What is vaginal discharge?

Vaginal discharge is a fluid produced by glands in the cervix and vagina. It has important functions like keeping the vagina clean and wet, stopping infections, and helping with fertility.

What is considered normal vaginal discharge?

Knowing what's normal for vaginal discharge is important for women's health. Normal discharge helps keep the vagina clean and healthy. Let's look at what to expect from normal vaginal discharge:

  • It's usually clear or white.
  • It might have a slight smell, but it shouldn't be strong.
  • It can vary in thickness, from thin to thick.
  • It helps keep the vagina moist and prevents infections.
What does the colour of vaginal discharge mean?

The colour of vaginal discharge can tell us a lot about our reproductive health. Let's break down what different colours might mean:

  • Clear or White:

This is usually normal and means everything is healthy down there.

  • Yellow or Green:

These colours could mean an infection, like bacterial vaginosis or an STI.

  • Grey

Grey discharge might mean bacterial vaginosis, which is a common infection.

  • Pink or Red:

If you see pink or red, especially with bleeding, it could be from irritation, hormones, or even early pregnancy.                  

  • Brown: 

Brown discharge is usually okay, especially at the start or end of your period. But it could also be old blood mixing with discharge or a sign of irregular bleeding.

If my vaginal discharge changes, do I have an infection?

Not always. Sometimes, changes in vaginal discharge can happen for different reasons. It could be due to hormones, sex, or even the medicine you're taking. But if you're worried or notice other strange things like itching or a bad smell, it's a good idea to see a doctor. They can figure out if it's an infection or something else and help you feel better.

What infections cause vaginal discharge to change?

Different infections can mess with your vaginal discharge, signalling a potential problem with your vaginal health. Let's break down these infections:

1. Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)\

Happens when bad bacteria outnumber the good ones, leading to a thin, greyish-white discharge with a strong, fishy smell.

2. Yeast Infections

Caused by too much yeast, they make your discharge thick, white, and chunky, often with itching and burning.

3. Trichomoniasis

This STI brings on a frothy, yellow-green discharge with a bad smell, along with itching and irritation.

4. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

STIs like gonorrhoea and chlamydia can mess with your discharge. Gonorrhea may make it yellow or green, while chlamydia can cause abnormal discharge along with pelvic pain and pain when peeing.

5. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

An infection of the reproductive organs, often from untreated STIs, can change your discharge and cause pelvic pain and fever.

Why do I have vaginal discharge every day?

It's normal to have vaginal discharge every day because your vagina cleans itself naturally. The discharge helps flush out bacteria and dead cells, keeping you healthy. Hormonal changes, arousal, ovulation, and stress can all affect how much discharge you have. But if it changes colour, or texture, or smells bad, or if you feel itchy or uncomfortable, it's best to see a doctor to make sure everything's okay.

Why does my vaginal discharge smell?

Sometimes, vaginal discharge can have a smell, which is usually normal. It can change because of things like hormones, diet, or sex. But if the smell is strong, fishy, or bad, it could mean there's an infection like bacterial vaginosis or a sexually transmitted infection. It's best to see a doctor if you notice a strong smell. Keeping clean, wearing breathable underwear, and avoiding scented products can help keep things fresh down there.

Knowing what's normal and abnormal when it comes to vaginal discharge is super important for keeping your vagina healthy. By understanding what's okay and what's not, you can catch problems early and get help if you need it. This way, you can take charge of your reproductive health and stay well.