Vaginal discharge is a natural and essential part of a woman’s reproductive system. Though it can feel messy or uncomfortable at times, it plays a crucial role in cleaning and lubricating the vagina. But what happens when you notice a sudden change in your vaginal discharge? Let’s explore the clear signs that something could be amiss and what you can do to get vaginal discharge under control.
Vaginal discharge is a normal part of your body’s natural cleansing process. However, it can be a sign of an infection or other health problem if it changes color or amount.
- Normal: Normal vaginal discharge is most often clear or white. It may appear cloudy, yellowish, or greenish when mixed with other vaginal secretions.
- Abnormal: If your discharge is greenish or dark yellow, it may be a sign of bacterial vaginosis (BV), which is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina. It’s not uncommon for women to experience BV after they have sex with a new partner.
It’s normal for discharge to be thicker at certain times during your menstrual cycle, according to Dr Scott Kamelle. However, if it becomes lumpy and white, similar to cottage cheese, this might be a sign of a yeast infection. A yeast infection is caused by a fungus that travels from your mouth to your vagina.
You can get it if you use douches or feminine hygiene products, have sex with someone who has an active yeast infection, or wear tight-fitting underwear and pants. If you think you might have a yeast infection, see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
The most obvious way to tell if your vaginal discharge is normal or abnormal is by the smell. Normal discharge may have a slight odor, but it shouldn’t smell fishy or like ammonia, says Dr Scott Kamelle. If your discharge smells bad, it could indicate an infection or other health issue.
If you notice any changes in the color or consistency of your discharge, it could be a sign that something is wrong. Normal vaginal secretions are clear or milky white and usually don’t contain blood. If you find blood in your discharge, it could mean that you have an infection or gynecological disorder.
If you notice an increase in the amount of discharge, it could be a sign of a bacterial or yeast infection. A healthy vagina produces one to two tablespoons of clear or white fluid each day. If your discharge is yellow or greenish in color, it could be an indicator of trichomoniasis, which can be transmitted through sexual contact.
If your discharge is foul-smelling and accompanied by itching, burning or pain, it could be due to bacterial vaginosis (BV). BV is caused by an imbalance in the normal vaginal flora (the microorganisms that live in your vagina) and is most common among women who are sexually active but not pregnant.
Remember, it’s essential to listen to your body and seek medical attention if you notice any signs of abnormality. Your vagina is a critical aspect of your health, and it’s essential to take care of it. Your vaginal discharge can be an important indicator of your health, so it’s important not to ignore it.