How Much Vaginal Discharge is Normal?
Talking about vaginal discharge is hardly a popular topic among friends. And because the subject is uncomfortable to discuss, women can be left in the dark about what constitutes “normal”.
If you have concerns about vaginal discharge, read below for an overview about what’s considered healthy, and what is a sign that you should see a gynecologist.
Is It Normal to Have a Lot of Discharge Every Day?
The body produces discharge to keep the vagina clean. The discharge carries away dead cells and bacteria that would otherwise result in infection. This discharge ranges in color, depending on where you are on your menstrual cycle.
During Ovulation: This is when discharge is at its highest, with a consistency of egg whites. The medical term is cervical mucus, and it is watery and slippery. Its purpose is to keep the vagina clean and lubricated. It also helps sperm move up along the cervix on its way to fertilize an egg.
Days Right Before Your Period: Soon before your period starts, there’s significantly less discharge, and it is less slippery. The consistency is also thicker than when ovulating.
Towards the Last Days of Your Period: During this time in your menstrual cycle, discharge is brown because it includes blood from the uterus shedding its lining.
Right After Your Period: After all the blood has been eliminated, you may see little to no discharge for a couple of days.
During Pregnancy: Discharge during pregnancy is very thin and white. It also has a very mild scent. If you feel that you’re having too much discharge during pregnancy, wear panty liners and talk to your doctor to make sure everything is okay. Do not insert tampons, as they can introduce bacteria into the vaginal canal.
During Menopause: Women who are going through menopause often experience vaginal dryness, and decreased lubrication during sex, due to a drop in estrogen.
Regardless of where you are in your cycle, vaginal discharge should be odorless. And it should not cause discomfort.
There are instances when a woman experiences more discharge than usual.
- During ovulation
- During sexual arousal
- While breastfeeding
Symptoms of Unusual Vaginal Discharge
When a woman’s discharge is not healthy, typical symptoms include:
- Foul smell
- Cottage cheese consistency
- Yellow or green discharge
These symptoms are a sign of a yeast infection or sexually transmitted disease (STD). Regardless of which one it may be, you should seek medical attention immediately for treatment.
Also, note that while brown discharge is normal on the last days of your period, if you start seeing it during any other time of your cycle, it could be a sign of something much more serious.
Contact us at OB-GYN Women’s Center
If you’ve noticed any changes in your vaginal discharge, let us help you. Ask us all the questions you need for your peace of mind. We are here for you.