What’s your favorite U by Kotex® product? Write a review>
Click on the cross to close the popups
Period info and advice

The Details on Discharge

by Dr. Aliza

Normal vaginal discharge is a natural part of the way a woman's body functions. Read on to find out how to take care of, respect and celebrate your wonderful body.

Maybe you’re embarrassed to talk about vaginal discharge. But there’s no reason to be. All women have it, and it’s normal for your vagina to produce secretions to stay clean, healthy, lubricated and protected against infection and germs. Basically, the flow maintains your vagina’s natural balance.

How do you identify normal vaginal discharge?

Normal, natural vaginal discharge is usually transparent and, if you detect an odor, it’s very mild. It can look white when it dries on your underwear. The amount of discharge or mucus produced by cells in the cervix varies along with changes in hormone levels. This is completely normal.

By the way, if you haven’t gotten your period yet but you’ve noticed that you’ve started to have some vaginal discharge, don’t worry. What this means is that your hormonal level is changing and your body is getting ready for you to get your first period. This usually happens 6 months to a year before menarche (meaning your first period). You should be aware that once you start having vaginal discharge, it’ll be with you for the rest of your life. It will decrease slightly after menopause. Women tend to differ, so vaginal discharge may vary, but you’ll get to know what’s normal for you. Most women don’t need to do anything special about their discharge. For the heavier days, avoiding tight clothing (like tight jeans and pantyhose) and wearing cotton underwear should be enough. Others may feel more comfortable wearing a thin pad or a panty liner.

Is it possible for normal vaginal discharge to change throughout the month?

Sure. You can see small changes during the menstrual cycle. The vagina’s pH or acidity level changes with hormonal fluctuations. This affects the vagina’s "natural environment" and may make secretions more abundant, whiter, denser, and so on. Factors that can cause an increase or change your vaginal discharge are:

  • Ovulation
  • Pregnancy
  • Stress
  • Sexual arousal
  • Drugs that contain hormones, such as contraceptives
  • Breastfeeding
  • Diet

Is there such a thing as abnormal vaginal discharge?

Vaginal discharge is an indicator of your vagina’s health, so if you notice changes in its regular color, texture, smell or amount, you may have a vaginal infection and should see your healthcare provider.

What can you do to ensure that your vaginal discharge is normal and to avoid vaginal infections?

  • Keep your vulva and vagina clean and dry. Do not use vaginal douches. These alter your vagina’s natural balance and can cause infections or make them worse.
  • Use condoms whenever you have sex to avoid contracting or transmitting STDs.
  • Don’t use perfumes or powders in the genital area, since they contain irritants.
  • Don’t wear tight pants because they limit good oxygen flow to the area.
  • Wear cotton underwear to prevent excessive sweating in your genital area.
  • If you have diabetes, keep your blood glucose (blood sugar) under control. Diabetic women tend to develop frequent vaginal infections caused by yeast, due to increased glucose.
  • If you use tampons, change them frequently.

Remember: Don’t medicate yourself. While some infections – such as yeast infections – can be treated with over-the-counter medicines, always check with a healthcare professional. As you can see, changes in your vaginal discharge can occur for a variety of reasons. But don’t forget that normal vaginal discharge is a natural part of the way a woman's body functions. Take care of, respect and celebrate your wonderful body.

Share This:
Like:

Related Articles

Tissues, bottles, box of tampons
Tomi Ann Health Wellness
Default Image

This is not intended to be medical advice. Everybody is different so please make sure to consult your physician if you're having issues. Do not delay or refrain from seeking professional medical advice from your physician because of something you have read on this site.

Recommended Products

UbyKotex Teen® Pads - Extra Absorbency

Check out  these smaller-sized pad with heavy-flow absorbency. U by Kotex Teen® Pads are totally perfect for your younger girls learning the ropes and have vibrant colors with cool patterns. 

View Product
U by Kotex® Clean Wear Heavy Flow
Cleanwear® Ultra Thin Pads Heavy Flow with Wings

Say hello to your new favorite pad for heavy flow days. U by Kotex® Cleanwear® Pads feature Xpress DRI® Core for crazy, fast absorption to help stop leaks.

View Product
U by Kotex® Click Tampons Comfort Super
Click® Tampons Super Compact

Go from compact to full-sized protection in one quick move with U by Kotex® Click® Tampons. Perfect for travel and pocket-sized, to go where U go!

View Product
Security Utlra Thin Wings Heavy
Security® Ultra Thin Pads Long with Wings

This super-thin pad has some crazy fast absorption that you can trust. And with its added length and uniquely shaped wings. It'll keep you comfortable while helping stop leaks dead their in tracks.

View Product