There are a few things that every woman has in common, and vaginal discharge is one of them. A majority of the time, discharge is perfectly normal and healthy. Sometimes, however, you may notice a different color or consistency in your discharge that may also have accompanying symptoms. Being able to tell the difference between normal and abnormal vaginal discharge is important in helping you identify new or underlying issues that may need treatment.
So first; what does normal vaginal discharge look like?
Vaginal discharge is a normal and vital part of your vaginal health. Discharge cleanses old cells and bacteria from your vagina to help maintain your natural pH balance and keep everything down there clean. Normal vaginal discharge varies between women, but generally is clear or milky white with no or a subtle scent. The exact color, thickness, and amount of discharge you have often changes throughout your monthly cycle.
4 types of vaginal discharge that signal something isn’t right:
1) Thick & white
Normal discharge can be thick and white for some women. But if it normally is not for you, the consistency is like cottage cheese, and/or you’re also experiencing burning and itching, then you likely have a yeast infection.
2) Brown or bloody
You may notice brownish discharge right before or after and during your period, or even in small amounts in between. However, this type of “spotting” can signal other conditions such as pregnancy, a cyst, hormonal imbalance, or infection. If you are post-menopausal, brown discharge may also indicate cervical or endometrial cancer.
3) Grayish white or foul odor
Again, normal discharge should either have no smell at all or just a mild one that is not unpleasant. If you suddenly start smelling something fishy or foul down there and your discharge is a grayish color, bacterial vaginosis is the likely culprit. Itching, irritation, and swelling can be symptoms of BV as well.
4) Green or yellow
If your vaginal discharge suddenly turns green or yellow, you’d probably quickly deduce that something is off. Discharge of these colors is usually a sign of bacterial infection or STI, most often trichomoniasis. You may also have itching, burning, soreness, or thick and chunky discharge too.
Worried about abnormal vaginal discharge or other potential symptoms of women’s health issues? Make an appointment with South Avenue Women’s Services! In addition to being a safe and confidential abortion clinic, we’re also a full-service women’s health provider. Our caring medical professionals will be happy to help you with all aspects of your reproductive health.
Contact us today to learn more about our women’s health services!