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It’s perfectly normal to have vaginal discharge and, in fact, it’s healthy. It’s basically mucus produced by your cervix and it’s how your body gets rid of fluid and old cells. But, when it looks or smells a certain way, you might have a cause for worry as it might be a sign of something more serious.
When Should You Worry?
Pay attention to your discharge during the month as it varies throughout your menstrual cycle. Once you’re sure about how it changes over the month, you’ll know when it looks different.
Look out for:
* changes in colour or consistency
* a heavy discharge all of a sudden
* an unpleasant smell
* bleeding from your vagina when you’re not expected to get your period
* other symptoms accompanying your discharge, such as an itchy vagina or pain in your pelvis or tummy
If any of these symptoms occur, make an appointment with your doctor as you could have a vaginal infection.
Most Common Vaginal Infections
Vaginal thrush is a common yeast infection and it affects most women at some point in their lives. If your discharge is thick and white (like cottage cheese), there’s a high chance you have thrush. It’s also common to feel itchy and sore around your vagina. Thankfully, this is easy enough to treat, with anti-fungal medicine from a pharmacy.
Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)
If your vaginal discharge is thin and grey or has a strong fishy smell, you might have this infection. Bacterial vaginosis is caused by an imbalance in the normal bacteria found in your vagina and is very common too. Even though it’s not sexually transmitted, the symptoms tend to be more obvious after sexual intercourse. It’s easily treated with antibiotics so see your doctor if you suspect you have it.
This is a common sexually-transmitted infection and can be easily treated with antibiotics. It’s caused by a tiny parasite and makes your vaginal discharge yellow-green and frothy. Other possible symptoms include pain while urinating and swelling, itching and soreness around your vagina. There could also be a strong, fishy smell.
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