Check Up : Concerned about her vaginal discharge

February 21, 2017

Jean-Ann is an 18-year-old who emailed Check Up regarding concerns about her persistent vaginal discharge.

She says that her vaginal discharge is often heavy but watery, and mostly clear, although at times it becomes whitish. It does not itch.

Jean-Ann asks if this is perhaps normal for her. She has been told by her doctor that the discharge is normal, but is still worried because it seems like 'nuff' discharge, and sometimes she even wears a panty shield because of it.

Normal vaginal discharges in women change character over the course of a month because of hormonal changes during the woman's normal cycle.

The amount and consistency of the discharge changes depending on the time it is occurring in the menstrual cycle. Clear, stretchy vaginal discharges are usually quite normal.

For most women, the normal vaginal discharge is clear to white and not too abundant. It is rarely absolutely clear, as it contains vaginal cells, cervical mucous, normal commensal organisms (not disease-causing) and secretions from the sweat and sebaceous glands. This is normal!

A clear, stretchy discharge is seen by many women near their mid-cycle at ovulation time. It usually lasts two to three days and is quite normal.

It does not require any treatment, and can be used by the woman as an indication of her fertile period.

Clear discharges also increase before sex or after orgasm and is a normal sign of sexual arousal. After mid-cycle, the vaginal secretions normally become scantier and slightly cream in colour.

Clear, stringy vaginal discharges also occur early in pregnancies, and again just before labour, and can be viewed as a precursor to labour.

Clear is normal but if mixed with blood, then consult a physician! Also, consult a physician about any discharge which is accompanied by an odour, is itchy, or is deep-yellow or green in colour.

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