Vaginal discharge is that liquid-like fluid that is comes out of a vagina due to various reasons. The fluid is made by the cervix/vagina and it comes out for various reasons including lubrication or infections.
Vaginal discharge occurs during the entire menstrual cycle. However, sometimes it becomes more intense or changes in color or smell hence leaving you wondering what could be up.
This article will take you through what vaginal discharge is, what abnormal and normal vaginal discharge are, and most importantly, what each discharge means.
Vaginal discharge can vary in color, consistency, and amount, depending on factors such as a person’s age, menstrual cycle, and overall health. In general, vaginal discharge is clear or white, and it may have a slightly salty or mild odor. If the discharge changes in color, consistency, or odor, or if it is accompanied by other symptoms such as itching or irritation, it may be a sign of an infection or other condition, and it is important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
1. What is a normal Vaginal discharge?
Normal vaginal discharge is clear or white, and it may have a slightly salty or mild odor. The amount of vaginal discharge can vary depending on factors such as a person’s age, menstrual cycle, and overall health.
Usually, during ovulation, the discharge may increase and become thicker and more slippery, and it may be slightly yellow or cloudy.
Be vigilant in mastering your body and any changes in your vaginal discharge. Schedule an immediate appointment with an OB-GYN if you notice any unusual discharges. This can help to ensure that any underlying conditions are diagnosed and treated promptly.
2. What is an abnormal Vaginal discharge?
Abnormal vaginal discharge is any discharge that is different from the normal discharge that one usually has.
This can include changes in color, consistency, or odor, as well as an increase or decrease in the amount of discharge.
Abnormal vaginal discharge may be a sign of an infection or other condition, such as bacterial vaginosis, or yeast infection.
5 different types of vaginal discharge and their meanings
1. Clear and watery.
It is the most common discharge which basically indicates that the body is cleansing itself. We always say that a vagina is self cleaning- that cleaning is what comes out as the clear and watery discharge.
2. White and thick.
White, thick discharge is also normal, and it may be more noticeable at specific times of the menstrual cycle such as the ovulation period.
3. Yellow or green.
The yellow or green discharge could indicate an infection like Syphilis or AIDS.
4. Grey or white, with a strong odor.
Grey or white discharge with a strong, unpleasant odor may be a sign of a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis.
5. Pink or brown.
Pink or brown discharge may be a sign of implantation bleeding, which can occur when a fertilized egg implants itself in the uterus, or it may be a sign of spotting or another vaginal bleeding.
It is important to see a doctor if you notice any unusual discharge coming out of the vagina, as prompt treatment can help to prevent complications and ensure that any underlying conditions are properly treated.
5 Causes of change in vaginal discharge
- Infection: A change in discharge can insinuate an infection like UTI, bacterial vaginosis, or yeast infection.
- Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during the menstrual cycle, can affect the amount and consistency of the discharge.
- Pregnancy: Most women complain about discharge during pregnancy.
- Menopause: After menopause, estrogen levels in the body decrease, which can cause the vagina to become dry and less acidic. Discharge may happen as a result of it.
- Use of certain medications: Some medications, such as antibiotics and hormonal contraceptives, can affect the balance of bacteria in the vagina and cause changes in the discharge.
Vaginal discharge test
A vaginal discharge test is a test that is used to diagnose the cause of the abnormal discharge. The test involves collecting a sample of the discharge and taking it to a laboratory for analysis.
The laboratory will carefully look for the presence of any bacteria, yeast, or virus that may be could be causing the kind of discharge you have.
Once the presence of a yeast, virus or bacteria is established, results will be sent back to the doctor. The doctor will use these results to determine the cause of your discharge. From there, suitable treatment will be administered.
Vaginal discharge syndrome
Vaginal discharge syndrome is a term that is sometimes used to describe abnormal vaginal discharge that is not caused by an infection or other specific condition.
Vaginal discharge syndrome is where there is
- An increase in the amount of discharge.
- Changes in the color or how often you have the discharge.
- Change in the odor of the discharge.
The exact cause of the discharge syndrome is not well understood, but it may be related to hormonal changes, the use of certain medications, or other factors.
Vaginal discharge chart
A vaginal discharge chart is a tool that is used to track and record the characteristics of a person’s vaginal discharge.
The chart typically includes information about the color, consistency, and odor of the discharge, as well as the date and time of the observation.
Some vaginal discharge charts have information about other symptoms, like irritation. The purpose of a discharge chart is to help a person and their doctor to identify any changes or patterns in the discharge that may be related to an infection or other condition.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does a change in vaginal discharge indicate an infection?
A change in your discharge can mean you have an infection. Vaginal infections are common and are brought about by bacteria, viruses, or yeast.
Symptoms of a vaginal infection may include a change in the color, consistency, or odor of the discharge, as well as itching, irritation, or burning in the vagina.
When should I be worried about my discharge?
You should be worried about your vaginal discharge if it is accompanied by other symptoms, such as itching, irritation, or pain, or if it has changed in color, consistency, or odor.
A change in vaginal discharge can sometimes be a sign of an infection or other condition, and it is important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment. It is also important to see a doctor if your discharge is very heavy or has a strong, unpleasant odor, as these may be signs of a more serious condition.
Why is there a change of smell in my vaginal discharge?
A change in the smell of your discharge can be caused by a variety of factors, including infection and the use of certain medications.
Vaginal infections, such as sexually transmitted infections, bacterial vaginosis, and yeast infections, can cause a change in the odor of the discharge, as can the use of certain medications, such as antibiotics. It is important to see a doctor if you notice a change in the smell of your discharge, as prompt treatment can help to prevent complications and ensure that any underlying conditions are properly treated.
Is douching a solution to vaginal discharge?
Douching is not a recommended solution for vaginal discharge. In fact, douching can actually cause harm to the vagina and disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina.
Douching can also mask the symptoms of an infection or other condition, making it more difficult to diagnose and treat the underlying cause. It is important to let your body cleanse itself naturally, and to see a doctor if you are experiencing abnormal discharge, as they can provide a proper diagnosis and treatment.