What is vaginal discharge?
All women have vaginal discharge to some extent and it is absolutely normal.
The vaginal walls, uterine and cervix contain glands that produce a small amount of fluid that helps to keep the vagina clean. Normal vaginal discharge is typically clear or milky white in colour and does not have an unpleasant odour.
The amount and type of vaginal discharge varies between women such that no two people will have the same experience.
A change in vaginal discharge, either from abnormal colour, consistency, or smell with or without other symptoms such as irritation, pain during urination or itch could be a sign of an infection.
A small amount of vaginal discharge is a reflection of the body’s normal cleansing process. You will usually start noticing vaginal discharge when you reach adolescence/puberty.
What is normal vaginal discharge?
Normal vaginal discharge is usually clear or milky white in colour and odourless. The amount and consistency of normal vaginal discharge can vary individually and also depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle.
Usually during Day 14-16 (mid cycle) of your menstrual cycle, you may notice profuse, egg white consistency discharge which is associated with ovulation. More often, this can be accompanied with a slight tinged of blood (mid cycle bleeding). The good news is that this is a sign of fertility and would increase your chances of pregnancy if you have sex during this period.
What is abnormal vaginal discharge?
Abnormal vaginal discharge is when there is a change in your ‘normal’ vaginal discharge, ranging from a change in colour, consistency or smell.
This would usually signal the presence of an infection which could include:
Remember, infections like trichomoniasis, Chlamydia and gonorrhoea are considered sexually transmitted infections, while infections such as candidiasis and bacterial vaginosis are not considered sexually transmitted.
If you have noticed a change in your vaginal discharge or worried that it isn’t normal, see your doctor for further advice. If needed, swab tests can be performed to confirm the presence of any infection. Last but certainly not least, the majority of these infections are easily treatable.Click here for our full range of Women’s Health Services
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