Vaginal discharge

The emission of secretions from the vagina. Some mucous secretion from the vaginal walls and from the cervix is normal in the reproductive years; its amount and nature vary from woman to woman and at different times in the menstrual cycle (see menstruation). Oral contraceptives can increase or decrease the discharge. Secretions tend to be greater during pregnancy. Sexual stimulation also produces increased vaginal discharge. Discharge may be abnormal if it is excessive, offensive-smelling, yellow or green, or if it causes itching. Abnormal discharge often accompanies vaginitis, and may be the result of infection, as in candidiasis or trichomoniasis, or may be due to a foreign body, such as a forgotten tampon, in the vagina.


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