When it comes to normal versus abnormal vaginal discharge, many women have questions that their health classes never answered. At the Chronic Pelvic Pain Center of Northern Virginia in Annandale, Virginia, gynecologist Melissa A. Delgado, MD, FACOG helps educate and empower you to take control of your health. If you’re not sure whether your vaginal discharge is a normal biological process or a sign of something more serious, call or click online to book an appointment with Dr. Delgado today.
Not only is vaginal discharge normal, but it also plays an essential role in keeping your reproductive system clean. Glands inside your cervix and vagina secrete clear, mucus-like fluid to flush out dead cells and bacteria. That fluid then leaves your body through the vagina.
It’s typical for normal vaginal discharge to vary in volume, color, and odor depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle. Discharge typically increases while you’re ovulating, breastfeeding, or sexually aroused. As long as these changes are minor, they’re no cause for concern.
However, if you notice a significant change in the consistency, smell, or color of your discharge, that may be a sign of vaginal infection or another gynecologic condition.
Any change in the microbial balance of your vagina may alter the smell, color, or texture of discharge. Some things that may upset that balance include:
It’s crucial to see Dr. Delgado if you notice any significant changes to your vaginal discharge, particularly if you can’t determine a reason for the change. You should also make an appointment if you have any of the following symptoms:
First, Dr. Delgado performs an exam to determine if your discharge is normal or a sign of an underlying problem. She may ask questions about your menstrual cycle and sexual history.
Then, she creates a treatment plan based on your condition. If a yeast infection is the culprit, she may prescribe antifungal medications. If it’s a bacterial infection, she may prescribe antibiotics.
If the abnormal vaginal discharge is a sign of a more serious medical problem, Dr. Delgado counsels you on your best options for treatment.
If you notice an unusual change in your vaginal discharge, have accompanying symptoms, or aren’t sure if what you see is normal, call the Chronic Pelvic Pain Center of Northern Virginia or book an appointment online today.