Ammonia smelling discharge occurs generally due to two main conditions: bacterial imbalance leading to bacterial vaginosis or concentrated urine. It is not a life threatening condition but needs to be dealt with as soon as possible.
Foul vaginal odor can be a very embarrassing condition. An ammonia smelling discharge can really get us worked up and worried. Vaginal discharge is normal, however, foul smelling vaginal discharge is something to be concerned about. The glands within the vagina and cervix produce small amounts of fluid that flows out of the vaginal opening each day. This fluid carries in it old cells that previously lined the vagina and is the body's own mechanism of keeping the vaginal area healthy and clean. Normally the vaginal discharge is clear or milky, however, its color and viscosity changes with one's monthly menstrual cycle. On ovulation the vaginal discharge becomes thicker, so also when a woman is sexually excited or breastfeeding. The amount of vaginal discharge also varies from one woman to another.
Every woman has a unique vaginal scent. It's something that is natural and is distinctive to each woman. Some studies also say that the natural scent of vaginal discharge is what makes the man feel even more 'turned on' when a woman is the most fertile. Thus, the regular vaginal discharge has a particular odor and this odor is completely normal. However, when there is a change in the smell of the discharge, there could be a problem.
Ammonia smelling discharge does not always imply poor personal hygiene. In fact inadequate washing or cleaning up rarely happens to be the cause of ammonia smelling discharge. During pregnancy a thin, mild smelling, milky vaginal discharge is quite normal and should not be mistaken as abnormal. It is only when the odor changes drastically that it becomes a reason of concern.
Causes of Ammonia Smelling Discharge
This is one of the most common infections plaguing the female reproductive system. Normally, a woman's genital area is supplied with good bacteria that fight off unwanted foreign and potentially dangerous bacteria. If there is any kind of imbalance in the ratio of good and bad bacteria in the vaginal area, be it too much or too little, the condition of bacterial vaginosis is triggered. The bad bacteria take over and convert nitrogen into ammonia compounds, thereby causing the foul ammonia odor. Mostly this condition occurs in women during their child-bearing years.
As a woman enters menopause, the body begins to experience change is several ways. During menopause the ovaries quit producing the hormone estrogen and progesterone. Besides the basic menopausal symptoms of hot flashes, mood swings, urinary leakage, etc. ammonia smelling vaginal discharge is another symptom of menopause. During menopause, women are seen to not take in enough water. This lack of adequate water results in formation of concentrated urine which imparts a highly stronger smell or odor. Oft women mistake the ammonia smelling coming from urine left behind on the panties to be coming from the vaginal discharge.
One's diet can also be one of the factors resulting in ammonia smelling discharge. Food like asparagus are known to cause ammonia smelling discharge. Several food items we consume have arduous oils that end up being secreted in the sweat. Meat eaters consuming a lot of spicy, pungent food are seen to be affected by ammonia smelling discharge. Seafood, eggs, liver and pungent vegetables like onions, garlic, etc. can result in foul odored discharge.
Washing Panties with Bleach
Using bleach while washing one's underwear can impart an ammonia smell. The genital area contains sweat glands that produce sweat. When this sweat combines with the bleach in the underwear, it forms an ammonia kind of smell. Often this smell is mistaken to be coming from the vaginal discharge. Read more on urine odor.
Urinary Tract Infections or invasion of some parasites on the vaginal region can also be reasons for ammonia smelling discharge. Sweating profusely in the groin region and the odor caused by it can also mislead people to thinking the odor is hailing from the vaginal discharge.
Read more on:
Ammonia Smelling Urine in Women
Foul Smelling Urine
Although the condition of ammonia smelling discharge is embarrassing, it is important to consult the doctor regarding the same. When you go to consult the gynecologist do not scent up the area to curb the foul smell. This will hinder the doctor from determining the exact cause of the smell and the intensity of the condition. Just wash and dry the area clean before visiting your doctor.