1. Health

Let's Talk about Vaginal Discharge

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Updated April 17, 2014

Do you know the difference between normal vaginal discharge and abnormal vaginal discharge? Did you know that having a vaginal discharge is normal? Let’s take a look at various types of vaginal discharges so that you’ll know when you have an abnormal vaginal discharge.

The Natural Vagina

The basic function of you vagina is to provide a route from the outside of your vagina to your uterus and the rest of your internal reproductive system. The natural, acidic, pH of your vagina acts to prevent infections. The acidic nature of your vagina is caused by natural, good, bacteria produced by your body. When your vagina is healthy, the vagina keeps itself clean and in a healthy state by producing secretions of normal vaginal discharge. The natural balance of the vagina can be disrupted by anything that interferes with its’ normal environment.

What is Normal Vaginal Discharge?

First it’s important to understand that all women experience some amount of vaginal discharge. Glands in your vaginal and cervix produce small amounts of fluid that flows out of your vagina everyday taking with it old cells that line the vagina. Your normal vaginal discharge helps to clean the vagina, as well as keep it lubricated and free from infection and other germs. A normal vaginal discharge does not have a foul odor and usually has no odor at all. Normal vaginal discharge often appears clear or milky when it dries on your clothing; occasionally you may notice white spots or a normal vaginal discharge that is thin and stringy looking.

Other things that may cause changes in the appearance or consistency of your vaginal discharge include:

 

Other things that can upset the natural pH balance of your vagina and lead to vaginal infections include vaginal douches, feminine hygiene products, perfumed or deodorant soaps, antibiotics, pregnancy, diabetes, or the presence of another infection.

  • Your menstrual cycle

     

  • Emotional stress

     

  • Pregnancy

     

  • Any prescribed or OTC medications you take including hormones such as in the Pill

     

  • Sexual excitement

     

  • Breastfeeding

     

  • Ovulation

     

  • Your diet

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