Vaginal discharge is, in many cases, a perfectly normal function of the reproductive system. For women of all ages, however, discharge can be inconvenient, uncomfortable, and even alarming. Not every type of discharge is considered among the various vaginal infection symptoms. We suggest that patients visit our office in Katy if they feel concerned about their vaginal health at all. In this case, it is better to err on the side of safety.
Discharge through the monthly cycle
The amount of discharge a woman experiences is likely to vary throughout the month. Just prior to the release of the egg, called ovulation, vaginal tissues secrete up to 30 times more lubrication. The excess mucous discharged during this time of month can be uncomfortable but managed well with the use of panty liners. Ovulation will most often lead to clear, elastic discharge and no additional symptoms.
In addition to ovulation, there are other instances in which discharge may increase:
Signs of infection
- At certain points in the menstrual cycle and also after exercise, watery, clear discharge may occur.
- White, thick discharge may be noticed at the beginning and end of the monthly cycle. This type of discharge should be watched for signs of yeast infection, such as itching.
- Clumpy, thick discharge that is also discolored and foul-smelling indicates vaginal infection and should be evaluated by your gynecologist.
- Discharge that is brown typically indicates old blood. This type of discharge tends to occur after menstruation.
- Brown discharge may also be "spotting" that occurs during ovulation or in the early stage of pregnancy. If this type of discharge occurs after unprotected sex, it is beneficial to schedule a pregnancy test.
Discharge is only one indicator of vaginal infection. Additional symptoms that would require medical evaluation include pain or discomfort, itching, or a rash or sores on genitalia.
What discharge may be telling you
There is good reason to have vaginal discharge evaluated by your OB/GYN. In our office in Katy, we assess what vaginal discharge may be telling us. Several conditions may be signaled by this event, including vaginal atrophy, pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease, sexually transmitted disease, cervical or vaginal cancer, yeast infection, and HPV infection.
Women who visit Jenkins Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Medicine benefit from personal care through which symptoms are carefully evaluated. Contact our office today for your consultation and examination.
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