Vaginal Discharge

Vaginal Discharge
Vaginal discharge is normal and varies during your menstrual cycle. It refers to secretions from the vagina. Before ovulation (the release of the egg), there is a lot of mucous produced, up to 30 times more than after ovulation. It is also more watery and elastic during that phase of your cycle.

The discharge may be:

  • Thick, pasty, or thin
  • Clear, cloudy, bloody, white, yellow, or green
  • Odourless or have a bad odour

The things to be worried about include if the discharge has a yellow or green color, is clumpy like cottage cheese, or has a bad odour. If you are worried, see a doctor.

Causes

Glands in the cervix and the walls of the vagina normally produce clear mucus. This is very common among women of childbearing age.

  • These secretions may turn white or yellow when exposed to the air.
  • The amount of mucus produced varies during the menstrual cycle. This happens due to the change in hormone levels in the body.

The following factors can increase the amount of normal vaginal discharge:

  • Ovulation (the release of an egg from your ovary in the middle of menstrual cycle)
  • Pregnancy
  • Sexual excitement

Different types of infections may cause itching or an abnormal discharge in the vagina. Abnormal discharge means abnormal color (brown, green), and odor. It is associated with itching or irritation.

These include:

  • Infections spread during sexual contact. These include chlamydia, gonorrhea (GC), and trichomoniasis.
  • Vaginal yeast infection caused by a fungus.
  • Normal bacteria that live in the vagina overgrow and cause a gray discharge and fishy odor. This is called bacterial vaginosis (BV). BV is not spread through sexual contact.

Less common causes include:

  • Cancer of the vulva, cervix, vagina, uterus, or fallopian tubes
  • Skin conditions, such as desquamative vaginitis and lichen planus