May indicate an infection, especially if thick or clumpy like cottage cheese or has a foul odor.
Spotting Blood/Brown Discharge: May happen right after periods, and is just "cleaning out" your vagina. Old blood looks brown. This may occur when you are ovulating/mid-cycle.

Q4.  Is this a normal Leucorrhea discharge?
After having my first period, I started to have some whitish leucorrhea discharge once a while. Is this normal? Why do I have it?
Yes, it is normal.
Once you start puberty a white and/or clear mucous discharge is normal. The vagina is self-cleaning. This same discharge increases the closer you get to ovulation and when you are sexually aroused.
This normal discharge will also continue after you get your period. Some girls do produce more discharge than others. You can wear a pantyliner if it bothers you.
Your normal white/clear discharge will turn yellow or dry yellow when exposed to air. If it is coming out yellow, then you probably have a bacterial infection and need to see a doctor

Q5.  What symptoms may I experience?
  • Whitish or yellowish discharge from the vagina
  • Frothy and foul smelling discharge
  • Pain in the calves and lumbar region
  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Heaviness in the abdominal region
  • Vaginal itching
  • Constipation
  • Frequent headaches
  • Digestive problems
  • Irritability
  • Black patches on the skin under the eyes
  • Spotting on the underwear

Q6.  What could be the reason for this discharge?
Leucorrhea is a condition that does not have a sudden acute onset. It refers to a general toxic condition of the female genital system. Leucorrhea may affect one or more organs of the female reproductive system. Whenever there is an abnormal accumulation of toxins in the body because of unhealthy eating habits, organs like the kidney, bowels and skin find it difficult to expel these toxins from the body. As a result, the body tries to expel these toxins in the form of foul smelling and thick vaginal discharge. In cases of chronic leucorrhea, the vaginal discharge may be white, yellow or even greenish and accompanied by pus. 
Some of the common causes of leucorrhea include:
  • Conditions like monilial vaginitis, trichomonal vaginitis, or cervicitis.
  • Improper lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Poor genital hygiene
  • Genital wounds caused by excessive itching
  • Bacterial and fungal infections
  • Indigestion
  • Constipation
  • Anemia
  • Diseases like menorrhagea and diabetes
  • Stress and anxiety

Q7.  What measures can I adopt to prevent this?
a) Healthy Diet
b) Add lots of fruits & vegetable in your diet
c) Avoid oily & spicy food
d) Maintain hygiene
e) Proper intake of water on daily basis

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