So a lot of patients come into the clinic with complaints of vaginal discharge. Sometimes there’s cause for alarm, but more often than not, it is perfectly normal to have vaginal discharge. The vagina is similar to a self-cleaning oven. It cleans itself, which is part of the reason why we (as in females) have discharge. Normal physiologic discharge should be clear to white, thin or creamy, and odorless for the most part. It may or may not be sticky or mucus-like. All of the above is normal.
However, if you begin to notice:
- Fishy or foul odor
- Green discharge
- Yellow discharge
- Grey discharge
- Frothy discharge
- Burning with urination
- Pain or bleeding after sex
- Clumps of discharge similar to cottage cheese
Please make an appointment to visit your healthcare provider. None of the aforementioned characteristics of vaginal discharge is normal and warrants further investigation. Keep in mind, it is not necessary to bring in a sample of your discharge. Your healthcare provider will want to get a sample of the discharge themselves to examine. Most providers I know, including myself, would really rather not be subjected to looking at old discharge, blood clots, or whatever rolled up in a ball of tissue.
It is important to remember to NEVER douche. Doing so only interrupts the balance of normal vaginal flora and makes everything worse. Keep in mind, the vagina cleans itself. It doesn’t need any help.
I hope this helps!
Remember ladies, keep a healthy demeanor both inside and out!