Decoding Your Vaginal Discharge

woman standing in underwear

Vaginal discharge. I guess it’s just another one of those things that women have to deal with, right? You have it and probably don’t even give it much thought! As long as it looks normal and you feel fine why even worry about it?

It’s when it smells funny, looks weird or is happening more often than usual that you may get a bit concerned. Next time this happens (after reading this, of course), you will be able to decode your discharge before running to the store to buy a slew of creams, sprays and suppositories to “fix” it.

Clear/White and Wet

OB-GYN and coauthor of V is for Vagina Alyssa Dweck, explains that discharge at ovulation can be copious, but normal. This is why many women prefer sex when they’re ovulating; it acts as an additional bit of lubrication. “Many woman have a very wet discharge around the ovulation portion of their period, it is completely normal and okay.”

White, Clumpy and Itchy

Dr. Dweck says, “If there is a lot of odorless cottage-cheese looking discharge, accompanied with a killer itch, more than likely it’s a yeast infection.” This can be caused by a ton of things ranging from antibiotics to hygiene. The good thing about this uncomfortable infection is that there are plenty of over-the-counter meds you can use to quickly alleviate this problem.

Yellowish-Green and Stings

According to Dr. Dweck, it’s probably chlamydia or gonorrhea, two very common bacterial STDs. You may also experience pelvic pain and painful urination. Dweck says, “Make sure if you are diagnosed, you and your partner get treated, or you’ll keep passing the infection back and forth to each other.”

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Grayish, Thin and Smelly

Dr. Dweck explains that, “the odor is the defining trait of bacterial vaginosis.” It has a foul, fish-like smell…