Thick White Discharge After Sex

During the sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, white discharge often occurs. This is due to a combination of factors such as sexual arousal, hormones and the use of unprotected sex.

Generally, changes in the color and consistency of discharge are normal and should not be cause for concern. However, if the change is accompanied by pelvic pain and itching, you should see your doctor.

Causes

Healthy vaginal discharge is a mix of cervical mucus, vaginal fluid, and cell debris. The amount and consistency changes throughout the menstrual cycle to accommodate hormonal fluctuations. During the beginning and end of the menstrual cycle, it may be thick in texture and white. During ovulation, it becomes clear and stretchy.

During sexual arousal, the body produces extra cervical mucus to promote lubrication. This causes the discharge to become thicker and milky white in appearance, but it does not indicate a problem.

In addition to sex, other factors can cause thick white discharge. It could be due to a yeast infection or a urinary tract infection. It could also be caused by pregnancy, birth control use, or other medical conditions such as diabetes.

Female ejaculation is also a possible cause of thick white discharge after sex. It is normal for a woman to secrete a small amount of pre-ejaculate before having sexual intercourse, but it can be more than this when it is accompanied by pain during sex. A yellowish or greenish discharge, a bad smell, and itching around the vulva are other signs of an infection. STIs such as trichomoniasis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea can also cause unusual white discharge after sex. A doctor can test for these infections by using a speculum to examine the cervix and taking a sample of the discharge for testing.

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Symptoms

The color and consistency of vaginal discharge can change throughout the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, or when you’re sexually aroused. But some changes may indicate a health problem and need treatment.

Normally, vaginal discharge is clear or milky white. It helps clean, protect, and lubricate the genital area (vulva). The amount of discharge can vary during the day and week depending on whether you’re having sex, when you’re ovulating, and what kind of birth control you use. During orgasm, your body might produce more discharge than normal to help with lubrication. This discharge can have an egg white consistency.

Other times, the vaginal mucus can be yellow or green and have a cottage cheese-like texture. This is usually a sign of bacterial infection and needs to be treated with antibiotics. Other symptoms include a sore or rash in the vulva, pelvic pain, painful urination, or spotting between periods.

Bacterial vaginosis is the most common cause of abnormal white discharge after sex. It occurs when the pH of your vagina changes, disrupting the healthy balance of bacteria. Unprotected sex, multiple sexual partners, and doing douching increase the risk of BV. Other symptoms of BV include off-white or gray discharge, a fishy odor, and a painful urination or itching. See your doctor if you have these symptoms. They can diagnose BV and recommend the best course of treatment.

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Treatment

If your thick white discharge has a fishy smell or is yellow or green in color, it’s likely due to a sexually transmitted infection such as chlamydia or gonorrhea. These STIs can be spread through unprotected sex, oral sex, or contact with infected vaginal fluids and usually require antibiotic treatment.

A thin, creamy or clear white discharge usually indicates a yeast infection called thrush. This is treatable with over-the-counter antacids or antifungal creams and pessaries (dissolving tablets). Thrush can also cause itching around the vulva and genitals, pain when you urinate or have sex, or a burning sensation during sex.

Some changes in the texture, odor, or color of your discharge are normal and can be attributed to different phases of your menstrual cycle. Tracking these changes in a period-tracking app like Flo can help doctors get up to speed on what you’ve been experiencing and diagnose your condition.

A white, cottage cheese-like discharge that isn’t itchy or painful is typically a sign of bacterial vaginosis (BV). This common vaginal infection can be treated with antibiotics in the form of tablets or a vaginal gel or cream. It can also be prevented by practicing good hygienic practices, including wearing a condom during all sexual activity. If your discharge is accompanied by other symptoms such as pelvic pain, fatigue, spotting between periods, or itching of the vulva or penis, you should schedule an appointment with a doctor to discuss possible treatments and prevent further complications.

Prevention

The vagina naturally houses a balance of yeast and bacteria that creates a healthy environment. However, if something disturbs the balance and causes an overgrowth of yeast, you may get a vaginal yeast infection. Yeast infections often cause thick white discharge that looks like cottage cheese. It may also be accompanied by itching and burning in the genital area and pain while peeing or having sex. Over-the-counter or prescription antifungal medication can treat the infection.

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Sexually transmitted diseases, or STIs, are another possible cause of thick white discharge after sex. These infections are spread through unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex and can lead to painful urination, itching, and bleeding between periods. Chlamydia, gonorrhea and trichomoniasis are common STIs that can cause yellowish, white or clear discharge with a fishy smell. These infections can be prevented with the use of condoms and regular pap smears.

Normal discharge contains skin cells, healthy bacteria and mucus that create a protective acidic environment in the vulva. The amount of discharge varies between women and is affected by the menstrual cycle, age and health conditions. Discharge color, odor and texture offer clues into a woman’s health. For example, discharge at the beginning and end of the menstrual cycle is clear to milky white. During female sex, the glands produce a watery fluid to promote penetration.

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