Your vagina is the passageway to the inner reproductive organs. The pH balance creates slightly acidic environment in your vagina to prevent infections. It is natural to experience vaginal discharge, and it is normal in most cases. Your vagina produces fluids to keep it clean – just like how saliva cleanses your mouth. A change in color, consistency, and odor of your vaginal discharge may indicate an infection. Keep reading to learn if you should worry about it.
Is It Normal to Have Clear Watery Discharge?
Usually, you do not need to worry about clear watery vaginal discharge. It actually indicates a good balance of yeast and healthy bacteria in your vagina. This watery discharge plays a role in eliminating bacteria and dead cells from your vagina. You should not worry about watery discharge until it accompanies with other symptoms. A change in its odor or consistency requires a visit to your doctor to confirm everything is fine.
When Does Clear Watery Discharge Occur?
It is common to notice watery discharge during your menstrual cycle, but you may experience the same in other situations. Be sure to notice when it actually occurs and inform your doctor about it to help make a better diagnosis. Here are some of the situations when you may experience watery discharge.
1. During Ovulation
You are more likely to witness watery discharge during ovulation. There will be an increase in estrogen levels when you are ovulating. This in turn will lead to vaginal discharge. You usually notice it a day before the egg is released. Your vagina produces 30 times more mucus during ovulation, and it is normal for this mucus to come out of your vagina. It is watery, clear and odorless.
2. After Sex
You may notice clear watery discharge during or after sex. This is common for women who are sexually active. The mucus is the outcome of sexual arousal. This usually comes from glands (the Bartholin’s and Skene’s glands) located above and below your vaginal opening. This is basically lubricating discharge that helps facilitate penetration during vaginal intercourse. These glands may continue to produce that lube several hours after the intercourse.
3. During Pregnancy
You may notice watery vaginal discharge during pregnancy mainly due to a change in hormones. It may appear in early pregnancy, and is often considered an early sign of pregnancy. It happens when your levels of estrogen rises dramatically. You may even notice blood streaks with vaginal discharge, which is referred to as implantation bleeding. You will continue to experience vaginal discharge throughout your pregnancy, you should not worry about it so long as it is clear and does not produce other symptoms, such as swelling, itching, and redness of the vulva, or pain during urination.
When Should I Worry About Vaginal Discharge?
It is a good idea to see your doctor if you notice a sudden increase in your vaginal discharge. You should do the same if there is a change in color, consistency, or odor of your vaginal discharge. You may have an infection if you notice the following discharges:
- Cheesy Discharge with Odor: Do you notice cloudy white or cottage cheese-like discharge with fishy odor? It may be due to bacterial vaginosis or yeast infection, especially if you experience other symptoms such as burning during urination, swelling of the vagina, and lower abdominal pain.
- Pale to Dark Yellow Discharge: You may have gonorrhea or bacterial vaginosis if your vaginal discharge is pale to dark yellow in color with creamy texture and fishy odor. This will accompany with other symptoms such as itching of the vagina, pain during intercourse, pain during urination, and lower abdominal pain.
- Green Discharge: Your vaginal discharge will turn yellowish or may have a neon green tinge if you are suffering from Chlamydia or Trichomoniasis. It will have a fishy, sour smell with pasty consistency. Other symptoms include pelvic pain, urinary incontinence, redness of the vagina, and spotting between periods.
- Gray Discharge: Bacterial vaginosis may well be the reason why you are noticing vaginal discharge in cloudy white to pale grey color. It will have a strong odor with cheesy consistency. Other symptoms are itching around the vagina, swelling of the vagina, and burning sensation while urinating.
When to See a Doctor
As mentioned already, any sudden change in color, consistency, and odor of your vaginal discharge should be reported to your doctor immediately. It is also a good idea to take a few vaginal swabs with you for analysis. It is important to treat underlying infection or else it will cause serious complications, especially if you are pregnant. Your doctors will identify the cause of concern and prescribe medication to help treat the infection. They will also help you understand what hygiene habits you need to change to avoid dealing with vaginal infections.