What you need to know about vaginal discharge

What you need to know about vaginal discharge

When you talk about discharge, the first reaction you’ll get from most girls is probably, “Eww, that’s so gross.” Or they will try to avoid talking about it altogether. But actually, discharge is perfectly normal!

Discharge is just the fluid produced by glands lining the vagina and cervix. It has a variety of purposes, all aimed at keeping your intimate area healthy.

What’s important for you to know is that there are 2 different types of discharge: normal and abnormal. Let’s learn the difference between them so you’ll know when you are healthy and when you need to consult a doctor.

Normal discharge

Normal discharge is produced by your intimate area to keep itself clean, and acts as a lubricant for physical activities. It also helps maintain an optimal pH level so that your good bacteria can continue doing what it does best: keeping your intimate area healthy and free of infection. Here are some ways you can tell when your discharge is normal:

  • Clear to slightly yellowish in colour
  • Texture can be a bit sticky. However, the texture varies depending on the time of your monthly cycle
  • Doesn’t smell
  • Doesn’t cause pain or itchiness
  • Doesn’t cause discomfort during urination

Abnormal discharge

When your intimate area is not properly taken care of, you’ll get abnormal discharge. This is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong and an infection has probably taken place. If you have some of the symptoms listed below, it’s best to consult a doctor.

  • An abnormal increase in volume
  • Cheesy or curd-like texture
  • Fishy or unpleasant odour
  • Yellow, greenish or brownish in colour
  • Causes pain and itchiness
  • Causes a burning sensation during urination

Did you know:

Itching doesn’t always mean an infection. Tight clothing, ingrown hair and even laundry detergent can also cause itching and irritation. However, you should always protect yourself by wearing panty liners every day. It decreases the chances of infections and helps you stay clean and comfortable.

Source: Information given by Dr. Norleen Mohd Salleh, MD, M.MED (O&G) - DEMC Specialist Hospital, Shah Alam.