healthy. Vaginal discharge is indicative of normal vaginal flora (the bacteria and organisms that should live in the vagina) and vaginal discharge functions to clean unhealthy organisms from the vagina. Most vaginal discharge will have a mild odor, again this is normal. The key is getting to know your body and your norm.
“The issue is when the vaginal discharge has a strong or abnormal odor or if it smells differently than normal. If the odor is fishy, that usually indicates bacterial vaginosis, an infection, and imbalance amongst the normal vaginal flora. Malodorous vaginal discharge can also be indicative of an STI (sexually transmitted infection) like gonorrhea, chlamydia or trichomoniasis. Strong vaginal discharge can also be indicative of rarer things including foreign bodies (retained tampon or condom) and even more rarely malignancies like cervical, uterine or vaginal cancer.
So again, “worried” is a strong term but if a malodorous discharge is present, especially if it is new, it should definitely be investigated by a medical professional.”
Dr. Jamil: Less concerning causes of abnormal odor can include vaginitis. This is typically a non-STD infection like candidiasis (i.e., a yeast infection) or bacterial vaginosis. Additionally, consumption of large amounts of dairy, alcohol, etc. can affect the vaginal pH and result in an odd odor.
Q: How much daily discharge is normal?
Dr. Jamil: There really isn’t a “normal” amount. The amounts of daily discharge can vary widely depending upon