Vaginal Discharge

Vaginal Discharge - What woman needs to know.

Vaginal discharge is secretions from the vagina and cervix. It is a natural way for the body to prevent bacteria from entering the vaginal tract and also to get rid of old cells. It can vary in amount, colour and consistency depending on the time of the month and menstrual cycle.

It is important for women to be aware of what is normal and what is not so they can looking out for signs of infection, such as changes in colour, odour and consistency.

Normal Vaginal Discharge

Clear vaginal discharge is normal, and it helps keep the vagina clean. Normal vaginal discharge is usually clear or a milky white colour. It doesn’t have a strong smell, and should have the same consistency throughout the menstrual cycle.

It may increase slightly during ovulation, due to hormones. It may also increase around the time of your period, when it may look and feel thicker, or stretchy.

What Causes Abnormal Discharge?

Abnormal discharge can be caused by infections, such as thrush, or bacterial vaginosis. It may also be a sign of another condition, such as chlamydia, or a sexually transmitted infection.

Other factors which can affect the type of discharge you experience are:

  • Friction or irritation to the vagina
  • Changes in hormones
  • Infections
  • Unusual reaction to contraception or certain medicines
  • An allergy to certain products used in the vagina
  • Menopause

If you experience abnormal discharge, it is important that you get it checked out by a doctor or nurse who can diagnose any underlying causes, and help you manage any infections.