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Vaginal discharge

What is a “normal” vaginal discharge?

​ When should I see a doctor?

What is a vaginal discharge? It is a mixture of mucus secreted from glands of the uterus and vagina, old cells, and bacteria.  Usually it is clear, white, or cream-colored. Some people have more vaginal discharge than others. Also, the amount and texture changes depending on your menstrual cycle. It can be helpful to observe your own discharge on a regular basis and identify patterns.

In women (those with a vagina and uterus), vaginal discharge acts as a barrier to prevent harmful substances from entering the abdomen through the vagina. It is perfectly normal for a healthy person to have discharge. It is normal to have a slight odor. (The vagina isn't supposed to smell like fruit or flowers.)

When should I seek medical advice? When it itches, when it smells "fishy", when it's an unusual gray, green, or dark yellow color, when your partner tells you of any worrying symptoms. In such cases, please consult a gynecologist. Depending on the cause, it can be treated on the spot.

On a different note, chlamydia, a common sexually transmitted disease, is often asymptomatic. Please consult with your doctor about getting tested.

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