WHAT EXACTLY IS VAGINAL DISCHARGE?
Vaginal discharge is a clear, white or off-white fluid that comes out of your vagina. You may see it on your underwear, or the toilet paper (when wiping after you urinate). Glands in your vagina and cervix produce this fluid. Vaginal discharge is also called "mucus", "cervical mucus", "vaginal fluid" or "vaginal secretions".
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF VAGINAL DISCHARGE?
This fluid flows out of your vagina every day, and is actually a sign that your vagina is healthy! Your vagina is very resourceful, as it has an amazing ability to “self-clean! (much better than any self-cleaning oven!). The discharge that comes from your vagina is your vagina's way of keeping itself healthy and clean, by carrying out old cells, as well as to keep itself lubricated and free from infection.
The amount, texture, color and scent of discharge or mucus produced by the cervical glands varies throughout the menstrual cycle, and depends on hormone levels in your body.
DO ALL WOMEN HAVE DISCHARGE?
Yes, all women experience some amount of vaginal discharge. Some women have a little discharge occasionally, while other women experience significant discharge every day.
IS IT NORMAL TO HAVE CHANGES IN DISCHARGE?
Your "normal" discharge might change many times throughout your menstrual cycle, as well as throughout your life. Variations are normal and expected, and can even help predict what stage of your cycle you are in (for example, discharge can be thicker and greater in volume during ovulation). You will also have more discharge when you are sexually excited (your vagina is self-lubricating).
It is important to know that there are some changes in vaginal discharge that may be a sign of a vaginal infection.
WHAT DOES NORMAL DISCHARGE LOOK LIKE?
Color: Clear or whitish discharge (may be yellowish when dried)
Scent: Mild scent or none at all
Texture: Can vary from "paste" like and somewhat sticky to clear and stretchy, depending on where you are in your cycle and whether you are aroused