Vaginal discharge: what is normal and what isn’t?

Many women wonder about the different types of vaginal discharge, and what they indicate. In this article, I will explain all about the different kinds of vaginal discharges, in addition to giving an overview of the most common sexually transmitted diseases, and vaginal infections to help women better understand their bodies.

Waed Abujoudeh | Registered Midwife
Waed Abu Joudeh
Published on:Nov 8th 2022 |Updated on:May 10th 2024
 الإفرازات المهبلية

The normal vaginal discharge

The vagina needs to be moisturized all the time, thus having a normal amount, of transparent, light, and odorless discharge is completely normal. Your discharge will change throughout the month, it will be affected by your period and by the ovulation days.

What is an abnormal discharge?

If your discharge is like any of the following, you need to see your gynecologist and seek diagnosis and treatment.

1- White discharge

If your vaginal discharge is white, thick, of a cheesy consistency, has a fish-like odor, and is accompanied by itching and redness it might indicate a fungal infection. Such infection may also cause burning during intercourse as well.

2- Yellow vaginal discharge

A yellowish vaginal discharge is an indication of a bacterial vaginal infection.

3- Bloody discharge

Sometimes vaginal discharges can be mixed with some blood, which is normal before, after the period, or in the early days of pregnancy due to the fetal implantation. Outside these times unfortunately this discharge can suggest a problem in the uterus or the cervix such as bleeding. Such issues require immediate medical attention, for tests and treatments.

4- Green vaginal discharge

This might mean that a bacterial infection in the vagina has developed into something more serious.

5- Brown discharge

Such discharge is usually accompanied by a period-like odor, they indicate an infection or a problem in the uterus, or the cervix such as certain cancers or fibroids. This needs immediate medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment.

6- Grey vaginal discharge

When the discharges coming from the vagina are white to grey, they might tell you that you have a bacterial infection caused by an STD.

It is noteworthy that vaginal discharges can indicate an infection caused by an STD, or bacterial growth in the vagina due to poor hygiene, not drying the vagina well after going to the bathroom or wearing non-cotton underwear.

Common types of STDs

1- Chlamydia

2- Gonorrhea

3- Herpes

4- Syphilis

5- Aids

6- Genital warts

These might be serious issues for expecting women. A woman with genital warts can’t have a vaginal delivery, as this viral infection might harm the baby and cause him blindness.

Awareness about Sexually transmitted diseases is essential, tests must be done especially while planning to get pregnant. Some of these diseases are very harmful to a baby and must be detected and treated.

Genital infections in the early days of marriage

Such infections are normal due to the change in the vaginal PH, because of sexual activity. However, you must see your doctor if you experience uncomfortable symptoms such as itching, redness, and extreme vaginal pain.

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Waed Abujoudeh | Registered Midwife
Waed Abu JoudehRegistered Midwife

Waed holds several academic degrees in midwifery and medical care for women and infants. In addition to several years of professional experience in hospitals in Jordan and the UAE. She also holds a great passion for helping women through all the stages of their motherhood journey

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