A clear watery discharge from the vagina is very common. It indicates that you have an optimum balance of yeast and good bacteria in your vagina. Usually, a clear and watery discharge will help in flushing out bacteria and dead cells, which keeps your vagina healthy and clean, and prevents potential infections.
Is a Clear Watery Discharge Normal?
While some watery discharge is normal in your menstrual cycle, other symptoms may accompany the mucus, indicating that there is something going on. So, what does a clear, watery discharge actually mean, and should you be concerned about it? Read on to find out.
The vagina is the main passage to the reproductive organs. Your natural pH balance will be somewhat acidic, to prevent vaginal infections. Vaginal discharge is normal and natural in most cases. If you notice a change in odor, color or consistency, however, this could indicate infection.
When Does a Clear Watery Discharge from the Vagina Occur?
You may commonly notice a watery discharge while on your menstrual cycle, but it may appear in other situations, too. Take note when it happens, and tell your physician about it, in order that a correct diagnosis may be made, if something is medically wrong.
Below are some of the most common situations when a watery discharge may be experienced.
- After Sexual Intercourse
A clear watery discharge is normal during or following sexual intercourse. This is especially common if you are sexually active. Sexual arousal causes the outflow of mucus. It usually comes from the Skene’s and Bartholin’s glands, which can be found near the opening to the vagina.
This is typically just a discharge that aids in lubrication, which helps during the penetration phase of vaginal intercourse. The glands may go on producing lubrication for a few hours after intercourse is complete.
- During Ovulation
You will often notice a watery discharge when you are ovulating. Estrogen levels increase, and this leads to the discharge. It is generally most noticeable one day before your egg is released. Up to 30 times more mucus than normal may be produced by the vagina when you ovulate. This mucus normally leaves the body through the vagina. It is clear, watery and without odor.
- During Pregnancy
When you are pregnant, you may note a watery discharge. This is brought on by all the changes in your hormones. You may see it in the early stages of pregnancy, and it is even one of the early signs of pregnancy. It occurs when your levels of estrogen have a dramatic rise.
At the time of the egg implanting itself in the uterine wall, you may note streaks of blood in this vaginal discharge. This is known as implantation bleeding. You will experience a vaginal discharge all through your pregnancy. As long as it is clear and doesn’t produce other symptoms like pain when urinating, redness of the vulva, itching or swelling, it is not a cause for concern.
When Should You Worry About a Vaginal Discharge?
If you note an increase suddenly in your amount of vaginal discharge, you should call your physician. Also contact him or her if you have a change in the odor, color or consistency of the discharge.
Infection may be present if you notice any of these types of discharge:
- Dark or Pale Yellow Discharge
If your vaginal discharge is dark to pale yellow with a fishy odor and creamy texture, you may have bacterial vaginosis or gonorrhea. Other symptoms of these infections include lower abdominal pain, pain when urinating, pain during sexual intercourse and vaginal itching.
- Cheesy Discharge with a bad Odor
If you notice a fishy odor, and a cloudy white discharge with a consistency like that of cottage cheese, this could be a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis. Other symptoms include vaginal swelling, lower abdominal pain and burning when you urinate.
- Gray Discharge
This may also be caused by bacterial vaginosis. The discharge can range from pale gray to cloudy white. The odor will be strong and the consistency cheesy. Other common symptoms include burning during urination, vaginal itching and vaginal swelling.
- Green Discharge
Yellow-ish or bright green discharge usually indicates Trichomoniasis or Chlamydia. The discharge will be pasty, with a sour, fishy smell. Common additional symptoms include spotting between your periods, vaginal redness, urinary incontinence and pelvic pain.
When should you see your Physician?
As we mentioned above, if you have any sudden odor, color or consistency change in your vaginal discharge, you should contact your physician right away. You may take vaginal swabs with you to your examination.
Treating any underlying infection is important, or it could cause complications that become more serious, particularly when you’re pregnant. Your physician will identify the problem and then prescribe you medications that will treat your infection. He or she may also help you in understanding how important good hygiene habits are, to avoid having future vaginal infections.