As women, we all know that vaginal discharge is a fact of life, and we may not even think twice about it. But what is discharge, actually, and how can you tell what is normal, or what may be an indication of a problem? These glands produce small amounts of fluid also known as vaginal secretions.
Burris describes vaginal discharge as fluid released by glands in the vagina and cervix. The fluid carries dead cells and bacteria out of the body, and vaginal discharge helps keep the vagina clean and prevent infection. Burris also says normal vaginal discharge varies in amount and ranges in color from clear to milky, white discharge.
Vaginal discharge refers to secretions from the vagina. The discharge may be:. Itching of the skin of the vagina and the surrounding area vulva may be present along with vaginal discharge.
In order to know whether your discharge is considered normal, there are a few factors to consider. There are many different types of vaginal dischargeand a quick assessment of the amount, color, consistency, phase of menstrual cycle, and smell of your vaginal discharge are all hints to whether you should ride it out or make an appointment with your gynecologist. Discharge with a smell hints to an infection of some sort, which means that if you have yellow discharge without odor, it may be yellow due to factors other than infection.
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Most causes of abnormal vaginal discharge — such as yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis or menopause symptoms — are relatively harmless, but they can be uncomfortable. Abnormal vaginal discharge can also be a symptom of certain sexually transmitted infections STIs. Since these can spread to involve the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes, and can be passed on to sexual partners, detection and treatment of STIs is important.
The amount of vaginal discharge varies throughout your menstrual cycle brown discharge is usually the end of your period and most pregnant women will get a 'pregnancy discharge'. Healthy discharge does not have a strong smell or colour. You may feel an uncomfortable wetness, but you should not have any itching or soreness around your vagina. Any sudden change to your discharge may indicate a vaginal infection.
Normal vaginal discharge is a healthy way for your body to get rid of fluid and old cells — but discharge can also be a sign of something more serious. Clear or white fluid that comes out of the vagina is called vaginal discharge also known as leukorrhea. This discharge contains mucus that is normally produced by glands in the cervix and the walls of the vagina.