An abnormal whitish discharge from the vagina, which may occur at any age. It affects most women at some time in their lives. The amount of normal vaginal secretion varies among women and in the same woman during the menstrual cycle. Excess mucus production may occur normally as a result of sexual and emotional stimulation, at the time of ovulation, and during pregnancy. Secretions are greater just before and after menstruation.

In leukorrhea, the abnormal vaginal discharge may just be excessive or it may be purulent (pus-filled) as a result of an infection by Trichomonas vaginalis (a protozoan), Candida albicans (thrush), or Gardnerella vaginalis, which causes a "fishy" odor, worse after washing with soap. A purulent discharge may be due also to disease of the cervix or uterus, to senile vaginitis, o to the presence of foreign objects.

Any prolonged or foul-smelling discharge needs to be attended to by a physician. Treatment depends on the cause; many medication, in cream and suppository form, are available by prescription. Genital hygiene is important, but douching is more likely to treat the symptoms rather then the cause and is therefore of limited value.

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