This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.
If you're like most women, you're probably pretty familiar with vaginal discharge. In fact, you may even know what kind of discharge is normal for your body and what isn't. But even if you are an expert on the subject, there's always more to learn about vaginal discharge!
This article is a complete vaginal discharge guide, where we will discuss all there is to know: what it is, what kinds of changes to look out for, and how to know if there may be any issues with your vaginal discharge that would warrant a visit to the doctor.
What Is Vaginal Discharge?
Vaginal discharge refers to any fluid or substance released from the vagina. This can occur at different times in a woman's menstrual cycle, and it may have many different colors (white, clear), textures (thick, thin), smells (sweet-smelling), or even tastes!
You may notice that your vaginal discharge changes throughout each month. This is completely normal and is due to the changing levels of estrogen and progesterone in your body.
Types Of Vaginal Discharge
When it comes to vaginal discharge, you might find that the colors of your discharge may change. So, what exactly does it mean, and what color is concerning? We've broken down the most common types of vaginal discharge below.
White discharge can be normal, or it can indicate an infection. For example, if your discharge is white and thick, like cottage cheese, you may have a yeast infection. Make sure to contact your doctor if you have these symptoms. However, a light yellow or cream color discharge is likely to be healthy and isn't associated with any other symptoms.
Clear discharge is also considered a healthy color of discharge. However, depending on if you're feeling any other symptoms, it can also be a sign of pregnancy, hormonal imbalances, or ovulation. Therefore, it's essential to speak with your doctor if you're experiencing clear discharge accompanied by other symptoms.
Brown vaginal discharge is not considered healthy and, in fact, can be indicative of a severe problem such as Bacterial Vaginosis. If you're experiencing brown discharge along with any other issues such as strong odors, irritation, or itching, it's essential to seek medical attention right away as it can be a sign of a more severe problem.
Green discharge is typically a sign of an infection such as Trichomoniasis, which can be transmitted through sexual intercourse. Therefore, it's essential to seek medical attention right away if you're experiencing green discharge along with other symptoms such as clumpy or thick discharge.
Red or pink discharge can be a sign of implantation bleeding. However, if you're experiencing these symptoms alongside other issues like pregnancy cramps and nausea, then it's probably just your period! Nevertheless, it's essential to seek medical attention right away if you're experiencing red or pink discharge along with other symptoms such as clumpy or thick discharge or any other type of pain.
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When Should I Consult With A Doctor?
If you're experiencing any changes in your vaginal discharge and pain, it's essential to consult with a doctor. This is especially true if the discharge is accompanied by other symptoms like itching, burning, or an unusual smell.
It's also essential to see a doctor if you haven't had a period in more than three months, as this could indicate that something is wrong with your body (such as PCOS) or if you're experiencing any other symptoms like fatigue and weight gain. If you're worried about a possible STI, getting tested right away is essential because some infections can be easily treated while others are more difficult to treat.
Remember that you know your body best, so it might be time to contact a professional who can offer some medical advice if something doesn't feel right.
What Should I Do If Something Doesn't Feel Right?
If you're experiencing any changes in your vaginal discharge, it's essential to pay attention to your body and what's going on. If you have any questions or something doesn't feel right, it's time to follow our tips below.
Consult A Doctor
The first step is always to consult a doctor if you're feeling concerned about your vaginal discharge. They will be able to help guide you and give you advice on what to do next. This might include testing, treatment, or just some reassurance that everything is normal!
Purchase The Right Products
If you are experiencing a yeast infection or other issue, it's essential to purchase the right products to help treat the disease. This might include over-the-counter medication, a prescription from your doctor, or even some suppositories to help treat the issue. You can also purchase products that help prevent infections, such as panty liners or cotton underwear, in order to keep it as dry as possible down there.
Refrain From Exercise
One thing to keep in mind if you're experiencing any type of unusual vaginal discharge is that you might need to refrain from exercise. This is because sweat and bacteria can aggravate the issue and make it worse. So, take a break from the gym until you've gotten your discharge under control!
Another helpful tip is to shower frequently. This will help keep the area clean and reduce bacteria build-up, which might be causing your unusual discharge. This is especially important if you work in a setting where you're sweating a lot or around other people who might have infections that can be transmitted through skin contact!
Wear Cotton Underwear
Finally, make sure that you're wearing cotton underwear. This will help wick away moisture so it doesn't get trapped next to your skin, where bacteria can grow quickly.
These are just some tips to help you keep your vaginal discharge under control. Remember, unusual discharge is not normal and should be addressed right away by a doctor or medical professional, so it doesn't get out of hand!
While it might seem like an uncomfortable topic to talk about sometimes, it's essential to be aware of the different types of vaginal discharge and what they might mean. So, if you're experiencing any changes in your discharge, follow our tips to help get it under control!