Do you know your vagina can actually tell you quite a bit about your health?
As a woman, you can have a bit of discharge, but the amount, smell, color, and texture can all be indicators as to what is going on with your body. It’s always wise to see your ob-gyn for an official diagnosis. In the meantime, use our symptom decoder to find out what your vagina is trying to tell you.
Thin and clear: This is your standard-issue discharge — near the beginning of your menstrual cycle, your discharge will most likely be clear and watery, or thin and milky-white. As long as you’re not having any weird symptoms like itching or a funky odor, you’re good to go.
Brown or bloody: If you just got done with your period, it’s likely leftover blood evacuating the premises. But if you have random mid-month spotting, or this isn’t the first time you’ve noticed blood in the mix, or even if you’re just weirded out by it, talk to your gyno or healthcare provider — she can help you figure out what might be causing it. Brownish or blood-tinged vaginal discharge could be from a vaginal infection, a lost tampon, an ovarian cyst, or something within the uterus like a polyp.
If something smells fishy: This is typically an indication of bacterial vaginosis. Your pH is off down yonder. It may also be an indication of another type of infection and is important to get checked out.
Thick and lumpy: If you’re experiencing discharge that is odorless, thick, white and has a lumpy texture and ‘a bit like cottage cheese’, it’s likely to be a yeast infection. You may also experience itching, soreness, burning and irritation.
Egg white consistency: Ever notice that your discharge is occasionally clear and stretchy? This often is an indication that you are ovulating (your ovary is releasing a mature egg that will pass through the fallopian tube for fertilization).
Thick and gummy: Surprise! Your discharge can also indicate pregnancy. At the beginning of your pregnancy, you may notice a thicker, heavier or gummy discharge. This is because the cervix and vaginal walls get softer, and discharge increases to help prevent any infections traveling up from the vagina to the womb.