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Vaginal discharge is fluid that comes from glands in the vagina and cervix. Expelling this fluid serves to clean and moisturize the vagina and protects it from certain types of infections that are not sexually transmitted. The color, texture, volume, and appearance of vaginal discharge can vary at different points of the menstrual cycle. It can range in texture from thin and tacky with some elasticity to thicker and gooier. The color will range from clear to white or off-white.
Vaginal discharge can be helpful in monitoring the health of the vagina. Changes in color, texture, or odor can all be indicators of infections such as bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, or trichomonaisis (a sexually transmitted infection). Changes in discharge should be discussed with a doctor. There are several vaginal infections with similar symptoms.