Ophthalmology at OT&P
Perfecting sight, enhancing vision.
Urology at OT&P
Leading the way in urological health.
Cardiology at OT&P
Guarding hearts, enhancing lives.
  • There are no suggestions because the search field is empty.

Vaginal Discharge

Understanding the Causes and Symptoms

Many women experience natural vaginal discharge. This discharge is usually clear or milky-white and helps maintain the cleanliness and balance of healthy bacteria in the vagina. However, changes in colour, consistency, or odour may indicate an underlying issue. 


Vaginal discharge can be physiological or pathological. Physiological vaginal discharge is normal and occurs due to hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, or sexual arousal. Pathological vaginal discharge may result from infections or other health concerns. Common causes include: 

  1. Bacterial vaginosis (BV): An imbalance of naturally occurring vaginal bacteria, causing a fishy odour and grayish discharge. 
  1. Yeast infection: An overgrowth of the fungus Candida, leading to thick, white, and clumpy discharge with itching and irritation. 
  1. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs): Infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, or trichomoniasis can cause changes in vaginal discharge, along with other symptoms like pain or itching. 
  1. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): An infection of the female reproductive organs, often caused by untreated STIs, leading to abnormal discharge, pain, and fever. 


While normal vaginal discharge is typically odourless or has a mild odour, pathological vaginal discharge may present with: 

  • Changes in colour, consistency, or amount of discharge 
  • Unpleasant or fishy odour 
  • Itching, burning, or irritation in the vaginal area 
  • Pain during urination or sexual intercourse 
  • Abdominal pain or cramping 

If experiencing any of these symptoms or suspecting an infection, consult your gynaecologist for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Treatment options may include antibiotics, antifungal medications, or other prescription medicines, depending on the underlying cause. Maintaining good hygiene, wearing breathable underwear, and practicing safe sex can help prevent infections and maintain a healthy vaginal environment. 

Information provided by:

Dr Katherine Cheng headshot

Dr Katherine Cheng

Specialist in Gynaecology, Obstetrics, OT&P Healthcare

Please note that all medical articles featured on our website have been reviewed by qualified healthcare doctors. The articles are for general information only and are not medical opinions nor should the contents be used to replace the need for a personal consultation with a qualified medical professional on the reader's medical condition.