Originally posted by mlgable: |
When you had your last pap/pelvic exam did you mention to your doc about your excessive discharge? I am sure he/she would have checked for an infection if he thought their might be one.
Quite so, but the problem
from the doctor's point of view is that what he
(or she) sees, more often than not bears no connection with your complaint - or lack of it, unless
it is an obvious case of an offensive (smelly) discharge that was not there before.
much "in the eye of the beholder". The doctor may be slurping around in a pool of white, gooey stuff with the speculum, sometimes having to swab it out even to get a view, whilst the lady may claim "no complaints", or (s)he may just as likely find it virtually dry when there is
a complaint of discharge. In fact, quite often when a discharge is noticed and a swab shows Gardnerella (almost as common as "Thrush"), the lady has no complaints at all.
So, doctors have to treat on the complaint as much, perhaps more
than on what they actually find, either by eye or microscope.
In summary, if you've always been wet and "passed" the occasional exam, then that probably is
normal. You might not particularly like the normal
smell, but your partner may love it (or again, he may not - that
also varies from person to person). Probably no harm in seeing the doctor and to avoid wasting his time, telling him exactly
what concerns you, every aspect, and how much. That is - whether it's new or has been there "always", whether your concern is whether it's "normal" or not, or that you would like rid of it even if it is
normal (probably a tall order though), and the corresponding expectation about the smell.
Some women have what has historically been called an "erosion" of the cervix, nowadays re-named an "ectropion" or simply, pout
which is a much more correct description - the cervix is pouted and consequently shows the delicate (may even bleed if scraped) interior mucous-secreting lining to the acidic vaginal environment, becoming irritated in consequence and producing copious mucous to repel the acid.
If you add to this the surge of (stringy) mucous in mid-cycle due to ovulation when the mucous is altered to permit
the entry of sperm through the cervix, then it will
be more profuse at this time - unless
you are on hormonal contraception because no ovulation - no mucous surge. Ergo, hormonal contraception, especially the injection, might be one means of "drying it up".
An "ectropion" can be removed by cauterising - the lining that re-grows is non-mucous-secreting - but whilst this treatment (also used for some abnormalities found on Pap smears) is not too
likely to cause other problems, most (ethical) doctors are a little reluctant to perform procedures when there is no actual disease present.
And that is only effective where the discharge is primarily mucous. If it is not
mucous from the cervix, but simply vaginal secretions with all the normal
bacteria, that is not at all easy to alter (some women have it even after hysterectomy).
I presumably don't have to mention that this vaginal wetness is actually useful
in some respects.
Single most important suggestion: If and when at all
possible, Don't wear pants
[This message has been edited by paulb (edited 10-26-2002).]