It is normal for women to have some vaginal discharge which is produced by glands in the cervix. Normal vaginal discharge is clear or white in colour, has no offensive smell and is mainly thick and sticky for most of the menstrual cycle but more runny and clear in the middle of the cycle around ovulation.
Unusual vaginal discharge is when the colour is yellow or grey, or is tinged with blood and has an offensive odour. Discharge which is thick and clumpy like cottage cheese indicates ‘thrush’ or Candida infection. If the discharge is associated with other symptoms such as itching or burning or pain during passing water, it is advisable to see a gynaecologist or a GP. Common causes of unusual vaginal discharge is thrush, bacterial infection with Group B streptococcus, bacterial vaginosis, or infection with trichomonas, chlamydia or gonorrhoea. Infection with gonorrhoea and chlamydia has significant complications, if untreated they can lead to pelvic infection, chronic pelvic pain and infertility. Most vaginal infections respond well to antibiotics, and should be treated promptly.