About Vaginal Discharge

  • Is vaginal discharge normal when I'm not having my period?

    Even when you don't have your period, it is normal to have a certain amount of discharge from your vagina. This discharge actually helps keep the vagina clean. The name for this normal discharge is leukorrhea (lu-ker-EA). Leukorrhea is clear or white and has no odor. It is normal for your body to produce a small amount (about a teaspoon) of leukorrhea per day. During the middle of your menstrual cycle (when eggs are released during ovulation) you may notice that the discharge becomes thinner and stretchy, like the whites of an egg. Toward the end of your cycle, closer to when you actually get your period, your discharge may be stickier.

  • What if my discharge looks or smells funny?

    Have your doctor check you out if you think you may be having discharge that is not normal (abnormal). Abnormal discharge can mean you are sick with an infection or disease that needs treatment to go away. You may not even realize you are sick. It is very important to tell an adult and to make an appointment with a doctor if you notice any of the following:

    • Any discharge accompanied by itching, irritation, unpleasant odor, or burning with urination
    • An increase in discharge that isn't normal for you
    • Thick, white discharge
    • Thin, gray discharge
    • Mucus and pus mixed in with discharge
    • Frothy yellow-green discharge
    • Cottage cheese-like discharge5

    5. "Getting Your Period." Office on Women's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Accessed: November 29, 2005.