5 Types Of Vaginal Discharge: What Is Normal and What Isn’t

5 Types Of Vaginal Discharge: What Is Normal and What Isn’t

A vaginal discharge may not always be a cause of concern every time since it is the vagina’s way of pushing old cells out of the body. However, at times the type and colour of vaginal discharge can be an indicator of an infection in the vagina. Therefore it is important to understand this vaginal discharge that all women experience.

What Is Vaginal Discharge?

Vaginal discharge is a fluid type or semi-solid kind of substance that comes out of a woman’s vagina.

Some facts about vaginal discharge:

  • A woman can experience vaginal discharge at any time. At times it becomes more frequent, such as before periods and during pregnancy- since the body undergoes various changes.
  • During ovulation, most women experience a thick sticky discharge which is actually the ova. However, thickness, color and odor of the discharge change according to the phase your monthly cycle is in. The discharge is mostly thick when you’re ovulating or when you’re excited sexually!
  • When a lady is pregnant, it is likely that she would leak, spot and even show. Apart from being embarrassed, a watery discharge that doesn’t have any blood should not cause any concern.
  • During pregnancy, your vaginal discharge is affected by a variety of factors such as medication, sexual intercourse, douching, sex toys, spermicide use, hormonal imbalances and infections.
  • One needs to keep an eye out for the kind of vaginal discharge happening, during pregnancy because it becomes a crucial indicator of the mom and baby’s health.
  • Most women experience some kind of a watery discharge during pregnancy, which is absolutely normal. It might differ in color, consistency and smell for different women.

Also Read: 11 Food Items to avoid during Pregnancy

What is considered “normal” vaginal discharge?

#1. Color and consistency

During the beginning of your period cycle, vaginal discharge can be dry and sticky. Soon after, it becomes creamy and whitish and just before ovulation, it becomes stretchy, wet and transparent.

#2. Volume

Many women notice that their vaginal discharge increases during the first phase of menstrual cycle. The most discharge happens just days before ovulation. The discharge volume then decreases after ovulation.

#3. Smell

Normal vaginal discharge is usually odorless but it can also have a smell that is not foul. If you familiarize yourself with your typical smell, you’ll have no problem identifying if something is wrong.

Note: Use of hormonal birth control pills or other kind of contraception or pregnancy will influence your typical vaginal discharge.

There are many different types of vaginal discharge that a woman can experience. Let’s take a look at each of them:

5 Types of Vaginal Discharge and what they mean

#1. Off-white or White

Mostly a thin and odorless discharge is called leukorrhea. Leukorrhea happens for many reasons. Below are some reasons:

  • High levels of estrogen.
  • Excessive amount of mucus created by the cervix.
  • Increased blood flow to the walls of the vagina.

Note: While this can be annoying, nearly all pregnant women experience it so it’s not a cause of worry.

Also read: 5 Questions About Your Vagina You Were Too Embarrassed To Ask

#2. Clumpy and White or Off-white

If a woman experiences thick and clumpy discharge, it is probably due to a yeast infection. Although there is no need to hit the panic button yet, it definitely needs medical intervention. Talk to your doctor if you feel any burning or itching. Your doctor will prescribe a safe course of antibiotics to treat the problem.

#3. Green and Yellow

Visit a doctor immediately if you experience green and yellow discharge which has a strong and unpleasant odor along with burning and itching. These are signs of vaginal infections like bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis. Both can be treated with an oral prescription, so take the medication regularly and don’t worry too much.

#4. Red and Brown

This kind of discharge is always a reason to call your doctor. A bloody vaginal discharge is not considered as normal during pregnancy and should be reported to your doctor immediately. During pregnancy, it is a big reason to worry as it can indicate a miscarriage or some other complication or infection.

Also Read: What could bleeding mean in pregnancy? Should I visit to the doctor?

#5. Clear and Watery or Light Yellow

A light yellow or clear and watery liquid could be a safe discharge or simply leaked urine. As your pregnancy progress, the baby puts additional pressure on your bladder, because of which such accidents become more common. This doesn’t really need medical intervention unless the discharge is foul smelling.

It is a very common symptom for women to experience involuntary loss of urine during pregnancy. This becomes more common during later stages when the growing belly and the uterus apply more pressure on the bladder.

How Mucus Plug is different from Vaginal Discharge:

During pregnancy, the mucus plug ensures that the baby remains cocooned in the amniotic fluid inside the uterus. When the time for labor approaches, this mucus plug falls off.

A large amount of translucent liquid discharge is experienced by pregnant women and it indicates that the woman is approaching labor. When a woman goes into labor, dilation process begins and the amniotic fluid, along with some vaginal discharge can leak out.

Some women might not get too much liquid and some may get a darker colour fluid. This usually happens towards the end of the pregnancy.

If you experience any of the above discharges, with pain in the abdomen or the vagina, consult your medical practitioner immediately.

Also Read: 8 Things to Consider while Choosing the Right Gynecologist for You

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