Learn What Causes White Discharge and Itching

Got White Itchy Discharge? It Could be a Yeast Infection!

Yeast infections can cause thick white discharge and itching in many instances.
Yeast infections can cause thick white discharge and itching in many instances.

So, you have (possibly thick) white discharge and itching in the vaginal area; and, you are wondering what is giving you this annoying, painful problem. Well, as you may have guessed, these could be symptoms of a yeast infection. As research indicates, the discharge from a yeast infection can vary greatly; sometimes, it can be watery, and other times it can be thick. It should almost always appear white, however, if it is a yeast infection; as the fungi that causes this problem, Candida, is white in color. Yet, in some cases a yeast infection may not cause vaginal discharge at all. But, one of the most indicative Candida symptoms is profuse cottage cheese like discharge. Another key to remember, about Candida induced thick white discharge, is that if it sticks to the vaginal wall (which it should do sometimes), it can cause slight bleeding when it is scraped off. This attached discharge, like Candida lesions, commonly bleed when they are scraped away from the skin. This can be another signal to help you see if you do, in fact, have a yeast infection.

As far as itching goes, about 90% of women with a vaginal yeast infection will complain of intense itching in the vaginal area. But, only about 35% to 40% of women, who have vaginal itching, will have a yeast infection. Two other prominent vaginal infections, bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis, can also cause vaginal itching and discharge. We will discuss these other two vaginal problems later on.

One key way to determine, with a little better success, if you have a Candida problem is to see how many other classic yeast infections symptoms you exhibit. The research articles we will discuss later, all gave many similar symptoms that a yeast infection causes. The more of these symptoms your experiencing, the more chance you have of having a Candida problem. Also discussed, is a test you can take to help diagnose yourself.

If you do consider your white discharge and itching is due to a yeast infection; there a plethora of natural remedies you can use to treat this condition at home. Candida Hub has a lot of information about herbs, essential oils, extracts, and other natural items that are strong Candida fighters. If you have some time, feel free to check out this information! Now, let's take a look at research about white vaginal discharge and vaginal itching.

Related Research

This picture of oral thrush, shows what large masses of Candida look like. When more Candida develops, it can appear similar to this. When enough Candida is present, it can flow out of the vagina as a white discharge.
This picture of oral thrush, shows what large masses of Candida look like. When more Candida develops, it can appear similar to this. When enough Candida is present, it can flow out of the vagina as a white discharge.

The first study we will look at, was published in The Lancet [369.9577 (2007): 1961-1971]. The author first discusses the epidemiology of vaginal yeast infections, stating that about 75% of women will have an infection at some time in their lives. The women, who are most prone to this condition, are of childbearing age. And, about 50% of women will also get a recurrence of Candidiasis. A smaller number, 5% to 8% of women, will have frequent recurring yeast infections (four or more occurrences in a year’s time). Yeast infections are the second most common vaginal infection—the first being bacterial vaginosis. In 1990, around 13 million prescriptions were written to treat vaginal yeast infections. About 85% of all vaginal yeast infections are caused by the species Candida albicans.

According to the study, the gut is where Candida initially migrates from, into the vagina; and, when Candida reaches the anus, it moves into the nearby vaginal canal (more information on gut yeast infections). Normally, healthy women have enough immune system support to hinder Candida from dominating the microflora of the vagina; thus, this yeast typically lives in this area as a harmless commensal. Changes in the vaginal environment are typically what instigates an overgrowth of Candida—leading to an arduous yeast infection.

As far as vaginal discharge and itching goes, the study relates that vaginal discharge and intense, sudden itching are the typical symptoms of a yeast infection. Yet, there can be other causes of discharge and itching. So, it isn’t a guarantee you have a yeast infection.

A yeast infection can occur without discharge from the vagina; however, when it does occur, the discharge is usually minimal. Such discharge caused by a yeast infection usually resembles cottage cheese to some extent; but, it can vary from watery to homogeneously thick. The discharge can stick to the vaginal wall, and may not flow out of the vagina easily. The vagina and the discharge, will have no smell, or occasionally a very slight smell. Other symptoms of a yeast infection include: swelling of the vulva and labia, inflammation of the labia and vulva, painful sexual intercourse, painful urination, fissures on the skin (small cuts), pus filled bumps, red bumps without pus, burning sensations in the vulva, irritation, and general vaginal soreness. Often, these symptoms of this problem are aggravated the week before your period. The more of the symptoms that are presenting themselves, the more easily you will be able to correctly diagnose you vaginitis.

