Here's a fun fact: Vaginas are meant to smell like And while their natural scent might not be something you'd want in Diptyque candle form, it is what it is. That said, certain vaginal odors can indicate things like infections, especially if they come with a side of discharge that's a different color, consistency, or amount than what you're used to, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists ACOG.
Vaginal discharge is a mixture of liquid, cells, and bacteria that lubricate and protect the vagina. The composition, amount, and quality of discharge varies between individuals as well as through the various stages of sexual and reproductive development. Normal vaginal discharge is composed of cervical mucus, vaginal fluid, shedding vaginal and cervical cells, and bacteria.
Glands inside your vagina and cervix make small amounts of fluid. This fluid flows out of the vagina each day, carrying out old cells that have lined the vagina. Vaginal discharge is completely normal.
Most women experience several types of vaginal discharges throughout their monthly menstrual cycle. A woman may produce around a teaspoon of clear, thick or thin, and white odorless discharge each day, and the color may vary from white to clear to brown. It may not be noticeable, but what is visible is not totally random. The variety of colors, consistencies and textures are associated with your hormones and reflection of what is going inside your bodies at the time.
Generally speaking, this is nothing to worry about and does not signal any abnormality in the body. Unfortunately, however, there are many women who do experience abnormal vaginal discharge but do not go to a doctor to get it taken care of due to embarrassment. The volume of normal vaginal discharge varies in each person.
Showering every day with mild soap and warm water usually does the trick to feel clean and fresh in general, but if you have a vaginal discharge, itching, or vaginal odor, it may be caused by a change in the bacteria that normally live in the vagina bacterial vaginosis or by a yeast infection. Causes of vaginal odor are a forgotten tampon left in the vagina or not showering or bathing regularly. However, vaginal discharge can mean that you have a sexually transmitted infection, especially if you are having unprotected intercourse.
As women, we grow to learn what is normal and healthy for our bodies. The same is true when it comes to our natural feminine odor. Our noses can be the best detectives in identifying whether everything is ok, or whether there may be a problem.
Burris describes vaginal discharge as fluid released by glands in the vagina and cervix. The fluid carries dead cells and bacteria out of the body, and vaginal discharge helps keep the vagina clean and prevent infection. Burris also says normal vaginal discharge varies in amount and ranges in color from clear to milky, white discharge.