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Vaginal Discharge

Woman feeling Uncomfortable

Everything You Need to Know About Vaginal Discharge

Vaginal discharge is a normal part of the female reproductive system; it helps to keep the vagina lubricated and free from infection. However, changes in vaginal discharge can be a sign of an underlying health issue, such as a bacterial or yeast infection. It’s important to understand what is considered normal and when to seek help from a medical professional. Let’s take a closer look at vaginal discharge and how to identify when you should see your doctor.

Types of Vaginal Discharge
Vaginal discharge comes in many shapes, sizes, colors, and consistencies. Normal vaginal discharge should be clear or milky white in color with no strong odor. It’s usually slippery but not thick or clumpy. This type of vaginal discharge is also called leukorrhea and is most common around ovulation or during pregnancy when hormone levels fluctuate. The amount may vary from woman to woman but usually increases as ovulation approaches.

Changes in Vaginal Discharge
Sometimes changes in the color, consistency, or smell of vaginal discharge can indicate an infection such as bacterial vaginosis (BV) or a yeast infection. Bacterial vaginosis often causes an increase in thin white/grayish-colored discharge that has a foul odor—almost like fish—and itchiness around the outside of the vagina. A yeast infection will cause itching and burning sensations with thick white/curd-like clumps of discharge accompanied by a yeasty smell similar to bread or beer. Both BV and yeast infections are treatable with medication, so if you suspect you have one, it’s best to contact your doctor right away for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

Hetal C Shah, MD Meet Dr. Hetal C Shah, a highly experienced male OB/GYN doctor with 30+ years of experience in women's healthcare. A graduate of the University of Arizona, Dr. Shah is known for his exceptional bedside manner, personalized approach to care, and commitment to improving the lives of his patients. He has extensive experience in diagnosing and treating gynecological and obstetric conditions, and regularly participates in professional development opportunities to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in the field. With three decades of experience as an OB/GYN doctor, Dr. Shah is a trusted provider who has earned the respect of his patients and colleagues alike.

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