What is vaginal discharge?
All women have a little discharge starting a year or two before puberty and ending after the menopause. How much discharge a woman notices changes from time to time and it will change quite a lot between periods. Vaginal discharge is a clear or whitish fluid that comes out of the vagina. The uterus, cervix or vagina can produce the fluid. Normally, vaginal
discharge is clear or white. It may become stretchy and slippery during ovulation, about two weeks after your menstrual period. A change in the color or amount of discharge, accompanied by other symptoms, may indicate that you have an infection.
The vagina normally contains bacteria. Bacterial growth is controlled and affected by many different factors, such as acid level (pH) and hormones. Anything that upsets this balance may increase your risk of infection or overgrowth of any of the normal bacteria or by yeast.
Sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea or chlamydia also can cause vaginal discharge. Other noninfectious possible causes include atrophic vaginitis (inflammation of the vagina, which usually occurs following menopause), diabetes (commonly associated with recurrent yeast infections), or irritation from a scented product such as soap, douches, pads or tampons.