All content within this page has been reviewed and endorsed by
Dr Tariq Miskry, Consultant Gynaecologist & Obstetrician
We’re here to unravel the mystery for you.
Sometimes there’s a lot. Sometimes there’s a little. And sometimes there’s even a faint odour. Either way, you feel it in your knickers. Vaginal discharge.
All women get it, and it’s perfectly normal. But exactly what is vaginal discharge? What causes it and why is it there? And, perhaps - most importantly – what can you do about it?
Discharge is basically a fluid made in the cervix and vagina to keep everything down below clean and in working order. Just like your eye produces tears to rid itself of irritants, the vagina has glands that produce discharge to maintain its wellbeing and keep its pH levels correct.
This way, harmful bacteria have a harder time getting through and causing irritation – or worse. Amazing vagina! This stuff also keeps the area moist, and even provides some help to the process of fertilisation – handy if you are trying to get pregnant!
Some women have vaginal discharge every day, while others experience it only occasionally. Your discharge, its frequency, and the amount you experience will vary based on your normal hormonal fluctuations throughout the month, depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle.
This means you may experience more discharge when you are ovulating, breastfeeding, or sexually aroused, while some days you will find a few drops in your underwear.
Vaginal discharge can vary in consistency and colour. Sometimes it is clear, and sometimes it is milky white. Sometimes it is watery, and sometimes it has a more stretchy, egg white-like consistency. For instance, when it’s creamier and thicker, it’s usually a sign your period is coming. Oestrogen is being released as the body prepares itself for menstruation. All of this is normal.
Other types of discharge may be a sign that something isn’t quite right. If your discharge has a chunky consistency, is itchy, or is off-colour (think white with cottage cheese-like consistency, yellow or green), or has a new strong smell this is a sign of infection. A visit to your doctor will clear things right up, so it’s best to make an appointment as soon as you can.
There are times when it can be annoying to find that discharge has once again made its presence felt in your underwear. Therefore, it is only natural to wonder if there is some way to reduce or even prevent discharge.
But at these times it is a good idea to remember why you get discharge in the first place and know that Mother Nature is doing her thing for a reason! So, if what you are experiencing is healthy discharge, and you are after ways to stop discharge for an easier life, it is definitely time for a rethink.
If however, you have excessive discharge, it may be that you are suffering from one of a number of problems, and getting to the bottom of it will give you a way to reduce discharge. Some common causes of unusual vaginal discharge can be:
Allergy: in all seriousness, your vagina may be allergic to something. So if you’ve noticed your body is producing too much discharge recently, have a think – have you changed anything such as your shower gel, washing up powder, or tampon brand lately?
Contraception: Have you begun taking new contraceptive pills lately? The change in hormones can play all sorts of havoc with your discharge, but the good news is it should soon settle down again, so don’t worry unless this carries on for more than a few months.
Sexually Transmitted Infection: A heavier discharge combined with any other symptoms – such as pelvic pain, odd smells, discolouration of the discharge – could be a sign of an STI, so it’s worth getting checked out by a medical expert.
A Forgotten Tampon: Yep, that might sound daft, but if there is a foreign body stuck inside you, your body will be doing all it can to flush it out. The longer it is there, the more it may be contributing to any build-ups of bad bacteria, so the sooner you can remove it, the better!
Even if your discharge is normal and healthy, if it is leaving you feeling uncomfortable and damp, it’s perfectly normal to want to get rid of the discomfort. Luckily, Always Dailies pantyliners are specifically designed to absorb daily vaginal discharge, helping you stay fresh and confident throughout the day.
Always Dailies come in a variety of shapes, sizes and absorbencies so you can find the liner that is just right for you. With Always Dailies you can keep that morning-fresh pants feeling all day, every day.
Pop one in your knickers first thing in the morning or keep one in your bag to have to hand, as and when you need it. As they have been dermatologically tested, it is safe to wear them every day.
Always Dailies is on a mission to bust common myths around vaginal discharge. In fact, vaginal discharge is totally normal and happens to all of us women. Why make it a taboo topic? We want to provide you with all the information you need and ask for. In case you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us under 0080077634434 or 0800 0285884 (UK), 1800509203 (ROI).