While vaginal discharge might not be a comfortable topic of discussion for some people, it is a very important and healthy one. Some people feel quite nervous even when discussing with the closest of friends, but it is good to know that vaginal discharge is normal and every female has it, and is certainly not something to be ashamed of.
Vaginal discharge is basically a mix of vaginal secretions and cervical mucus, all designed to keep the vagina healthy. This can look and feel different for different women, and it’s completely normal.
There are certain forms of discharge that are not normal, and can be a sign
of physiological changes or infection. Normal vaginal discharge serves the purpose of cleaning and moisturizing the vagina as well as helping to fight infections.
For better understanding, a “normal and healthy discharge” is something that a woman is expected to have every day. While it is a clear or whitish discharge that doesn’t come with a foul odor, it could be stringy, watery, or thin depending on that time of the month. The volume of a normal discharge also might vary, as it might be a little every day, a lot on some days or nothing at all on other days.
Therefore, the definition of “normal” is wide in scope, so all a woman needs to do is to know what is normal for her own body.
- White and thick vaginal discharge: This is normal when the menstrual period starts and ends.
As established, vaginal discharge is a secretion from vaginal walls and is usually a combination of dead cells, bacteria, and water. The volume often varies with hormonal changes, so if your vaginal discharge is more of clear than white, it is possible you notice that it’s thicker or whiter around the beginning and end of your menstrual period.
- Watery and clear: This is normal at certain times.
Although it is advised that you report to your gynaecologist if there are any dramatic changes in vaginal discharge, having fluctuations in the whiteness or thickness of your vaginal discharge is normal. It thickens before and after menstruation, meaning it also gets clear and watery at other times of the month. A watery and clear discharge is also normal immediately after a heavy exercise.
- Brown discharge: This is normal if it’s immediately after your period.
It’s easy to understand why a vaginal discharge is “red” during your period, or when periodic pink or red spots appear. Interestingly, blood also causes a brown vaginal discharge. It is your body mopping out old, dried blood after your period.
Abnormal vaginal discharge
- Thicker and itchy: As soon as it is itchy, it’s abnormal. It’s a sign of yeast infection if your vaginal discharge is either thicker with some uncomfortable or serious itching.
- Green or yellow: While menstruating, ovulating, or pregnant, vaginal discharge could be red or brown due to blood and tissue but there’s no reason for vaginal discharge to be green or yellow. If this happens, it means your body is fighting an infection and you should see a gynaecologist immediately.
Knowing the state of your bodily fluids is very important for your overall health so you can spot the changes as they occur which makes it easier to treat and prevent complications.
This article is written to be informative and does not substitute seeking a professional consultation from a medical professional.