People don't usually enjoy talking about their vaginal discharge – it's not exactly dinner party conversation – so it can be hard to tell what's normal and what's not.
The lining of your vagina keeps itself healthy by producing natural secretions. These can be either clear or milky in appearance, and shouldn't smell of anything.
There are certain times when your vagina gets more active on the secretion front and you'll notice this in the amount of discharge you see.
Some women can tell when they ovulate, because they notice a change in the amount of discharge. It can also change in consistency – it may be a bit thicker and look a bit like egg white.
Being on the pill can have an effect, so if you notice a difference just after you've started or stopped the pill, that might explain it. Other things can also affect the amount and consistency of your normal discharge, being sexually aroused, pregnancy or even just being stressed.
Should I worry?
If your discharge smells nasty, is a strange colour or is accompanied by discomfort, irritation or even pain, don't just ignore it, have a word with your doctor.
It's probably nothing to worry about as there are several explanations – but it's good to put your mind at rest and if you need treatment, the doctor will be able to advise you.
You should also see the doctor if:
- You're pregnant or you think you might be pregnant.
- You notice unusual bleeding or a have a blood stained discharge.
- Your normal discharge starts to smell.
- You notice any blisters or sores around your vulva or vagina.
- You notice symptoms after unprotected sex with a new partner and it's possible that you might have been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection