Vaginal discharge is a normal part of being a woman. It is a combination of mucus and secretions from the cervix, uterus, and vagina. Discharge varies in consistency, color, amount, and smell throughout the menstrual cycle. It is an important part of keeping the vagina clean and healthy. 

Normal vaginal discharge is usually clear or white in color and has a subtle smell. It helps to keep the vagina clean and moist and helps to remove bacteria and other particles. Vaginal discharge is usually very thick during ovulation and can also become thin and watery during a period.

Vaginal discharge can also result from changes in hormones, medications, infections, or other medical conditions. It is important to note that any change in the color, amount, or smell of vaginal discharge can indicate a possible infection. If you are experiencing anything out of the ordinary, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider.


Normal vaginal discharge consists of cervical mucus, vaginal fluid, and bacteria. Cervical mucus is a type of discharge that is produced by the cervix and is typically clear, white, or slightly yellowish in color. It can vary in consistency from thick and sticky to thin and watery. Vaginal fluid is produced by the glands in the vagina and varies in color from clear to white or slightly yellowish. It is usually thin and slightly slippery in consistency. Bacteria is also a common component of normal vaginal discharge and helps to keep the vagina healthy by preventing the overgrowth of other organisms.


Abnormal discharge from the vagina is any type of discharge that is different from the normal consistency, color, or smell of discharge that a person typically experiences. It can be a sign of infection or an underlying health condition. The symptoms of abnormal discharge vary depending on the cause, but they can include a strong odor, a change in color, itching or burning, soreness or swelling in the vaginal area, and a thick, white, or yellow discharge. Possible causes of abnormal discharge include bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, yeast infection, chlamydia, gonorrhea, pelvic inflammatory disease, and cervical cancer.


Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is a common type of abnormal vaginal discharge caused by an overgrowth of bacteria. BV is not considered an infection since the bacteria are naturally occurring. Symptoms of BV can include a grayish-white, thin discharge with a strong, fishy odor that gets stronger after sex, itching or burning around the vagina, and pain or discomfort during urination or sexual intercourse.


Yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of a fungus called Candida albicans. This type of abnormal vaginal discharge is very common in women, and can cause a variety of symptoms such as itching and burning in the vagina and vulva, thick white and clumpy discharge, and pain during sexual intercourse or urination.

The most common cause of yeast infections is a weakened immune system or an imbalance of bacteria in the vagina. Other potential causes include perfumed soaps, douches or scented toilet papers, tight-fitting clothing, hot tubs, and antibiotics.

Yeast infections can be easily treated with over-the-counter or prescription antifungal medications. To avoid recurrent yeast infections, it is important to practice proper hygiene, such as regularly washing the genital area and avoiding perfumed soaps and tight-fitting clothing. Many people find relief by consuming natural probiotics, such as yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut, which help to restore the normal balance of organisms in the vagina. Additionally, it is important to maintain a healthy diet, reduce stress, and get adequate sleep to help prevent yeast infections.

The different types of vaginal discharge can tell you a lot about your health and any changes in your body. It is important to be aware of any changes in your discharge so that you can catch any underlying health issues early. With the help of your healthcare provider, you can learn how to identify and manage any changes in your vaginal health.