What is Normal Vaginal Discharge?

Vaginal discharge is a fluid that is produced by glands in the vaginal wall and the cervix. This fluid drains from the opening of the vagina.

Vaginal discharge with blood and a foul odor may be among the symptoms of disorders such as bacterial vaginosis, yeast vaginitis, and vaginitis. However, it is important to note that vaginal discharge plays a vital role in keeping the vagina clean and lubricated.

Symptoms of vaginal discharge

As mentioned, vaginal discharge is a normal occurrence to a woman’s body. Aside from the normal cycle of a woman’s vagina where it has to secrete fluids to cleanse and lubricate itself, pregnancy, emotional stress, sexual excitement, breastfeeding, ovulation, high blood glucose, and OTC medicines may also be the cause of a normal vaginal discharge.

However, a correlation between vaginal discharge and a serious vaginal infection may be concluded if there is itching and discomfort in the vagina, or if the discharge has some presence of blood in it.

Here are some ways to determine if your vaginal discharge is normal or not:

Normal:

Color – Clear or whitish discharge (may be yellowish when dried)

Scent – Mild scent or none at all

Texture – Can vary from paste like and somewhat sticky to clear and stretchy, depending on where you are in your cycle and whether you are aroused

Volume – Can vary from very little to quite a lot

Cause for concern:

Color – Yellow or greenish discharge, or discharge that suddenly changes color

Scent – A strong, foul, sometimes "fishy" odor.

Texture  – Clumpy or lumpy discharge, with cottage cheese like texture

Volume – Sudden changes in volume, particularly if other symptoms are present

How to prevent vaginal discharge?

If you already have a vaginal infection, make sure you heed your doctor’s advice regarding the proper drug maintenance and sanitation to treat your infection. As a precautionary measure, though, the following tips may be followed:

Use cotton underwear because cotton allows the genital area to have some room to breathe.

Avoid the use of petroleum jelly for vaginal lubrication because this may cause the bacteria to grow easily.

Do not use tight-fitting clothing where the genital area will be discomfited.

Always use condoms during intercourse.

Always wipe from front to back when you urinate, not the other way around.