It is normal and healthy for the vagina to produce discharge. In fact, it is something that happens that many of us do not even think about. This is because healthy discharge causes no concern.
Vaginal discharge is there to help us stay free of infections, but it also cleans the vagina and removes old cells from the cervix and the vagina.
However, there are many reasons for different vaginal discharge. When you begin to notice a different colored discharge, or one that has a foul smell, you may be wondering what is up.
In this article we shall be taking a look at vaginal discharge causes and colors to help you to understand what they mean.
What Can The Color Of Our Discharge Tell You?
To really understand whether your discharge is healthy or not, you need to understand what the different types of discharge are. Healthy discharge is actually presented in different colors, so just because something is unusual does not mean it is bad.
However, if the discharge is also present alongside a foul smell or itchiness, then you can be sure that you have a vaginal infection.
When this happens, you will need to see a professional to get treatment, otherwise you may find that you suffer from a long-term infection. It is better to get it treated properly, and then learn ways to prevent it happening again.
What Do Different Vaginal Discharge Colors Mean?
If you are wondering what the different vaginal discharge colors mean, then take a look at the list below:
Clear Looking Vaginal Discharge
Having clear discharge is not always a bad thing, however it can mean a few different things. Because of this, you will need to check out its consistency and any other symptoms.
Regular clear discharge that is a little sticky with no foul smell often happens during ovulation. Within your cycle this is a couple of weeks before your period is due. If the egg is not fertilized, then you will have a period.
This often only happens for around two days at most, and some people never notice it. However if you do, then there is no cause for concern. You may notice an egg white discharge even when you are not ovulating, and this means your vagina is healthy.
If the clear discharge is watery and has a foul smell too, then it means you may be suffering from bacterial vaginosis (BV). While not life threatening, you will need to seek professional treatment to get it diagnosed.
Milky White To Cream Colored Discharge
A regular milky white or cream colored vaginal discharge indicates a healthy vagina. Both of these are natural colors and means that the normal process is taking place.
However, if the discharge is a little more unusual yet is white, then it could be something like a yeast infection. A thick or cottage cheese-like consistency usually indicates that something is up.
You may also have itching or a burning sensation too. You will need to see a professional to get medication to clear it up.
Sometimes antibiotics, birth control, or even stress can cause you to have an infection. The pH level of the vagina becomes imbalanced, and this will then cause you to have an infection due to the good bacteria being overrun by bad bacteria.
Gray Colored Vaginal Discharge
Gray vaginal discharge can also mean you have BV. This is not a healthy color, and often means that there is an underlying problem like BV which is caused by a disruption to the pH level within the vagina.
Bacteria will begin to multiply fast and become overgrown within the vagina which will cause a foul smell and unusual discharge. You may also find the area itchy and it may burn when you pee.
You will need to see a professional when this is the case, as well as find ways to prevent BV from recurring. One way is to not douche, and only clean with warm water. Also try including probiotics into your everyday diet.
Yellow Or Green Colored Vaginal Discharge
If the discharge has a yellowish tinge, then it is still considered healthy. However, if it is thick with either a yellow or green color, then this often indicates a sexually transmitted disease or an infection.
The infection may be gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, or even chlamydia. You will want to get this assessed quickly to avoid any future problems.
Light Pink To Dark Colored Vaginal Discharge
When the discharge is a light pink or dark color, it is often spotting which can happen just before a period or after the ovulation stage.
Sometimes it can also be due to implantation where the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus. This can occur around 10 to 14 days post conception. However, this does not happen for everyone.
Some people lightly spot after sex too, but this is often due to microtears in the cervix or vagina. If it is accompanied with pain, then you should always seek professional advice.
Red Or Brown Colored Vaginal Discharge
When you have red discharge that lasts for around 3 to 7 days, then you can safely assume that it is your period. This menstrual bleeding occurs on average every 28 days, though this number can be different.
This is especially true if you suffer from PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) and have irregular periods.
You may find that the color of your blood is darker and browner towards the end of your period. This is very normal and is nothing to worry about.
If you have gone through menopause then you should seek medical advice right away if you experience any form of spotting or red colored discharge. It could be a sign of cervical cancer and will need to be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.
As you can see, there are many variations when it comes to vaginal discharge. Having some form of vaginal discharge does not mean that you have an infection. It is all down to the color of the discharge, and whether there are other symptoms too.
When it is clear or milky white, then it is likely to be the normal process of your vagina cleaning itself and staying healthy. However, things get a little murky once it turns yellow or green, or when it is watery.
Hopefully the above list has helped you with identifying your own vaginal discharge. If you feel like you may have an infection, always seek professional advice so you can get it diagnosed properly.