Vaginal discharge serves a variety of purposes. Besides cleaning and moistening the vagina, vaginal discharge helps to prevent and fight infections. Vaginal discharge can vary in color, texture and amount, depending on a girl’s menstrual cycle. Certain changes in vaginal discharge can be indicative of a health issue.
What Color Should Normal Vaginal Discharge Be?
It’s important to understand what is considered “normal” vaginal discharge so you can recognize when abnormal changes occur. Normal vaginal discharge should be clear, white or off-white in color and is typically somewhat thin and sticky. If you experience any of these changes in vaginal discharge, there may be an issue:
– Changes in color
– Changes in odor
– Changes in texture
– Itching, burning, swelling, redness, or other signs of irritation
– Vaginal bleeding or spotting that is not a menstrual period
Potential Causes, Symptoms of Abnormal Vaginal Discharge
Changes in discharge can be caused by a variety of things, so it’s important to see your OB-GYN right away if you are experiencing any abnormal vaginal discharge. While there are numerous things that can cause abnormal vaginal discharge, these are the most common culprits:
Yeast Infection – An overgrowth of yeast may cause vaginal discharge to become white and thick, resembling cottage cheese. Yeast infections seldom cause a strong odor, but the infection may cause itching and burning.
Trichomoniasis – This is a common sexually transmitted disease. Trichomoniasis causes a strong odor and abnormal discharge that may be yellow or green in color and frothy in texture.
Bacterial Vaginosis – Bacterial vaginosis, or BV for short, is a mild infection in the vagina that develops when there is an imbalance between “good” and “bad” bacteria within it. BV is one of the most common vaginal infections among women and typically causes symptoms such as gray discharge and a strong, fishy smell.
In addition to the above cause, there are many other things that could cause abnormal vaginal discharge such as antibiotics, birth control, STDs, diabetes, or something more serious like pelvic inflammatory disease or cancer.
Contact OB-GYN Women’s Centre If You’re Concerned About Gynecological Issues
If you’ve noticed any abnormal changes in your vaginal discharge, contact your gynecologist. Because there are so many potential causes of abnormal discharge, it’s important to see a physician right away to rule out anything potentially life-threatening. At OB-GYN Women’s Centre, we provide comprehensive gynecological care to women of all ages and can get you back to your normal life. To learn more about us, click here, or contact us today to schedule an appointment.