Vaginal discharge is very common in women and everyone wants to know if it is normal. The answer is yes, some vaginal discharge is normal. But certain types – the kinds that come with itching and pain – may be cause for concern.
Vaginal discharge often changes throughout the month, which is why it can seem like it is not normal. After your period it can be a brownish or yellowish color for a while. Then about a week later it often will turn more clear and thin for a few days. This happens around ovulation when women are the most fertile. The physical reason for the change in discharge is that it makes getting pregnant easier. After the few days of clear discharge it typically becomes thick and white or light yellow a few days after ovulation.
So all of these different types of discharge are normal, thick or thin, clear, white or light yellow. Normal vaginal discharge is typically odorless and doesn’t cause itching or pain.
So when is vaginal discharge NOT normal?
- Strong fishy odor can be a sign of a bacterial infection.
- Itching, especially if accompanied by thick clumpy white discharge. This is a common sign of a yeast infection. Itching can also be associated with other types of infections.
- Green, gray or bright yellow discharge. This can be a sign of a sexually transmitted infection or bacterial infection.
- Burning pain, can be associated with yeast, bacterial, or sexually transmitted infections.
If it’s not normal, or the best bet if you’re not sure? Make a quick trip to the doctor. Doctors can look under the microscope for certain types of infections or send a sample to the lab. And they don’t mind being asked if you have health questions.
It’s best to know for sure so that if there is an infection you can be treated ASAP!