leukorrhea leu·kor·rhe·a or leu·cor·rhe·a (lōō'kə-rē'ə)
A thick, whitish discharge from the vagina or cervical canal. Also called leukorrhagia.
abnormal flow of a whitish or yellowish discharge from the vagina of the female. Such discharges may originate from the vagina, ovaries, fallopian tubes, or, most commonly, the cervix. The discharge may be caused by gonorrhea or some other infection of these structures. Nongonorrheal infection of the cervix is a frequent cause of leukorrhea and is indeed one of the most common gynecological disorders. The infection has a tendency to irritate the mucus glands of the cervix and cause them to secrete an excess of mucus mixed with pus. The vagina and vulva of adult women are frequently infected by Trichomonas vaginalis (a protozoan parasite) and by various fungi, which may give rise to an irritating discharge that is often quite resistant to treatment. A tampon, diaphragm, or other foreign object left too long in the vagina can also cause the discharge. Douching may provide temporary relief from a discharge and its associated pain and itching, but a clinical examination to determine the cause of the discharge is the recommended course of action. See also cervicitis; vulvitis.
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