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The point of discharge is to keep the vagina moist, clean and healthy. It cleans the vagina by getting rid of dead cells and bacteria. So it is nothing to worry about, in fact it’s a sign everything is healthy and working as it should.
Developed in partnership with Canesten. Canesten Thrush Combi Soft Gel Pessary and External Cream, contains Clotrimazole. Always read the label.
It’s normal to get vaginal discharge
throughout the month. The amount that comes out can vary, depending on where
you’re at in your menstrual cycle. Sometimes discharge looks thick and white,
and other times (when you’re releasing an egg, around ovulation) it looks
stringy and clear. It can also have a yellowish look to it.
It’s normal for discharge to have a faint smell to it. Sometimes a discharge with a slight brown or pink colour can be a sign that your period is on its way. Or you can get a brownish discharge at the end of your period.
You may also notice more discharge
when you’re feeling sexually excited (aroused). This is because when you become
aroused the blood flow to the vaginal walls increases and causes lubrication to
make the vagina wet.
If you haven’t started your periods
yet, getting discharge is usually a sign that your periods will start in the
There is no need to wash discharge
away. Just make sure that you wash the vulva and surrounding area once a day
with unperfumed soap.
Washing inside the vagina (also called douching) removes helpful bacteria and changes the acidity in the vagina, which can lead to the development of Thrush or Bacterial Vaginosis. Douching should be avoided for this reason .
If you notice discharge that is not
normal for you, you may have an infection. Changes in colour, smell, texture or
quantity, itchiness, soreness or unusual pain or bleeding are all reasons to
speak to a doctor.
See our page on Do I need to see a doctor? for more information and if you are worried, speak to a doctor or nurse.
Not an STI but sex and STIs can trigger it.
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