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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.
Alternative Names Discharge from the vagina Prevention References Anderson M, Karasz A, Friedland S. Are vaginal symptoms ever normal? A review of the literature. MedGenMed . 2004;6(4):49. Eckert LO, Lentz GM. Infections of the lower genital tract: vulva, vagina, cervix, toxic shock syndrome, HIV infections. In: Katz VL, Lentz GM, Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology . 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2007:chap 22. Sanfilippo JS. Vulvovaginitis. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 549. Spence D, Melville C. Vaginal discharge. BMJ . 2007;335:1147-1151.
Definition Vaginal bleeding in pregnancy is bleeding coming through the vagina during pregnancy, for any reason. Alternative Names Pregnancy - vaginal bleeding; Maternal blood loss Considerations Up to 10% of women have vaginal bleeding at some time during their pregnancy, especially in the first 3 months (first trimester). Bleeding is even more common with twins. To help prevent a miscarriage or other problems during pregnancy: Avoid smoking and using drugs of any kind, including alcohol. Eat a well- balanced diet . Get regular medical checkups. Take prenatal vitamins (or vitamins high in folic acid) before and after getting pregnant. Common Causes During the first 3 months, vaginal bleeding may be a sign of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. See the doctor right away. During months 4 - 9 bleeding may be a sign of: Abruptio placentae Miscarriage Placenta previa Vasa previa Other possible causes of vaginal bleeding during pregnancy: Early labor (bloody show) Ectopic pregnancy Infection of the cervix Trauma...
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