Thick, white discharge
This kind of vaginal discharge is normal. It’s especially common at the beginning and ends of your menstrual cycle, but can appear at any time as the vagina cleans itself out. Normal white discharge isn’t accompanied by itching, and there should be no odor other than your normal vaginal scent.
Clumpy, white discharge
White discharge from the vagina that’s clumpy or has a texture similar to cottage cheese is sign of a yeast infection. This discharge may or may not have an odor, and is usually accompanied by itching, burning, or swelling of the vaginal area. Yeast infections must be treated in order for the discharge to return to normal. Antifungal medications and home remedies are two popular treatment routes for this type of infection.
Clear, stretchy discharge
This discharge is a great sign for women trying to become pregnant. Clear, stretchy discharge is fertile mucous, a product of ovulation. Ovulation is the time during one’s menstrual cycle when it’s easiest to conceive. Discharge like this is natural and will subside as ovulation passes.
Clear, watery discharge
This is just every day, run-of-the-mill discharge. It can be particularly heavy after exercising. Unless you notice a fishy odor and possibly a grayish coloration, clear discharge is rarely anything to worry about. Those two symptoms could indicate bacterial vaginosis, another type of vaginal infection.
Yellow or greenish frothy discharge
If you have this type of discharge along with a bad vaginal odor, itching, burning, and other irritation, it’s definitely an infection and it’s most likely trichomoniasis. Trichomoniasis is an STI, or a sexually-transmitted infection. Discharge from the vagina is extremely unpleasant in women with this infection. Luckily, trichomoniasis is easily treated with a single dose, so if you recognize this type of discharge, see a doctor as soon as possible.
Brown discharge and spotting
Brown discharge from the vagina is usually nothing more than the vagina cleaning out leftover blood after menstruation. It shouldn’t last more than a day or two. Spotting can occur at various times throughout the cycle and is common in women on birth control and younger women who don’t have a regular cycle yet. Spotting shouldn’t last more than a few days either. If you notice bloody discharge or heavy spotting that lasts more than a few days, you should see a doctor.
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