Discharge helps to clean
From puberty, women's bodies produce vaginal discharge, a transparent fluid that keeps the membranes moist. Discharge keeps your vulva clean and protected.
2 min read
Reviewed by Jenny Jansson
Discharge is produced by the cervix, in varying amounts during the menstrual cycle. There is often more discharge just before menstruation and it looks like loose egg white during ovulation.
The discharge can smell sour and has a thick consistency. It can become light yellow or light brown when it comes into contact with air.
Abundant or abnormal discharge
Problems in your vagina and vulva often affect discharge. If you think your discharge smells more than usual, that there is more of it, or if you notice that the colour has a dark or greenish tone, it may be due to an infection in the vagina.
Your discharge might also be grainy or mixed with blood. You should contact a gynaecologist. If your discharge is normal but there is a lot of it, you can try sleeping without underwear to give your vulva some air. Try wearing loose underwear and a pad during the day.
Discharge when you're aroused
You experience more discharge when you're aroused. This is the body's own lubrication and protects the membranes when you have sex.
Changes in discharge
Discharge can change during pregnancy as it's affected by your hormones. It can also change when you take hormonal contraceptives. Discharge can change when you enter menopause and your membranes become dry.
Discharge cleans your vulva and is natural. You don't need to wash your vulva. Perfumed soap and shower gel, as well as jacuzzis, can disrupt the vagina's natural bacterial balance and cause abnormal discharge. If you're uncertain about what is normal you can check your vaginal pH. Ask in the pharmacy. Or visit your GP or gynaecologist to find out if there's something wrong.
Reviewed by Jenny Jansson
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