The next study we will examine, was published in the journal Dermatologic Therapy [17.1 (2004): 102-110]. The study stated most women with yeast infections complain of aggravating itching as the most significant symptom. As far as white discharge goes, the author states that most vaginal yeast infections do not have the white, clumped, “cottage cheese” like discharge indicative of this malady. But, if you do, it’s a great sign Candida is causing your troubles. Other symptoms to look for, that indicate you have a yeast infection, include: a glazed skin texture, vulvar inflammation, erosions of the skin, pus filled bumps around the periphery of the infected skin, and small fissures (cuts) in the skin around skin folds. A common pattern of vaginal Candidiasis is having itching, irritation, and other symptoms a few days before your period.

Yeast infections will NOT smell like fish; bacterial vaginosis will.  So, if your thick white discharge has a foul odor, it may not be a yeast infection.
Yeast infections will NOT smell like fish; bacterial vaginosis will. So, if your thick white discharge has a foul odor, it may not be a yeast infection.

The next study, published in the journal Annals of Emergency Medicine [25.5 (1995): 587-591], takes a look at the process of diagnosing a yeast infection. The study analyzed 71 women, not currently having their periods, who were complaining of vaginal discharge, itching, or pain. Of these 71 individuals, 23 were found to have Candida via laboratory analysis. The study found that a clumpy, cottage cheese like vaginal discharge, intense itching, vaginal swelling, and vaginal inflammation were more predictive of vaginal yeast infections than other causes of vaginitis. A watery vaginal discharge, with a vaginal “fishy” smell, were solid indicators that Candida was not causing the vaginitis (these symptoms are a sign of the most frequent vaginal infection: bacterial vaginosis). The study concluded, that the best indicators of a yeast infection, included: a patient self diagnoses of “yet another yeast infection,” the lack of a watery discharge, and a Gram stain test.

The study also stated common risk factors for yeast infections include: antibiotic usage, being pregnant, and having a form of diabetes. Diagnosis of a yeast infection usually includes seeing if the patient has cheesy or curdy discharge (or the presence of this material inside the vagina), itching and burning in the pubic region between the thighs, and microscopic examination to identify classic hyphae forming Candida cells. Although the sample size of women in this study was small, it did find an interesting correlation: 11 of 12 women who had a cottage cheese like discharge, concomitantly with vaginal swelling (perineal edema), had positive yeast cultures. This suggests that such a symptom pair would be a powerful indicator that you indeed have Candida overgrowth in the vagina.

Another study also talked about thick discharge and itching; the study was published in the journal Mycoses [58.S1 (2015): 1-15]. The study related that 35% to 40% of women complaining of itching will have a yeast infection. But, in about 90% of yeast infections, itching will be a prominent symptom. The discharge caused by Candida can range drastically from fluid like to curdy, cottage cheese like. In some cases, of chronic recurrent vaginal Candidiasis, discharge can be completely absent. Occasionally, clumps of this white thick discharge will stick to the vaginal walls; and, cause slight bleeding to occur when it is removed. Other common symptoms of vaginal Candidiasis include: vaginal inflammation, burning sensations, pain during sex, pain during urination, general vaginal soreness, and swelling of the labia.

Other Causes of Itching and Discharge

A yeast infection will cause thick, white vaginal discharge. The discharge can, at times, resemble cottage cheese.
A yeast infection will cause thick, white vaginal discharge. The discharge can, at times, resemble cottage cheese.

The most common vaginal infection, bacterial vaginosis, can also present with a watery discharge and vaginal itching. The key symptom of bacterial vaginosis, is a strong “fishy” or “cheese” smell, that comes from the vagina and emanates from the discharge. So, if you have itching and discharge, with a strong foul vaginal odor; you probably have bacterial vaginosis—not a yeast infection. For more information about this very common feminine problem, you can check out Yeast Infection or Bacterial Vaginosis.

