Smelly discharge in women can sometimes be a cause for concern and this is largely dependent on the other symptoms which accompany it. Normal women have varying levels of vaginal discharge and mostly, it is no cause for concern whatsoever. Normal discharge ranges from clear-white in color and will have either no smell at all, or perhaps a slightly musky odor which is inoffensive. The color and consistency will vary depending on what stage of the monthly cycle a woman is at and, to a certain extent, their age.
If you have a clumpy white discharge which is similar in consistency to cottage cheese, this could indicate a yeast infection such as Thrush. Sometimes this is accompanied by an unpleasant smelly discharge in women, but it is not always very noticeable. Thrush can sometimes be difficult to eliminate and although it rarely leads to other problems, it can be extremely irritating and painful, with your vaginal area feeling tender, with a hot, burning sensation. You will certainly want to take steps to do something about it!
The most common cause of smelly discharge in women is bacterial vaginosis. This condition will affect around three quarters of women during their adult lives, whether sexually active or not. Although isolated outbreaks are not dangerous, women who have recurrent bacterial vaginosis are more likely to get pelvic inflammatory disease which can lead to infertility. In addition, women who regularly suffer are also more likely to contract the HIV virus if they are intimate with an infected partner.
Bacterial vaginosis causes an offensive smelly discharge in women which many describe as being "fishy". The discharge is gray or white in color and sometimes watery in consistency. More often than not, women will also experience itching and burning around the sensitive vaginal tissues.
If you suffer from recurrent outbreaks of any type of smelly discharge, then you will no doubt want to take steps to get rid of it, not only for the embarrassment factor but also because it could lead to complications, particularly in the case of BV.