The importance of maintaining reproductive organ hygiene

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dr. Djasarito, Sp.OG
dr. Djasarito, Sp.OG. Photo: BETHSAIDA HOSPITAL

Tangerang, IO – WHO notes that 75% of women worldwide have suffered vaginal mucus discharge (fluor albus). “In Indonesia, a tropical country with a hot and humid climate, our clinical experience shows that 9 out of each 10 patients visit the gynecology ward complaining of vaginal mucus discharge. We know that 3 out of every 10 women of productive age, or 76%, experience it. However, it turns out that teenage girls and young women 15-20 years old complain of the same thing,” revealed obstetrics and gynecology specialist from Bethsaida Hospital, Gading Serpong, Tangerang, dr. Djasarito, Sp.OG, in the “Vaginal Mucus Discharge and How to Mitigate It” webinar held in late February. 

“Vaginal mucus discharge” covers the discharge of all non-blood fluids by the female intimate organ, specifically the vagina or birth canal. As in any other part of the body, this organ also contains normal flora that work to maintain the acid-base levels of the reproductive organs. However, the body will automatically get rid of excess flora by discharging clear to whitish mucus to expel it. 

“In productive age women, the vaginal mucus discharge that occurs right before and after the menstrual cycle can serve as an indication of her upcoming fertility period. The discharge is a normal physiological occurrence caused by hormones. It is usually accompanied with no other complaint than a sense of awkwardness and embarrassment, and it will automatically stop with the arrival of menstruation. I am telling you that psychological conditions like stress or physical conditions like exhaustion will affect hormone production, which in turn triggers vaginal mucus discharge. However, consuming too much cucumber or pineapple does not cause this discharge. That’s just an old wives’ tale,” dr. Djasarito said. 

Three Causes of Vaginal Mucus Discharge 

To repeat, vaginal mucus discharge is a normal, harmless physiological process that ends automatically. However, it is no longer normal and it might indicate some abnormality when the discharged mucus changes color (yellow to greyish green) or consistency (becomes thick), becomes smelly, and causes discomforts such as itches, lower-belly pains, and painful urination and/or sexual relations. In severe levels, patients may also suffer from a fever or complain of nausea, and/ or vomit. 

“This condition may indicate bacterial infection, fungal infection, or even cervical problems, especially in women 40 years of age or older. The latter is usually caused by HPV virus, and you should get yourselves checked by a doctor when it happens. Don’t be afraid – going to the doctor is a prudent act that will save you in the end. The sooner you treat vaginal mucus discharge, the bigger your chance of recovery. Diagnosis is based on physical checks plus supplemental checks, such as swab and fluid culture tests,” he stated. 

Ultimately, maintaining the hygiene of female organs is the best way to prevent vaginal mucus discharge. “Avoid wearing tight underwear for prolonged periods, and choose cotton, linen, or other lightweight, absorbent materials. During your period, instead of using tampons or pads, sterile gauze that you replace once every six hours or a menstrual cup to catch your blood. Clean yourself immediately, using mild vaginal soap after sex, and naturally, please don’t be sexually promiscuous.” (est)