Vaginal Discharge and Odor

Yes, it is normal to have vaginal discharge and a certain amount of vaginal odor is normal.

The vagina begins making discharge during puberty.

Normal vaginal discharge is clear to white and does not have a noticeable odor. 

A change in the color, odor, amount, or consistency from what is usual for you may be a sign of a problem.

Do not get lured in by the multimillion-dollar vaginal hygiene industry that preys on insecurities of those with vaginas. Sprays, deodorants, and douches are not recommended. Using these substances in the vagina or on the vulva may irritate the vagina and make your symptoms worse.

If the odor is strong and noticeable, an infection or other problem may be the cause. Vaginal infections can occur if anything disrupts the natural balance of the bacteria that normally are present in your vagina. You may experience itching, burning, irritation, painful intercourse, โ€œfishyโ€ vaginal odor, and abnormal vaginal discharge.  Two common infections are yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis (BV).

Vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina. As many as one third of women will have symptoms of vaginitis sometime during their lives. Vaginitis affects women of all ages but is more common during the reproductive years.

If you sense a change in odor or discharge, talk with your doctor. You may have a medical condition and your OBGYN can discuss treatment options.

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