Vaginal Discharge

What is Vaginal Discharge and What Might it Mean?

The production of vaginal discharge is a natural and very necessary function of the female body. This is a fluid that is produced by the glands inside the cervix and vagina that helps carry out bacteria and dead cells. It prevents the development of vaginal infection and keeps this area of the body clean.

In a healthy female, this excretion is likely to be clear or milky white and will generally not have any significant or foul odors. Certain hormonal changes can impact both the smell and the appearance of this discharge such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, or the onset of menopause--among other things. Dramatic changes in the look, color, and smell of discharge, however, can be cause for alarm as these may indicate the signs of infection or the onset of numerous other reproductive health issues.

What a Watery Discharge from Vagina Might Mean

A thin, watery discharge from vagina could mean that the female has developed a vaginal yeast infection. There will likely be additional symptoms that accompany the change in discharge texture. For instance, a slight, yeasty smell may be found around the vaginal area, and the discharge may cause intense itching in all skin areas that it comes in contact with. Yeast infections can develop for a number of reasons including excess caffeine intake, stress, tight and unventilated clothing, and extended use of antibiotics or other prescription medications.

Recognizing and Reacting To a Blood-Tinged Discharge from Vagina

There are many other types of abnormal vaginal discharge that a woman may experience, especially if she is sexually active. One of the most alarming of these is a blood-tinged discharge from vagina which is issued in between menstrual cycles and may be accompanied by pain. The discharge will be pinkish to light red. This transition in vaginal discharge color could indicate the presence of one of many common STDs or the onset of uterine cancer.

In most instances, a sexually transmitted disease will be accompanied by fever and pain, especially when urinating. In some cases, gonorrhea and chlamydia may have no symptoms in the body or few symptoms that are easily recognized by the subject. Significant differences in the color of the discharge, especially when accompanied by blood, should always prompt an individual to consult with a medical professional. A doctor can analyze the abnormal vaginal discharge to determine if any bacteria are present, which would indicate an STD. A full pelvic examination will also reveal whether or not there are abnormal cells on or around the cervix, which might warrant the need for a biopsy or other comprehensive reproductive examination.