woman looking confused with her mouth sideways

Is my vaginal discharge normal?

What’s normal when it comes to vaginal discharge? What’s not?

Vaginal discharge is a fluid from the vagina. It is healthy and completely normal. It is important to note that discharge keeps the vagina and cervix clean by removing old cells and dirt.

Normal discharge may vary from whitish and sticky to clear and watery. In many cases it has an odour.

It can be in many colors and consistency. While some are totally normal and healthy, others are an indication of a problem that needs the attention of a doctor. Abnormal discharge could be a sign that something isn’t quite right down there.

What each color means:

Clear, cream or white

This is the color of normal discharge. Healthy discharge can be thick and sticky or wet and stretchy. This may look and feel different depending on the person, time of the month, and situations such as arousal, birth control, breastfeeding, menopause, and pregnancy. For example, it gets clearer and stretches more during ovulation.  

If the discharge is white, thick and lumpy, and doesn’t have a smell, it could be a sign of an infection. You may also notice that your genital area is itchy or sore.

White, thick, strong-smelling discharge is usually associated with a yeast infection, which can also cause itching or irritation.

Gray or grayish

If the discharge has a fishy smell but you do not feel itchy or sore, it may be a sign of bacterial infection. Often, it is a sign of bacterial vaginosis. This can also be a sign that you are using too much vaginal hygiene products.

Yellow-green

If your discharge has a fishy-smell and has yellow green frothy discharge, it could be a sign of an STI. You may also feel itchy, sore and in pain when you urinate. You may produce more vaginal discharge than usual, and you may be swollen around your vagina. Your inner thighs can also be itchy.

Brown

This is totally normal as it often occurs at the beginning or end of your period. You may also get brown discharge if you just started taking contraceptive that affects your hormones such as the pill.

Red

Red discharge is often as a result of bleeding during periods. The color may range from cherry red to rusty brown. In case you bleed between periods or bleed throughout the month, you should see a doctor since this could be a sign of a serious condition such as cervicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease or a serious STI.

Pink

This may be light or deeper pink. It usually contains small amounts of blood. It may occur before period but it can also indicate implantation bleeding in early pregnancy. You may also notice pink discharge after ovulation or after sex if you’ve gotten small tears or irritation in the vagina or cervix.

In some cases, pink discharge could be a sign of serious problems such as ovarian cysts or yeast infection.

Related: What’s normal pregnancy discharge?

When to see a doctor

See a doctor if vaginal discharge has an unusual smell or appearance.

Call Marie Stopes Kenya today for free on 0800 720005 or WhatsApp them on 0709819001 for comprehensive information and evaluation. Click here to locate a clinic near you.

 You can also visit the nearest government facility near you.

Did you learn something new?

Tell us what you think

Recent Comments (45)

  1. I’ve learned that,viginal…
    I’ve learned that,viginal discharge is nornal

    1. We are so glad and always…

      We are so glad and always pleased to help, Millicent.

      Please feel free to go through more of our awesome content. Doing so will help you make more informed decisions on love, sex and relationships within your life and help you become your most loving, positive self.

      Do not hesitate to reach out in case you have any questions, feedback or criticisms.

      Have a wonderful week and stay safe!

  2. Am getting a brown discharge…
    Am getting a brown discharge and still can’t see my period

    1. Conception might have…
      Conception might have happened

      1. Hi Rose, 

        Thank you for…

        Hi Rose, 

        Thank you for your input.

  3. Hi Jotylene, are you…

    Hi Jotylene, are you experiencing any pain or foul smells? And how long has this been happening?

  4. Hallo do you guys treat PCOS…
    Hallo do you guys treat PCOS. Or someone who has ever been diagnosed with these ovarian cyst s?

  5. Thanks for you teaching…
    Thanks for you teaching,actually you are enlighten us alot.but I have a concern most information are for ladies kindly enlighten even men…let it be balanced…. thanks

    1. Hi Kajohny, 

      I am glad that…

      Hi Kajohny, 

      I am glad that we enlighten you on matters sexuality and sexual reproductive health. We try to highlight issues affecting both men and women but we would love to hear your suggestions.

      Question: do you have any specific request for topic on men? Your suggestions are welcome. 

  6. I have been having a yellow…
    I have been having a yellow green discharge. It doesn’t have a scent, I’m not itchy but I cramp a little n my lower abdomen… What could be my issue?

    1. Hi Dee, 

      It could be that…

      Hi Dee, 

      It could be that you have an infection. Visit a doctor for further tests and treatment. 

  7. Thank you LOVE MATTERS, i…
    Thank you LOVE MATTERS, i have surely learned a lot.

    1. Hi Babra, 

      Great! Glad you…

      Hi Babra, 

      Great! Glad you learnt a lot. Keep visiting Love Matters for more informative content. 

  8. It is now 5 weeks after…
    It is now 5 weeks after delivery and still have red discharge what might be the problem?

    1. Hi Shash, 

      It is totally…

      Hi Shash, 

      It is totally normal to experience vaginal bleeding and discharge after birth. Vaginal postpartum bleeding, or lochia, is the heavy flow of blood and mucus that starts after delivery. The bleeding is heavy at first  three days after you give birth, lochia is typically dark red in color but becomes lighter in color over time. Typically, it lasts 24 to 36 days  but if your lochia lasts longer that six weeks, that’s normal too. On the other hand, if you concerns about the bleeding, talk to a doctor. 

