Vaginal discharge is a completely natural occurrence, often influenced by hormone fluctuations throughout your menstrual cycle and different stages of life, right up to menopause.

Around mid-cycle, you might notice your discharge is clear, watery, and more abundant. This is your body’s way of creating an environment that’s friendly for sperm. However, as you approach your next period, the discharge tends to thicken and may have a milky white or yellowish colour, making it less friendly for sperm movement.

When to Be Concerned?

While vaginal discharge is usually normal, there may be a cause for concern when there are changes in smell, colour, or consistency. These changes could signal an infection, and it’s crucial to seek medical advice promptly.

Common Infections and Symptoms

  • Candida (Thrush): This yeast infection can cause itching, soreness, and a thick, white discharge.
  • Bacterial Vaginosis: Characterised by a fishy-smelling loose discharge without the itchiness of thrush.

Various factors, from medications to intimate hygiene products, can trigger these infections. While over-the-counter treatments are available, it’s essential to consult a doctor if symptoms persist.

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

STIs are an important cause of changes in vaginal discharge.  If your discharge is green, yellow, or frothy, especially accompanied by pelvic pain or abnormal bleeding, it could be a sign of an STI like Chlamydia or Gonorrhea. 

Reducing Your Risk

Certain behaviours and circumstances can increase your risk of contracting an STI. Practising safe sex and getting tested regularly are essential steps in protecting your health.

Other Potential Causes

Sometimes, it’s as simple as a forgotten tampon causing discomfort and unusual discharge. And while rare, don’t ignore any changes in your discharge pattern, as it could even be a sign of cancer. Your health matters, and your body’s signals are important. Prioritising your health isn’t just about addressing issues when they arise but also about maintaining a proactive approach to your well-being. Don’t hesitate to seek help if something feels off.

Throughout June and July, we will be running the complete series on Vaginal health. So if you have found this blog useful why not check out our videos here and follow us on Instagram for insightful and helpful tips on female health.

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