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Vaginitis - Is vaginal discharge normal?

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Updated June 22, 2009

A women's vagina normally produces a discharge that is usually described as clear or slightly cloudy, non-irritating, and odor-free. During the normal menstrual cycle the amount and consistency of discharge vary. At one time of the month there may be a small amount of a very thin or watery discharge and at another time, a more extensive thicker discharge may appear. All of these descriptions could be considered normal.

A vaginal discharge that has an odor or that is irritating is usually an abnormal discharge. The irritation might be itching or burning or both. The burning could feel like a bladder infection. The itching may be present at any time of the day but it is often most bothersome at night. Both of these symptoms are usually made worse by sexual intercourse. It is important to see a doctor or clinician if there has been a change in the amount, appearance, or smell of the discharge. Reprinted from the National Institute for Child Health & Human Development

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