Intimate Care School
The vagina & vulva
Discharge is a clear fluid from the vagina that helps moisten the mucous membranes and keeps the vagina clean. It usually starts when you enter puberty and changes along with your menstrual cycle. It acts as the vagina’s natural protection against infections and is a good thing that is entirely natural.
What does it look and smell like?
Discharges comes in different colors, amounts and consistencies. They can be clear, white, sticky etc. The list goes on. What they look like and what consistency they have depends on where you are in your menstrual cycle.
Discharge during the menstrual cycle
The discharge can vary depending on which stage of the menstrual cycle you are at. Before ovulation it can be thinner, before becoming thicker and more abundant during ovulation. At this time it can look and feel a bit like egg white since the consistency is usually stringy and stretchy. After ovulation, the amount is less and becomes more yellow. You may experience pink or brown discharge before or after the period beacuse it mixes with the menastruation fluid.
When you are aroused the vagina produces a luquid which is called lubrication, the vagina’s own natural lube3. You should therefore be properly aroused during sexual intercourse, to make sure the vagina has time to become sufficiently moist to reduce friction to the mucous membranes.
You can normally have heavy discharge. If you are bothered by this, consider:
• Air the genital area, for instance by sleeping without knickers at night.
• Using products intended for intimate hygiene.
• Wearing loose-fitting clothes that are not too tight.
Hormones can affect discharge along with:
- Use of contraception containing hormones.
- Menopause, when discharge can become permanent.
Vaginal discomfort can affect the discharge. Pay extra attention to following symptoms:
- More than before
- Change in color
- An new odour
- White with grainy texture
- Mixed with blood
Contact a health center or gynecologist if you experience anything unusual in your genital area. Read more about discharge here.