Another condition that causes itching and vaginal discharge, is the sexually transmitted disease (STD) trichomoniasis. This malady is caused by the single celled protozoan Trichomonas vaginalis. Often, this condition causes unusual foul vaginal odor along with a green, yellow, white, or clear vaginal discharge. Since this condition is an STD, you can pretty much rule it out if you haven’t had an unusual sexual partner that could have been carrying this protozoan. But, if you have had a lot of sexual activity, you could be positive for this, fortunately treatable, STD.

A yeast infection won’t normally cause any foul odor to occur; so, if you smell something bad from the vagina, you likely have a different infection than Candida. Yet, do note, that multiple vaginal infections can occur at the same time. For more information about differentiating Candida overgrowth from this STD, you can check out Yeast Infection and Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

Bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, and trichomoniasis are the “big three” vaginal infections that give women irritated vaginas and discharge. As the Annals of Emergency Medicine [25.5 (1995): 587-591] study stated, when a woman complains of having “another yeast infection,” this is a good indicator that she, in fact, has this very problem. So, if you have had experience with Candida attacking your vagina in the past, you are going to be pretty good at determining if it is currently giving you your thick white discharge and itching symptoms. For more help figuring out if Candida is giving you a problem, you can always use our online Home Yeast Infection Test. There is a short version and a long version; you can choose how much time to invest in the testing.

12 Hour Yeast Infection Cure

12 Hour Yeast Infection Cure

One individual who fought a routine battle with vaginal yeast infections was Sarah Summer. These yeast infections would give her all kinds of terrible symptoms—among them burning, itching, and discharge. Unlike most women, Sarah suffered from chronic, recurrent vaginal Candidiasis. When this problem first began, Sarah frequently visited a doctor and used many different types of antifungal drugs. Yet, each time she got better from using a drug, it didn’t take long before Candida attacked yet again. The problem, as Sarah would later discover, was that at this time, she was merely treating the surface level symptoms of her Candida problem.

The cycle of using drugs and yeast infection recurrence would go on for sometime in Sarah’s life; until, she developed one of the worst yeast infections she ever experienced. Sarah didn’t waste much time before making another trip to her physician for a solution. When she was examined, Sarah’s doctor told her that her vaginal yeast infection was infact different this time. Apparently, the doctor found that the Candida had grown deep tendrils into her vaginal tissue and entrenched itself; becoming a mould inside her body. Her doctor told her that this infection was difficult to treat and not able to be totally cured. With the prospect of having to deal with Candida indefinitely, Sarah decided to see if she could find a better alternative.

Sarah soon began studying Candida; and enlisted the help of her husband Robert to investigate this condition alongside her. Sarah and Robert spent thousands of dollars on different treatments, spent many hours in the medical library, and did a lot of experimentation. Sarah knew, however, that she needed to fix her body’s predisposition to Candida overgrowth; she needed to get at the root causes of this problem.

After a significant amount of ardent work, Sarah and Robert did work out a new solution that tackled the root causes of Candidiasis. When Sarah tried this new approach, she found she was rapidly getting better and was finally free of the terrible yeast infection. And, as time went on, Sarah found she stayed free of Candida; finally, the horrible cycle destroying her health was over.

Sarah decided to put her findings in a book and has since helped many people, from all walks of life, permanently end their Candida problems. Sarah’s book is so powerful, she guarantees following it will get rid of all symptoms of a yeast infection in just 12 hours; as well as eliminate your Candida problem for good by following her plan. Sarah also offers an 8 week, 100% money back guarantee on her book; for anyone who may have been burned by a supposed cure they tried in the past that didn’t work. No, if for any reason you don’t like Sarah’s book, you can quickly get all your money back. And, Sarah has made her book available digitally, so you can have it instantly and never have to return anything if you get your money back.

Sarah’s book is published by a large online publisher, owned by the U.S. based company Keynetics Incorporated. They have been in business since nearly the advent of the internet and have provided excellent service to people from around the world.

If you’d like to learn a bit more about Sarah’s personal story and her journey to find a Candida cure, or want to see some of the extra things she includes with her book, or perhaps read a few testimonies from others who gave her book a try, you can find out more about these topics at Sarah Summer’s website.


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