5 Things to Know About Your Vaginal Discharge

Oct 12, 2011
Not many women are willing to talk about their vaginal discharge, although this is an important sign of woman's health. Is it normal to have vaginal discharge? What color and consistency should vaginal discharge look like? What can be a sign of infection? These questions are among most vital to women of all ages.

1. Vaginal discharge is normal

Having vaginal discharge is completely normal, unless it has unusual color and consistency. The glands inside the vagina and the cervix produce fluid that eliminates dead cells and bacteria, which is why vagina is self-cleaning and does not require douching or other cleaning methods. The amount of vaginal discharge can vary among different women, throughout your menstrual cycle, during breastfeeding and sexual arousal.

2. You can predict the best time for conception based on your discharge

The vaginal discharge will be different during various phases of your menstrual cycle, which is affected by hormones. Women, who are trying to get pregnant, may need to monitor changes in their cervical mucus to predict the time when they are most fertile. Usually, during the days following right after your periods you can notice little or no mucus. Then mucus becomes thick and as you are approaching ovulation, it becomes thin, clear and abundant, resembling egg white. During this time you are most likely to become pregnant. After that mucus becomes think and sticky again or you may notice no mucus.

3. Female ejaculation is not urine

Many women, who suddenly discover that they "ejaculate" during orgasm, may feel embarrassed or confused. The "female ejaculation" phenomenon was revealed not so long ago. Though not all women produce fluid during orgasm, scientists that studied the ejaculate found that there is nothing to be embarrassed about. The fluid is not urine. Usually, this fluid is clear, odorless, contains sugars and is alkaline by nature. Scientists think that fluid is secreted by Skene's glands that are found in female urethra.

4. The unusual color and consistency of discharge may indicate infection

The unusual discharge can be a sign of infection or other condition. Usually the discharge will change its color, smell or consistency or there will be other signs of infection, such as itching, burning and other discomfort. Thick, white and cottage-cheese like discharge is usually a sign of yeast infection. Yellowish, white and gray discharge with fishy odor may indicate bacterial vaginosis. Yellowish or greenish discharge with unpleasant smell may tell about trichomoniasis, while cloudy or yellow discharge may be a sign of gonorrhea.

5. Overuse of female hygienic products can do more harm than good

Keeping you vaginal area clean is important, but many women seem to overdo with female hygiene. Basically, vagina is a self-cleaning organ and all you need is to wash labia with gentle soap and keep this area dry. You don't need douching, scented soaps, feminine sprays, bubble baths and other things to keep it clean. The use of these hygiene products may only upset the balance of healthy bacteria in your vagina.