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Vaginal discharge: Should you be concerned? 

Dear women, have you ever observed a white or off-white fluid in your underwear? We bet it’s a yes. You might as well have been frightened the first time you saw it. You might have thought that something is wrong within the body, you probably caught an infection. Consequently, you would have been worried. But should you be concerned? Vaginal discharge may not look normal, but is it really not normal? 

Well, let’s find out. Keep reading. 

What is this vaginal discharge? 

This vaginal discharge may be identified as a clear, off-white fluid that discharges from your vagina. This fluid is made of bacteria and cells and is produced by your vagina, uterus and cervix to clean and lubricate your vagina. It helps fight off bad bacteria that can cause infections. 

So, is it really bad for you? 

Not really. You can consider this vaginal discharge a housekeeping service cleaning your vagina. Hence, it is a very normal and routine process the body performs to keep everything functioning as it should. 

The volume of discharge one may get varies from woman to woman; while some may produce more discharge, others may produce little. However, if it’s an abnormal amount of discharge, you may need to see a gynaecologist. 

When should you be concerned? 

Well no, if it has a clear or off-white colour. However, if it is grey, green, brown or dark yellow, then it may be a concerning thing as it can point to an infection. Moreover, if the amount of vaginal discharge is abnormal and you are not taking birth pills or are pregnant, it’s worth getting checked. In addition, if the discharge comes with an odour, it may be concerning as well.  

The normal texture of vaginal discharge should be sticky and watery. If it is otherwise, i.e., foamy, itchy or chunky, it may be a sign of vaginal infection. 

What does the colour of the discharge signify? 

Green, yellow or green: 

If in case you observe any of these colours, it may be a sign of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). If that is not on the table, it may be a bacterial infection. 

Red or brown: 

Brown or red discharge may look like blood. If you’re seeing this charge and you’re not menstruating, it may indicate a problem. It may also be implantation bleeding or any issue related to irregular menstruation.  

What if you see vaginal discharge during pregnancy? 

Any abnormal instance is enough to get you worried when you are pregnant. So, should you be worried if you come across a discharge during pregnancy? Yes, it is normal. It may even be a very good sign that your vagina is healthy and producing more discharge to prevent infections and keep your baby safe and healthy. Hence, you may experience more discharge than usual. 

The link between white discharge and reproduction

You may also have come across a white-thick discharge. It is once again common when you are ovulating. This is to help sperm swim easily to the egg for fertilisation. 

This discharge may be thinner at first, which thickens gradually leading up to ovulation. If you are planning a family and come across this thick white discharge, it is the best time to have sexual intercourse to increase your chances of getting pregnant. 

So, when should I see a doctor? 

A vaginal discharge that is clear, off-white, and doesn’t smell is absolutely normal. It is a cleaning tool your body uses to clean your vagina. It’s healthy. 

However, if the colour and consistency change, and it smells and causes irritation, there may be an underlying issue, the most common being bacterial or yeast infection. In this case, you must see a doctor. 

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