Vaginal discharge can be normal or abnormal.
Normal vaginal discharge
In pre-menopausal women, the hormonal changes cause the cervix to produce mucus, which becomes visible as discharge from the vagina. This usually has a cyclical pattern – that is, you will notice more mucus at some times in your cycle than others. This vaginal mucus tends to decrease at the time of menopause.
For more detail, read my post How Do I Know If My Vaginal Discharge is Normal?
A healthy balance of the bacteria that live in the vagina tends to promote a healthy vaginal discharge. You can read more about that here.
Abnormal vaginal discharge
Abnormal vaginal discharge can occur when there is vaginal infection, for example, thrush or STIs (sexually transmitted infections) such as trichomoniasis or chlamydia.
It can also occur if there is a foreign body in the area, such as an undissolved stitch after gynaecological surgery. Normally, this discharge looks different to your normal discharge – it may be a different colour or consistency or there may be more than usual, and it is often smelly.
If you notice no vaginal discharge at all, and your vagina feels dry, this may also be abnormal. There are several causes of vaginal dryness I’ve written about here.
Knowing what is normal in terms of vaginal discharge is important in being aware of your health in general, and your reproductive health in particular. At Equilibria, we can teach you how to recognise what is normal and what isn’t. We can also teach you to interpret patterns in your hormonal health based on recognition of the mucus changes. In this way, you can choose to take action if your hormonal health is less than ideal.