Endometriosis UK
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Embarrassing discharge

Hi all,

Bit of an embarrassing one but, I want to see if anyone else has had this symptom with endo because when I mentioned it to my specialist he looked at me like I'd gone mad.

Basically, I get heavy discharge and it smells kind of like strong cleaning products 😷! I've also noticed that all of my dark underwear have got big red marks in them like they've been bleached and I use black towel for showering and that has also started to turn red, again like it's been bleached. Like I said i've mentioned this to my specialist and he just looked at me and started talking about how discharge is normal but, surely this type of discharge isn't normal? I feel like taking my underwear and towel to my next apt to show him what I mean.

If anyone else has experienced this how did you get rid of it?

13 Replies
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Did you have any swabs to check for infection? I would suggest going to your gp for that first. Sometimes discharge can be due to diet/lifestyle changes but rule out infection first.

Good luck :-)

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Hi,

Yes I've had swabs for it at my GP practice, because of my age they were adament I had an STI but, everything come back clear. I've also been tested for BV and that has also come back clear so they suggested speaking to my endo specialist as they thought it might be to do with that xx

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I had a chemically smelling discharge after my last lap. I put it down to the operation. But maybe it was a coincidence and wasn't. It went away after a few weeks on its own

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I had this EXACT problem and my doctors also seemed stumped when I described it as a "potent chemical/metallic smell" (not at all fishy) that didn't go away no matter how much I washed! Apart from being really embarrassing as I was sure I and others could smell it through my clothes 😣, it was really getting me down and I'm glad I persevered as turns out I had a really bad case of BV which won't clear on its own (bacterial vaginosis - a more common bacterial infection than thrush which you can actually make worse by washing the area too much). Websites often describe it as a fishy smell but I definately didn't find this was the case for BV and it is often described as a chemical smell when you have a serious case of BV. I found I got recurring BV when I had the coil fitted. Anyway, I would strongly recommend you go back to the GP and ask them to so a swab for BV. If it comes back positive, they will prescribe you some strong antibioticsto clear it. You can get the over the counter gels but I didn't find them at all effective as I had such a bad case of it and had to go to the GP anyway. The antibiotics started to work within 2 days and by the end of the treatment (1 week), the embarrassing smell was completely gone! The towel and underwear discolouration COULD also be linked to BV as BV causes your PH levels to rise, making discharge much more acidic and over time, one can only question whether this would stain dark coloured fabric. As I say, I can't guarantee this is what the discolouration is but your story sounds very familiar so I'm hopeful this is what the issue is. Let me know how you get on :) I'll keep my fingers crossed x

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I suffered from bad BV for years do you think it's an added symptom of endo or just one of those unfortunate things. I too made the mistake of washing continually and was told I was making it worse as I was stripping even more ph away xxxx

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Thank you for this, I honestly thought I was the only one who had this problem lol. I've been tested for BV because of this previously but, it came back clear so I never got the antibiotics but, I too have a coil, I've had it in for nearly 5 years now so maybe I should be thinking about having it out and see if that works. Xx

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Sorry I have no idea how to get rid of it but I have the same problem...I've had all the possible tests and it's all clear so doctors told me 'some people just have more discharge, there's nothing we can do'...I noticed it was much heavier while I was on depo provera. After depo I was on zoladex for 3 months, now I'm not taking any hormones at all and it's much better but it's still bad especially before periods. I used to wash my underwear on short cycle in my washing washing, now the short one doesn't even wash the dishcharge off and yes, some of my black ones are stained...

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I have this two it's horrible is it and so embarrassing. This has only started with me in the last two weeks and had swabs done prior to the two weeks which came back clear though will be calling for more swaps as I'm fed up it. I was put on loestrin 30 to stop periods and EVERYTIME I go to toilet I have light bleed or dried blood which is also very confusing for me. Good luck Hun and here if you need to talk. Xxxxxx

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Hi, I don't have this myself but my sister in law had this problem once. It was to do with the ph of her discharge...can't rememeber if more acidic or more alkaline but she went to a dietician/alternative therapist and diet improved the whole thing! -not sure if this is helpful but thought I should mention it. Doctors really shouldn't make us feel more embarrassed than we already are. x

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Thank you for this. I was thinking it could be to do with PH levels but, again I don't know how to make them right and balanced again... but I totally agree with you, doctors are supposed to be there for support but, alot of the time I feel as though I'm banging my head against a brick wall trying to get answers and sometimes I feel like they're thinking I'm a hypochondriac lol and this is why I take to this forum because I get more out of the support network here than I do anywhere else xx

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I get that but put it down to bleeding in between periods

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It isn't blood as it doesn't change the colour of my light underwear, it's just my dark underwear xx

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Vaginal discharge is acidic, as is urine, actually the former is more so than urine. Which will affect over time the dyes in stuff its in contact with. Some of my knickers especially the dark blue and black have red / orange in that area where it's been in contact. I haven't noticed it on my towels but then I don't dry there, I leave it to dry naturally; towel drying can leave fibres on it which for some can make it itchy.

It may smell kind of like ammonia, so it is a chemically smell. Best thing I can suggest is actually to try not to clean too often, let the natural bacteria take hold and they'll help the smell.

As others have said sometimes your diet may need adjusting as what you produce in terms of any liquid (urine, discharge, sweat, saliva) components vary according to what you eat - like for example: meat sweats, asparagus wee, garlic breath, smoky bacon discharge (yes it exists!)

I use SASS (We Are SASS: Discover Intimate Skincare) they have a few products for freshening up in-between washes that don't affect the pH balance but do help you feel nicer.

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