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.
A small amount of daily vaginal discharge is common in most women. Some breast cancer treatments can cause more or different discharge.
Normal discharge is usually:
clear, white, or opaque in color
thin and sticky or thick and gooey in appearance
Abnormal discharge can be:
more voluminous than usual
thick and white or yellowish in color (sometimes resembling cottage cheese); a cottage-cheese-like discharge can be a sign of a yeast infection. If you think you might have a yeast infection, call your doctor. Medicines are available to help.
If the discharge looks bloody, see a doctor immediately. Bloody discharge can be a sign of a serious medical condition.
The following breast cancer treatments can cause vaginal discharge:
tamoxifen, a hormonal therapy
Fareston (chemical name: toremifene), a hormonal therapy
Some bisphosphonates (bone-strengthening medicines) can cause a white vaginal discharge as a side effect.
Managing vaginal discharge
Take daily shower...
It’s a common question that often is asked on HealthCentral’s menopause site - What’s a normal period when you’re going through perimenopause? That’s because some women report that their periods are lighter and may just involve spotting while others describe extremely heavy periods. And some women miss a period and then experience a heavy period.
It turns out that irregular periods are normal. “In the years preceding menopause, women experience changes in their menstrual cycle,” HealthCentral.com stated. “The time between periods can become shorter or longer and periods may last a longer or shorter number of days. Bleeding can be heavier or lighter, and change in flow from month to month. It is also normal for periods to skip a cycle.”
In their book “The No-Nonsense Guide to Menopause,” Barbara Seaman and Laura Eldridge note that hormone fluctuations cause these changes. “Specifically, it seems that wh...
You should know
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