  9. AM getting a grey discharge…
    AM getting a grey discharge and sometimes its seems whitish and its has a smell,i
    have no idea what could be the problem

    1. Hi Kesh, 

      This could be a…

      Hi Kesh, 

      This could be a sign of an infection. Visit your nearest hospital or clinic for tests and treatment. 

  10. Hello ..when having…
    Hello ..when having unprotected sex with my spouse the following day when I pee I do feel pain like inflammation on the outer skin,there’s yellow-greenish discharge ..theres sores and blister ..what could be the problem .

    1. Hi Noarn, 

      That sounds like…

      Hi Noarn, 

      That sounds like an infection. Visit the doctor immediately for tests and treatment. Here is an article that can help you understand what each discharge color means: Is my vaginal discharge normal?

  11. I have been experiencing…
    I have been experiencing some yellow discharge

    1. Hi Ruth, 

      This could be a…

      Hi Ruth, 

      This could be a sign of an infection. Visit a doctor for tests and treatment immediately. 

  12. Some infections may present…
    Some infections may present odourless

    1. True, Lynne. Some infections…

      True, Lynne. Some infections such as yeast infections have odorless discharge but the color of your discharge and the consistency should tell you if something is wrong. You may also have other signs such as itchiness and redness. 

  13. Hey,am experiencing brown…
    Hey,am experiencing brown discharge with some traces of blood sometimes for the last 3 weeks.what could be the problem.

    1. Hi Grace, 

      Brown discharge…

      Hi Grace, 

      Brown discharge is totally normal especially if you notice it after your period ended or you’ve started taking any kind of contraceptives especially the pill. However, in some cases, brown discharge may be a cause for concern, visit your doctor to know if everything is okay. 

  14. Hi everytime i have sex with…
    Hi everytime i have sex with my man i spot or is it pink brownish discharge. I dont feel any pain whatsoever and i recently put a coil.

    1. Hi Damah, 

      Pink discharge…

      Hi Damah, 

      Pink discharge may occur before the period but it can also indicate implantation bleeding in early pregnancy. You may also notice pink discharge after ovulation or after sex if you’ve gotten small tears or irritation in the vagina or cervix.

      Pink discharge isn’t necessarily a reason for concern, especially if it occurs around the time of your expected period. In some cases, however, the pink discharge could be a sign of serious problems such as ovarian cysts or yeast infection.

  15. Hi,have a discharge mucus,…
    Hi,have a discharge mucus, don’t feel any pain or smell,is there any problem?

    1. Hi Caty, 

      Discharge is…

      Hi Caty, 

      Discharge is totally normal. As per the article, discharge keeps the vagina and cervix clean by removing old cells and dirt. Of course, different discharge colours mean different things. What is the colour of the mucus and how thick is it?

  16. Hello i had an abortion a…
    Hello i had an abortion a month ago i have been having a smelly discharge and sticky i have to wear a pad all the time,i have been on medication but the discharge is not clearing i was 14weeks gone,how can you help or what medication can i take to stop all this

  17. Am discharging a yellowish…
    Am discharging a yellowish,smelly discharge please help

    1. Hi Miriam, 

      This could be a…

      Hi Miriam, 

      This could be a sign of an STI or infection. Visit the nearest hospital for tests and specialized treatment. You can visit the nearest Marie Stopes Clinic near you. Use this map to locate the nearest clinic: Clinic List

  18. My discharge is white in…
    My discharge is white in color it’s also sticky with no smell but I feel irritated and itching

    1. Hi Tirina, 

      This could be a…

      Hi Tirina, 

      This could be a sign of a yeast infection. Yeast infections produce a thick, white discharge and usually cause the vagina and vulva to become itchy and red. Visit a doctor for tests and treatment. 

  19. I have learned something…
    I have learned something actually…and if i may ask is urinating oftenly normal??and if the discharge is thick and yellowish in color is that also normal??

    1. Hi Charity, 

      First, there…

      Hi Charity, 

      First, there are two things that could make urinating regularly normal: first drinking lots of fluids, including water, and if you’re pregnant. However, the fact that you have a yellowish discharge is a cause for concern. Yellowish discharge could be a sign of an STI. Visit the doctor for tests and treatment. In the meantime, read this article to learn more: Is my vagina discharge normal?

  20. I am recevieng a yellow…
    I am recevieng a yellow discharge and a smell but no pains att all

    1. Hi Neddy, 

      Go to the…

      Hi Neddy, 

      Go to the hospital. Yellow discharge with a smell is a sign of a problem, probably an infection. 

  21. ODOUR DISCHARGE MEANS WHAT?
    ODOUR DISCHARGE MEANS WHAT?

    1. It means smelly discharge or…

      It means smelly discharge or discharge with a bad smell. 

  22. How can I manage my…
    How can I manage my overlonged periods and the foul smell after having sex with my hubby thou my discharge is normal

    1. Hi Ruth, 

      When you say …

      Hi Ruth, 

      When you say ‘overlonged periods’ do you mean long periods? Normal periods last between 2-7 days. If they last longer than that, talk to your doctor. On the issue of foul smell after sex, in some cases semen interacts with vaginal fluid, contributing to vaginal odor. In other cases, it could be a sign of an infection. If you are using lubricant, some lubricant brands can affect the Ph of your vagina which can, in turn, affect the smell. The best thing to do at this point is to visit a doctor for a checkup. 

LOVE MATTERS

Blush-free facts and stories about love, sex, and relationships