Vaginal discharge

 

What is vaginal discharge?

All women have vaginal discharge to some extent and it is absolutely normal.

The vaginal walls, uterine and cervix contain glands that produce a small amount of fluid that helps to keep the vagina clean. Normal vaginal discharge is typically clear or milky white in colour and does not have an unpleasant odour.

The amount and type of vaginal discharge varies between women such that no two people will have the same experience.

A change in vaginal discharge, either from abnormal colour, consistency, or smell  with or  without other symptoms such as irritation, pain during urination or itch could be a sign of an  infection.

A small amount of vaginal discharge is a reflection of the body’s normal cleansing process.  You will usually start noticing vaginal discharge when you reach adolescence/puberty.

What is normal vaginal discharge?

Normal vaginal discharge is usually clear or milky white in colour and odourless. The amount and consistency of normal vaginal discharge can vary individually and also depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle.

ovulation2

 

midcyclebleeding1

Usually during Day 14-16 (mid cycle) of your menstrual cycle, you may notice profuse, egg white consistency discharge which is associated with ovulation. More often, this can be accompanied with a slight tinged of blood (mid cycle bleeding). The good news is that this is a sign of fertility and would increase your chances of pregnancy if you have sex during this period.

What is abnormal vaginal discharge?

Abnormal vaginal discharge is when there is a change in your ‘normal’ vaginal discharge, ranging from a change in colour, consistency or smell.

This would usually signal the presence of an infection which could include:

Candida (Yeast/vaginal thrush)

Bacterial vaginosis

Trichomoniasis

Chlamydia

Gonorrhoea

Remember, infections like trichomoniasis, Chlamydia and gonorrhoea are considered sexually transmitted infections, while infections such as candidiasis and bacterial vaginosis are not considered sexually transmitted.

If you have noticed a change in your vaginal discharge or worried that it isn’t normal, see your doctor for further advice. If needed, swab tests can be performed to confirm the presence of any infection. Last but certainly not least, the majority of these infections are easily treatable.

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Related Topics:

Vaginal Bleeding in Early Pregnancy

Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding

Trying to Conceive – A ladies’ quick guide to preconception preparation

Sex during Menstruation – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Sex During Pregnancy – How safe is it?

Missed periods – A sign of fertility as well as infertility

Bleeding After Sex – When to worry


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123 Comments

  1. Hi doc. Please help me. I have a brown and black vaginal discharge and it’s not yet my menstrual period. It’s been two days now. I never had an intercourse with someone but I always do masturbation using my hands at least once to twice a week. Does it cause infection? What does black discharge mean?

    • Brown and black discharge usually means changed blood. So blood that is not fresh. This could be coming from your uterus or cervix. You should see a doctor to see where the bleeding is coming from.

      • xesislyf

        Thank you for your reply Doc. Luckily, the dark discharge I had just lasted for 6 days and I think everything is okay now. But I have one last questions Doc, is it okay to masturbate? Or does it cause infection? Should I stop it?

        • It is perfectly normal and healthy to masturbate. You cannot infect yourself. If you are using an object or sex toy, please make sure you clean it properly before use. Preferably, sex toys are exclusive and you do not share it with anyone else. Because it is possible to get an infection if you do.

  2. I’m 15 and me and my boyfriend had sex when I got home I noticed stretchy jelly like clear discharge with a little blood we’ve had sex before but I’ve never had this I’m a little sore which i thought was fairly normal but I’m not sure about the discharge i took his virginity and know I’m clean so it’s not an sti could it be because it was rougher this time than before?

  3. I have a brown discharge no smeel but in every morning bad smell

  4. Harley Penatzer

    I am sexually active but haven’t had alot of partners I am experiencing a brownish bloody kinda discharge and on occasion when I pee I smell dirty socks. I’m also experiencing pain in my lower back. I went to the emergency room about a month ago and they told me I had a UTI which I took antibiotics for. Is it possible that the discharge and smell come from a UTI that’s returned?

