For women in their reproductive years, vaginal discharge is better than normal – it’s terrific!. We’ve always thought of the vagina as self cleaning oven. Discharge helps clear out dead cells, keeps the vaginal walls lubricated, and even fights infection. Take a look at what’s on the toilet paper – the color should be clear, white, or slightly yellow, and it may have a faint musty smell. Vaginal odor serves as a major attraction factor for your partner, so think of it as your own personal brand of perfume. While the amount of discharge can increase during ovulation and during sexual stimulation, if you notice any unusual or sudden changes in color (green is not good), texture or odor, something fishy is probably going on, in more ways than one.
The most usual cause of a sharp odor is bacterial vaginosis, the result of an overgrowth of the healthy bacteria that colonize the vagina. Certain sexually transmitted diseases (such as gonorrhea and chlamydia) and infections (like yeast) can moreover alter the amount, smell and texture of vaginal discharge. Don’t try to “clean yourself up” with douches or scented products, which will only worsen the problem. Instead, get checked out by your primary doctor or gynecologist. Then try to restore balance of healthy bacteria: Take a probiotic supplement (or eat foods like yogurt that contains probiotics), avoid shorts or underwear made of moisture-trapping fibers like nylon. Change out sweaty clothes right away when your workout is done.