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White Discharge: What It Means in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Vaginal discharge is a perfectly normal function of a healthy reproductive system. However, when women experience a thick white discharge, a creamy white discharge, or other changes to the colour and smell of vaginal discharge, this is an indication of an imbalance and must be further examined. If you are experiencing abnormal vaginal discharge and would like to know more about how Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can help, read on.

What Does Healthy Vaginal Discharge Look Like?

Since most vaginal discharge is both normal and healthy, it is important to understand what abnormal vaginal discharge is and when it should be a cause for concerned.

Normal vaginal discharge is odourless, colourless, and of little volume. Ovulation is the cause of a little rise in volume and thickness in the middle of your menstrual cycle. It’s typical to see more discharge in the days leading up to your period’s arrival and when you’re pregnant.

In Chinese Medicine, the presence of healthy vaginal discharge is linked to the proper functioning of the Kidney and Spleen. 


Abnormal Vaginal Discharge: When to Be Concerned

Changes in the smell, colour, texture, and volume of vaginal discharge can be influenced by factors such as dampness, heat, and deficiencies in these organs. These changes may occur gradually and become more noticeable over time.

Unusual discharge is defined as having a colour (white, yellow, green, brown, or red), being thick (like egg white), having a strong odour (fishy, unpleasant), and excessive discharge. 

Abnormal Vaginal Discharge According to TCM

If the kidneys and spleen are functioning normally, vaginal discharge fluids will be created and stored by the kidneys. Governed by the directing vessel and the girdle vessel, fluids are then transformed and transported by the spleen.

According to TCM, the cause of abnormal discharge may be related to one of the Six Excesses. This means that the presence of wind, coldness, dampness, heat, dryness, and fire are leading to an imbalance that needs to be corrected. Specifically, it is an indication that the kidneys and spleen may not be functioning properly. 

If there is any kind of spleen deficiency present, the spleen will not be able to properly move fluids and nutrients throughout the body which will lead to dampness, heat, and the accumulation of phlegm. As the channels of the spleen run through the pelvis, any deficiency in the spleen may result in menstrual irregularities.

Before a TCM practitioner can help to restore balance and overall reproductive health, it is important to understand the cause of the deficiencies in the spleen or kidneys that are leading to phlegm and dampness. These may include:

  • A poor diet: Eating cold foods such as raw vegetables, citrus, or anything chilled will also lead to dampness. Some fatty foods, such as nuts, as well as diary are best avoided. Instead, stick with cooked vegetables and warm foods while avoiding cold drinks and limiting alcohol intake.


  • Excessive Physical or Mental Stress : Excessive physical work such as exercises, lifting and workout can weaken the spleen and lead to dampness. Although gentle exercise is always encouraged,  go easy on yourself when you working out during your period and when you are feeling tired. If you work long hours without enough rest or sleep as a result of your stressful, fast-paced life, this spells bad news for your spleen as well.

Abnormal Vaginal  Discharge Solution

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), abnormal vaginal discharge is often viewed as a sign of dampness and heat accumulation in the body, which can affect the function of the Spleen and Kidneys. In Chinese medicine, the solution involves addressing the root cause than just symptoms. In this case, TCM experts will aim to eliminate dampness, excess heat and balance Spleen and Kidneys. 

Chinese medicinal herbs are effective in alleviating dampness and providing needed nourishment to the spleen Qi. These may be used in conjunction with acupuncture which has a long history of use for the purpose of removing dampness.



Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical practice that involves the insertion of fine needles into specific points on the body to stimulate and balance the flow of Qi (vital energy). Acupuncture can help to restore balance to the body’s organs, improve the function of the spleen and kidneys, and clear dampness and heat from the body.

Acupuncture can help to improve the function of the spleen, which is responsible for transforming and transporting fluids in the body. By stimulating certain points on the body , acupuncture can help to increase blood flow to the reproductive organs, regulate hormone levels, and reduce inflammation in the body.

Acupuncture can also help to reduce stress and improve sleep, which can be beneficial for overall health and well-being. Stress and lack of sleep can weaken the immune system, making the body more susceptible to infections and illness, including abnormal vaginal discharge.


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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our consultation page where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.

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