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Vaginal Discharge and Cervical Mucus: Frequently Asked Questions

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Volume: Can vary from very little to quite a lot (particularly when ovulating or aroused)

Once you know your body, and what your unique "normal" vaginal discharge looks like, you can determine when you may have abnormal discharge.
Change in Color: green, yellow or gray
Change in Scent: has a bad or strong odor
Change in Texture: looks like cottage cheese or foamy

Other changes: any pelvic pain or discharge that causes itching, swelling, burning or soreness

The ]]>Cleveland Clinic]]> offers reasons that may cause changes in the appearance or consistency of your vaginal discharge include:

  • Your menstrual cycle
  • Emotional stress
  • Pregnancy
  • Any prescribed or over-the-counter medications you take including hormones such as in the Pill
  • Sexual excitement
  • Breastfeeding
  • Ovulation
  • Your diet
    • Your body's functions (including menstrual cycle) are regulated by hormones, and concurrently, your body is interacting "interdependently" with its surrounding environment. This interdependence means that changes in your immediate environment may disrupt the delicate -- yet relatively stable -- hormonal balances within your body.

      A new medication or excessive stress can trigger changes in your body. These changes can lead to subtle differences in your bodily functions, and in turn may lead to new noticeable symptoms (including variations in vaginal discharge). Just knowing your body -- know what is your "normal" -- can help you distinguish a normal fluctuation versus a change that may need to be medically evaluated.

Add a Comment3 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Things i wish health class taught me.

November 3, 2019 - 9:47pm
EmpowHER Guest

Thank you for the article. A great help.

March 11, 2019 - 7:45am

This helped me out a lot (:

September 19, 2012 - 12:29pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.