When our body parts secrete mucous we generally take is as a sign of unhealthiness and do our best to conceal or control it. However, contrary to the belief that slimy is sickening, especially in relation to our sexual organs, our vaginas are meant to ooze! Not only is vaginal discharge a normal bodily function, but it’s also an incredibly accurate gauge of most of our reproductive and sexual health intricacies.
As part of its role as the protector of your uterus and cervix, the vagina hosts glands that constantly produce small amounts of fluid, helping remove old, dead cells from your vaginal lining and keep you clean and infection free. On average, women secrete about a teaspoon of discharge each day, but this amount varies depending on time of the month and your daily activity, among other factors.
Most notably, the consistency and amount of your discharge fluctuates in relation to your menstrual cycle. At both the beginning and end of your cycle, your discharge may be thicker and white. With somewhat of a pasty feel, this almost acts as an extra guard for your more vulnerable organs, deterring sperm from reaching an unprepared or a wilting uterine lining. It’s possible that you will also see brown discharge at the beginning of your cycle; most likely remnants of old blood from your period that your vagina is dutifully helping to clean out.
As your menstrual cycle progresses toward ovulation (the release of an egg), your discharge will probably become clearer and stretchier so if you pinch some between your fingers, it will feel sticky. This discharge indicates that you’re fertile and is making it especially easy for sperm to slide through your vagina and cervix en route to an egg. Often during ovulation, women experience an increased amount of this especially oozy discharge. This is your reproductive organs’ way of saying "Hey! We’re working down here!"
Another function and type of vaginal discharge is lubrication. Often when women get sexually excited, their bodies release extra secretions to ready themselves for further sexual activity. This discharge is also clear, but usually feels more watery. Similar excretions occur during exercise.