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Vaginal Discharge

Vaginal Discharge Quick Overview

  • Vaginal discharge is fluid that exits from the vaginal opening.
  • Some vaginal discharge is normal when infection is present there may be an increase in quantity or change in the appearance of vaginal discharge.
  • Bacterial vaginosis, a condition of unbalanced overgrowth of normal vaginal bacteria, is another common cause of abnormal vaginal discharge.
  • Infections such as trichomoniasis, gonorrhea, and Chlamydia (all STDs); and yeast infection can all cause vaginal discharge.
  • Vaginal discharge can be associated with other symptoms such as burning or itching.
  • Antibiotics are given for infections that cause vaginal discharge. The choice of antibiotic depends upon the specific infection.
  • Many causes of vaginal discharge can recur after successful treatment.

What is vaginal discharge?

Vaginal discharge is a fluid or semisolid substance that flows out of the vaginal opening. Most women have vaginal discharge to some extent, and a small amount of vaginal discharge is a reflection of the body's normal cleansing process. The amount and type of vaginal discharge also varies among women and with the woman's menstrual cycle. A change in vaginal discharge (such as an abnormal odor or color or increase in amount), or the presence of vaginal discharge associated with irritation or other uncomfortable symptoms, can signal that an infection is present.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/13/2015

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