Vaginal discharge can be harmless or deserving of therapy. Experts explain how to make the correct diagnosis and determine appropriate treatment. Most women find changes in vaginal discharge distressing.
Clue is on a mission to help you understand your body, periods, ovulation, and so much more. Start tracking today. Vaginal discharge is normal, and will vary throughout your menstrual cycle.
Vaginal discharge is fluid that comes from the vagina. You might see this on the toilet paper when you wipe, or in your underwear. Normal vaginal discharge has several purposes: cleaning and moistening the vagina, and helping to prevent and fight infections.
Glands inside your vagina and cervix make small amounts of fluid. This fluid flows out of the vagina each day, carrying out old cells that have lined the vagina. Vaginal discharge is completely normal.
Do you know the difference between normal vaginal discharge and abnormal vaginal discharge? Having vaginal discharge is a natural part of being a woman, but sometimes changes in it can signal a problem. The basic function of your vagina is to provide a route from the outside of your vagina to your uterus and the rest of your internal reproductive system.
A discharge from the vagina may occur normally or may result from inflammation of the vagina vaginitiswhich may be due to an infection. The genital area vulva —the area around the opening of the vagina—may also be inflamed. Depending on the cause of the discharge, other symptoms are often also present.
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. Discharge may have a slight odor as well, although a foul, fishy odor is a sign of an infection.