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When to Worry About Vaginal Discharge

When to Worry About Vaginal Discharge

If you have a vagina, you understand all too well the different substances that can exit this passageway, starting with your monthly periods. Outside of your periods, however, vaginal discharge is very common, and figuring out whether one type of discharge might be more problematic than another can be challenging, to say the least.

To help you figure out what’s behind your vaginal discharge and whether you should seek help, our team at Women’s Clinic of the Rio Grande Valley, under the direction of Dr. Fernando Otero, pulled together a few rules of thumb.

Vaginal discharge — what’s normal

When we discuss vaginal discharge, we’re referring to a mostly clear, slippery substance that exits your vagina. In fact, your vagina produces fluids all the time to lubricate the walls and to help shed out old cells. So, you likely experience vaginal discharge on a daily basis, though it likely passes unnoticed.

This discharge may be more noticeable during ovulation or you might experience an increase during sexual arousal, both of which are examples of a perfectly normal increase in vaginal discharge.

No matter the circumstance, if the vaginal discharge is clear or milky white and it smells normal, there’s usually no cause for concern.

Vaginal discharge — what isn’t normal

We reviewed normal vaginal discharge above, so now let’s look at the attributes of potentially concerning discharge, which include:

In addition to these characteristics, if you’re experiencing a change in your vaginal discharge alongside itching or pain in your vaginal area, or burning when you urinate, it’s time to come see us.

Concerning causes of vaginal discharge

If there are changes in your vaginal discharge that fit what we describe above, the issue might be linked to:

In a majority of cases, changes in vaginal discharge are mostly tied back to sexually transmitted infections or yeast infections. The good news is that, in most cases, these are conditions that we can help you clear up quite easily and quickly.

Discharge related to reproductive cancers, on the other hand, typically occur after menopause, and these cancers aren’t common.

If you think your vaginal discharge isn’t normal, it’s best to err on the side of caution and come see us for an evaluation. To get started, simply contact one of our offices in McAllen or Edinburg, Texas, to set up an appointment.

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