Check-Up: Worried about her vaginal discharge
Girlie is an 18-year-old who is worried about her vaginal discharge. She says, “I’m not very sexually active and haven’t had any sexual interaction for several months, but I notice that I’m often seeing a clear, watery discharge from my vagina. It doesn’t have an odour and it’s not itching, but it’s definitely heavier than what I’ve seen in the past. Is this normal, or could it be an infection?”
Most women will experience some form of vaginal discharge during their life and this discharge will often vary, even when due to natural causes and not involving an infection. A natural discharge is usually clear, but can also be slightly white. It may occur occasionally or more frequently, and the amount of discharge seen, and its consistency, will vary, changing throughout your life, especially during puberty, pregnancy and menopause.
A watery, clear-to-white discharge without odour and is not itching, is pretty typical of a discharge produced by a normal, healthy vagina. The amount of discharge seen can also vary due to the time of month. It is often heavier near menstruation (period). It may also become heavier with use of the oral contraceptive pills.
A normal discharge will either look like water, or egg white, or be slightly milky in colour and consistency. The odour should not be more than very slight. If significant changes are noted, then you should visit your doctor for a check-up to make sure you don’t have even a mild vaginal infection.