Health and fitness

7 Types of Vaginal Discharge and What Does it Mean

It’s common to inquire and check the colour and consistency of your vaginal discharge so that you know whether it is normal or not. There are various discharge colours that you may notice during your menstrual cycle and some of them may indicate a serious health problem or a healthy body.

Types of Vaginal Discharge:

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What is a Vaginal Discharge?

This is a fluid that is secreted from the tiny glands in the vagina and cervix. The fluid leaks from the vagina each day to discard old cells and debris to keep your vagina and reproductive tract healthy and clean. The type of vaginal discharge varies between person to person. The discharge’s colour, consistency and amount can even change from day to day, depending on where they are in their menstrual cycle. Here are some of the colours of vaginal discharge and what they mean:

1. Red

Red discharge can be a shade from bright to a dark rust colour. This discharge colour is usually the result of bleeding during a period. Menstrual bleeding happens at around 28 days on average, though typically between 21 to 35 days. A period can last between 3-5 days.

If you experience bleeding and it’s not around your periods, go see a doctor immediately. There also harmless causes of intermenstrual bleeding, but it could be an indication of a serious condition.

Those who have gone through menopause and have not had a period for at least a year should go see a doctor, especially if they experience vaginal bleeding. This could be a sign of endometrial cancer.

2. Brown

Brown discharge is caused by irregular period cycles. If this colour keeps appearing, then you must see your doctor right away as it could be a sign of uterine or cervical cancer.  You must get more details about brown discharge, to be sure. The best way would be to visit the doctor.

3. Yellow-Green

If your discharge has a slight yellow hue, don’t worry, it’s not a problem. This is especially true if the colour reflects your change in diet or dietary supplements.

However, if the colour of your discharge is darker, yellowish-green or green, it’s likely an indication of a bacterial or sexually-transmitted infection. You should especially go see a doctor if the discharge is thick or clumpy, or has a foul odour.

4. White

A white discharge can come in a shade of cream or light yellow. So, is a white and sticky vaginal discharge normal? If you don’t experience any symptoms, white discharge is most likely an indication of healthy lubrication.

But if the discharge is a cottage cheese-like consistency or emits a strong odour, it could be that you have an infection. That’s when you should head out to see your doctor. A thick and strong smelling white discharge is usually associated with a yeast infection that is indicated by symptoms of itching or irritation.

5. Pink

This discharge is anywhere between light or a deeper pink, which is accompanied by a little bit of blood. Pink discharge usually occurs with spotting before a menstrual period. It can also be a sign of implantation bleeding that occurs in the early stages of pregnancy.

There are some women who experience a little bit of spotting after ovulation, which also results in pink discharge. This discharge tone can also occur after sexual intercourse if sex caused small tears or irritation in the cervix or vagina.

6. Clear

Perhaps the most normal vaginal discharge is clear or whitish. It could be slippery or even have the consistency of egg whites. Women are likely to experience a slippery, clear discharge right before ovulation, during sexual arousal or during pregnancy.

7. Gray

Vaginal discharge with a greyish tone is not considered to be a healthy indication and is likely to be a symptom of a common bacterial infection known as bacterial vaginosis (BV). In fact, bacterial vaginosis (BV) causes other vaginal symptoms such as:

  • Irritation
  • Itching
  • A strong odour
  • Redness around the vagina opening or vulva

If you experience this kind of discharge, see your doctor right away. They usually prescribe antibiotics to treat this condition after diagnosis.