FROM OUR EXPERTS
It is a question that is often asked: Is my vaginal discharge normal or should I be worried that something is wrong? The answer is: It depends. Every woman experiences some vaginal discharge and usually, it signals a healthy vagina but there are times when you should talk with your doctor.
What is Normal Discharge?
The pH in your vagina is naturally acidic to help prevent infections. This acidity is caused by “good” bacteria created by your body. Your vagina produces secretions to help cleanse your vagina, much like the saliva in your mouth. The secretions are released every day cleaning out old cells. The secretions also help prevent infections and keep your vagina lubricated.
As the secretions flow out of your vagina, you may see some discharge. Normal discharge is clear or milky white. It can sometimes appear yellowish when dry on clothing. You may also see small white flecks or, depending on your menstrual cycle, it may be thin and stringy.
With the significant drop in estrogen after menopause, the membranes of the vagina thin, lose elasticity, and decrease their production of lubricating fluids. Sexual intercourse may be uncomfortable or even painful. Pain with intercourse may be largely a result of soreness of the vulva, the area right outside your vagina. Try avoiding harsh soaps or using a barrier cream like Eucerin or Bag Balm.
Many women find that Replens or other lubricants help ease vaginal dryness. Replens is designed to moisturize the walls of the vagina, but it may not in fact be the best lubricant. It's expensive, and it tends to drip out of the vagina. If you need a lubricant, you may want to try Astroglide or Moist Again.
You can also get yeast infections—a common side effect of antibiotics, steroids, and some chemotherapies—inside the folds of the vagina and vulva that cause discomfort, thick white discharge, and odor. Clean the area gently. You may need to use yeast-fighting c...
Menopause brings about many changes to the body. Some of those we can see; other changes aren’t so visible. For instance, vaginal atrophy affects about half of postmenopausal women, according to the Mayo Clinic
One type of atrophy is vulvovaginal atrophy. “During perimenopause, less estrogen may cause the tissues of the vulva and the lining of the vagina to become thinner, drier, and less elastic or flexible—a condition known as vulvovaginal atrophy,” More.com noted. “Vaginal secretions are reduced, resulting in decreased lubrication. Reduced levels of estrogen also result in an increase in vaginal pH, which makes the vagina less acidic, just as it was before puberty.”
Another type is atrophic vaginitis. According to More.com , “When ‘–it is’ is added to a word, it generally means inflammation. Inflammation of the vagina after menopause in a woman who is not using hormone therapy is called atrophic vaginitis. This cond...
You should know
Answers to your question are meant to provide general health information but should not replace medical advice you receive from a doctor. No answers should be viewed as a diagnosis or recommended treatment for a condition. Content posted by community members does not necessarily reflect the views of Remedy Health Media, which also reserves the right to remove material deemed inappropriate.