Vaginal discharge is a common substance excreted from the vagina during different stages of the menstrual cycle. The consistency of discharge can vary as the cycle progresses and is usually most abundant before ovulation, as well as while breastfeeding or when sexually aroused. Vaginal discharge is considered normal for most women, especially those of childbearing age. Normal discharge is usually clear or white and odorless.
It is important to note any changes to vaginal discharge, as this may indicate an infection or other type of problem. Changes such as an increase in amount of discharge; different color or smell; or irritation, itchiness or burning around the vagina could be signs of a problem. Changes in vaginal discharge can indicate a yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, Chlamydia, or other infections that may or may not be sexually transmitted. If the patient is experiencing any of these signs, they should talk to their doctor as soon as possible.
There are certain measures patients can take in order to prevent and treat vaginal discharge. Some of these measures include:
- Keeping the genital area dry and clean
- Reducing stress
- Wearing cotton underwear
- Avoiding douching
- Avoiding tight clothing
Methods of prevention method as well as any concerns the patient may have regarding vaginal discharge, should be discussed with their doctor.