April 27, 2023

Vaginal Discharge: How to Tell if Your Vaginal Discharge is Normal

Like other health control measures, it is important for every lady to pay a close attention to her vaginal discharge. This means that she must be able to differentiate between normal and abnormal vaginal discharge. Normal vaginal discharge plays crucial roles including moistening and cleaning vagina, prevention infections and fighting of infections among others. Abnormal vaginal discharge on the other hand is an indication of health problems oftentimes referred to as Vagina Infections. It is important to note that menstrual cycle has an influence on vaginal discharge in particular days. Similarly, during pregnancy vaginal discharge differs from other times. 

Differentiating Normal Vaginal Discharge From Abnormal Vaginal Discharge

Usually a healthy vagina produces secretions for cleansing and regulating itself just as the mouth produces saliva to regulate and cleanse the mouth environment. The vagina usually contains an acidic pH. The acidic pH plays a vital role in preventing infections. It results from presence of normal flora (bacteria that occur naturally) of the vagina. Therefore the secretions from the vagina are normal and a minute interference will result in imbalances which in turn will make the environment conducive for bacteria that cause infections.

Normal Vaginal Discharge

The color of normal vaginal discharge may be yellowish (when dry on clothing), cloudy white or clear. Oftentimes, it may be thin and stringy and/or containing white flecks. Changes in the normal appearance result from numerous causes including emotional stress, menstrual cycle, medications, pregnancy, and nutrition among others. 

Abnormal Vaginal Discharge

An abnormality in Vaginal discharge may be indicated by change in amount and color which basically are an indication of an infection in the vaginal tract. Note that vaginal infections are very common and most ladies experience some in their lifetime. Some of the discharge related signs that indicate an infection are:

  • Discharge that is usually accompanied by soreness, rash or itching
  • Increased discharge that is persistent
  • Experiencing a burning sensation on the skin when urinating
  • Discharge that has a yellow/greenish coloration and or grey/whitish coloration
  • Discharge that has a foul odor 

Any of the outlined signs are an indication of a vaginal infection. Anyone experiencing any of them should seek medical attention with immediate effect. 

Menstrual Cycle Related Effects

Normally, the menstrual cycle has effects on the environment surrounding the vagina. One may notice an increase in wetness and clear discharge during mid-cycle. This is because the pH balance usually fluctuates during different times of the cycle. It is usually least acidic a few days before menstruation and also during menstruation. As a result infections are common during such times and this will often be reflected in a change in vaginal discharge appearance. 

Discharge texture
Normally, normal vagina discharge has a texture that varies from sticky paste-like to a stretchy and clear discharge. However, this is dependent on the time of the cycle and whether one is aroused or not. On the contrary an abnormal vaginal discharge appears clumpy with a cottage cheese-like texture.

Any slight variation from the normal vaginal discharge is an indication of an infection and should be treated with urgency to avoid deterioration of the condition.

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