  5. Hello,

    So, I’ve been having vaginal discharges that are slightly yellow and white, is that normal. And I’m also sexually active, but me and my girlfriend never had sex with anyone else except ourselves. Is this normal? And is it bad of if my girlfriend tasted it?

  6. Hello doctor, I am 10 days late from my period I would like to know if this is normal( not pregent of course)

    • That is such a strange question. Do you think it is normal? The most common cause of a delayed period is pregnancy. Although there can be many other causes such as stress, medical diseases, hormonal imbalance etc. You can always do a home pregnancy test to find out if you are pregnant or not.

  7. edith

    Hi Doctor, so I recently had sex but the guy was a virgin. The day after my vagina felt kind of swollen and uncomfortable, the swelling has went down but I do have discharge that is clear or sometimes is slightly yellow, my vagina is not itchy but it does get irrated at time, what could it be?

    • drtan

      Yellow discharge could mean an infection. You should see your doctor to get some swab tests done to see what your problem is.

  8. I don’t have any issue with my discharge. But I have severe itching not on my vaginal but on the pubic hair area. I would like to check where should I go to seek for treatment. Thank you.

  9. I have a very itchy vagina and vaginal lips.It has been more than 2 weeks.I tried all natural remedy even took medicine for worms thinking that it is pin worms in vagina.I am in my 5th day of my period. Still having itching. It is worst at night.i dont have tendancy to itch when i am out.But at home always itchy. I am 29 years old and living with partner with kid.

  10. Hi, I’ve been having fishy kind of odour from my discharge. My discharge is in white liquid kind and sometimes yellowish in colour whevenevr I wore a pantyliner.. it doesn’t itch nor feel pain at all and it has been a month.. what could be the cause of it?

  11. I am 9w4d pregnant and have had brown discharge off and on for the past 5 weeks. I also have a subchorionic hemorrhage that was measured at 1.5cm at my last prenatal appointment two weeks ago. This morning I had a huge chunk of brown discharge come out when I wiped. I have no cramping and have had no bright red spotting or bleeding. What could this be?
    I’ve only been with one man, my husband, but still have no std’s and no sign of infection. Could this be the SCH?

    • Hi, bleeding in pregnancy could be due to a lot of reasons including SCH. As you are pregnant, you should let your gynae know about this as soon as possible for further follow up and management of your bleeding and symptoms as the priority at this point is your pregnancy.

  12. Hello,

    I’ve been having strange vaginal discharge that’s yellowish, and kind of thick, but it doesn’t have any foul oder. I take birth control, I am sexually active. What could this be? Again theres no weird smell associated with stds or anything else

    • Hi, if your vaginal discharge is different from what you normally experience, it could be a sign of infection. Not all infection are caused by STDs. Sometimes, birth control can also alter your vaginal discharge. The only way to tell if the vaginal discharge is normal or not is to get tested to make sure there is no underlying infection. You should see a doctor or feel free to visit us if your symptoms persist.

      • Hi could you help? 6 days before my period was due i was light bleeding.. it went from brown rusty colour to dark to light but was only bleeding for 2 days.. i am now 1 day late from my period. i have been getting some clear / white discharge. me and my partner are sexually active. could i be pregnant? if so when should i take a test?

        • Yes you could. You should do a pregnancy test if you period is late for 2 weeks.

  13. Hi Dr, I went for a checkup and found out that I have vaginal yeast infection. Would I pass it to my boyfriend? We would always use a condom but is there a risk? What would be the symptoms if he has it?

    • Dr Elaine Loh

      Vaginal candidiasis is not considered an STD but can still be sexually transmitted. We all know condoms all never 100%. He may have itch or swelling if he gets infected.

      • Hi doc is whitish to slight yellowish vaginal discharge normal after inserting Gyno-Travogen for yeast infection? It’s quite a large amount.

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