What is discharge?
Discharge is a clear fluid from the vagina that helps moisten the mucous membranes and keeps the vagina clean. Discharge usually starts when you enter puberty. It acts as the vagina’s natural protection against infections and is a good thing that is entirely natural.
What does discharge look like?
Discharge can have a slightly sour smell. The fluid is clear but can become colored when it comes into contact with air, at which point it may turn light yellow or slightly brown.
During the menstrual cycle
The discharge can vary depending on which stage of the menstrual cycle you are at.
Before ovulation it can be thinner, before becoming thicker and more abundant during ovulation, and can look like egg white. The consistency is usually stringy and stretchy.
After ovulation, the amount of discharge is less and becomes more yellow.
When you are aroused you may produce more abundant and clear discharge, which is called lubrication, the vagina’s own natural lube3. You should therefore be properly aroused during sexual intercourse, to make sure the vagina has time to become sufficiently moist to reduce friction to the mucous membranes.
You can normally have heavy discharge. If you are bothered by this, consider:
• Air the genital area, for instance by sleeping without knickers at night.
• Using products intended for intimate hygiene.
• Wearing loose-fitting clothes that are not too tight.
If you are unsure about what is normal for your vagina, use ellen® pH – control to check your vaginal pH.
An unbalanced pH value can be is a contributory factor to vaginal discomfort.
Changes in discharge
Hormones can affect discharge along with:
- Use of contraception containing hormones.
- Menopause, when discharge can become permanent.
Vaginal discomfort can affect the discharge. You can read more about different symptoms along with vaginal discomfort in the section Imbalance & Discomfort.
Discharge can vary but it is good to pay extra attention to following symptoms:
- More discharge than before.
- Discharge that changes color.
- An odour.
- Gritty discharge.
- Discharge with blood.
Contact a health center or gynecologist if you experience anything unusual in your genital area.