What Is Considered Normal Vaginal Discharge?

The amount of normal vaginal discharge varies from woman to woman and cycle to cycle.
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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 22 July 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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Normal vaginal discharge is usually white or clear and thick, sticky, creamy, or wet in consistency. If it has an odor, it is usually very mild and not foul smelling. In most cases, a woman's normal vaginal discharge isn't irritating and does not cause itching. Some women feel alarmed by the amount of discharge they have, but the amount may vary from woman to woman as well as at different points in a menstrual cycle.

Some women become upset by the presence of vaginal discharge. They may, for example, feel that it means they are dirty or have an infection, but this is a misconception. Most women have some type of vaginal discharge ,and it is usually not associated with lack of cleanliness or a sign of infection. The appearance, feel, and consistency of vaginal discharge may vary from woman to woman, however. In fact, one woman may even experience different types of discharge at various points in her menstrual cycle.

In many cases, normal vaginal discharge is white or clear. A woman may have discharge that is thick, sticky, creamy, thin, watery, or elastic — all of these are within the realm of normal vaginal discharge. Interestingly, a woman's discharge changes in conjunction with her fertility. For example, it may appear white and thick or creamy during less-fertile parts of her menstrual cycle and then become clear, wet, and stretchy when she is close to ovulation; these changes are normal and not cause for alarm.

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A woman may also wonder if she has a normal amount of vaginal discharge. The amount varies from woman to woman, and even from cycle to cycle. On average, however, a woman may have about 1 teaspoon (4.92 milliliters) of discharge daily.

Some women may also wonder whether odor is normal when it comes to vaginal discharge. Usually, a woman's vaginal discharge is odorless or mild smelling. In fact, if discharge does have a smell, it is usually so mild that a woman may not notice it. A foul-smelling vaginal discharge is not normal, however, and may develop as a sign of an infection or a sexually transmitted disease.

Besides a foul smell, there are other signs a woman may notice if she is experiencing abnormal discharge. For example, if a woman's discharge is yellow, green, black, or gray, this may be a sign of infection. Additionally, normal vaginal discharge is usually not accompanied by pain, irritation, or itching.

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Discuss this Article

anon326718
Post 5

I have the same problem. My discharge is normal but it smells like tuna. Please help.

Kristee
Post 4

One of the signs of a yeast infection is white clumpy vaginal discharge. Though the color isn't abnormal, the texture and volume are.

I always know when I have a yeast infection. It itches so terribly, and clumps fall out on a regular basis.

Just knowing that this discharge is present in the canal makes me itch even more! It's not something you could just scratch away, though, even if you could reach it. You have to get medication for it.

kylee07drg
Post 3

I usually have a yellow vaginal discharge, but I don't think anything is wrong with me. It's sort of a yellowish-white and not a bright yellow.

feasting
Post 2

@wavy58 – You don't always have to go by the appearance of the discharge to know when something is wrong. The fact that you have far more than normal vaginal odor does point to a problem.

It sounds like you may have bacterial vaginosis. Though you may not notice it, your discharge is probably gray. That was the color of mine when I had this condition.

The discharge did smell like fish. Antibiotics took care of it, though. You do need to go to the doctor to get rid of it.

wavy58
Post 1

I wear colored underwear, so it's hard to tell exactly what color my discharge is. However, I've been having abnormal vaginal odor, so I think something is up.

It smells kind of like tuna. I change underwear twice a day, and I'm always embarrassed that other people around me may be able to smell it.

I don't have any itching or burning, so I haven't gone to see a doctor. What could be wrong with me?

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