A smelly vaginal discharge is a warning sign in women and it is usually a symptom of bacteria of parasite infection that can be passed from one person to the other through sexual contact or by direct contact with bodily secretions.
The bad smell of discharge is usually similar to the smell of rotten fish and it is often accompanied by other symptoms such as itching, a burning sensation when urinating, greenish-yellow colour and pain during sexual intercourse. It is therefore advisable to consult a gynaecologist who will identify the underlying cause of the smell and prescribe the right treatment..
Release of secretion through the vagina is normal as it is as a result of cell renewal. However, when the discharge is in excess, it happens frequently and is accompanied by a bad smell and other symptoms such as pain when urinating or a burning sensation in the vagina then it might be a sign of vaginal imbalance. It is therefore important to consult a gynaecologist.
The main causes of smelly vaginal discharge are:
- Bacterial vaginosis, which is an infection of the vagina caused by the bacterium Gardnerella sp. It leads to the appearance of yellowish or greyish discharge with a strong and unpleasant smell that is similar to that of rotten fish.
- Trichomoniasis, which is a vaginal infection caused by the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis and it is characterized by the presence of yellow-green discharge accompanied by a strong smell.
- Gonorrhea, which is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae and which leads to the appearance of brown discharge
Candidiasis is also one of the main causes of vaginal infection and discharge in women, however it does not result in smelly discharge.