The lowdown on vaginal discharge

Monday, 8 May 2017


You may have experienced a “leak” in your panties and on top of being embarrassed, you may feel damp, unclean, grubby or uncomfortable “down there”.

Self-conscious much?

Firstly, you need to know that it is 100% normal to have vaginal discharge. It occurs in all women and varies depending on various factors. For example, there will be more discharge if you are: ovulating, breastfeeding, pregnant, or sexually aroused. Stress or poor personal hygiene can also cause hormonal imbalances within the body, which could lead to vaginal discharge. The discharge has several purposes: cleaning and moistening the vagina, and helping to prevent and fight infections.

What to look out for 

Normal vaginal fluids may be thin and slightly sticky or thick and gooey in consistency. The colour could be clear, white or off-white. It should have no odour to a slight odour, but ordinarily, there will be no odour from a vagina when everything is normal.

If you still find the discharge unpleasant, you can wear a pantyliner, cotton underwear or avoid tight clothes. When you have your period, change your pads or tampons often. Wash yourself daily with mild soap that is suited for the vagina or rinse with water. If you still feel unclean, you might want to clean or deodorise your vagina. Be careful about what you choose.

How to stay fresh

Medical guidelines advise not to use wipes, sprays or non-medicated douches. These could cause an imbalance in the pH level of your vagina which can result in infections.

If you want to douche, you must use a medicated douche that is registered within the Medical Authorities as it is specifically formulated for vaginal cleansing. Ask your pharmacist for a medicated douche.

When your discharge is trying to tell you something …

And while it’s totally normal to have vaginal discharge, take note of any changes in colour, odour or texture that is unfamiliar to you. It can be a sign of real issues that need to be addressed. Speak to either your pharmacist, clinic sister or a medical professional.

Tips via Mundipharma Pty Ltd.

Want to write a comment? Sign in here sign up now
Tell your friends
  1. Zahraa Salie

    I was also so embarrassed about my discharge. Thank you for enlightening me

    2 years ago •


    Very important information for us women. Thanks BSA!

    2 years ago •


    I do think a lot of women ignore the changes in their discharge colour or scent. Also not a topic that is usually discussed. Thanks for sharing insights on this issue!

    2 years ago •

  1. Tembisa Maqungu

    This article highlights all the important points. I still remember how embarrassed and shameful I was when I 1st noticed discharge, I was so scared my mom would think I’m sexually active but to my surprise she sat me down and explained everything to me.

    2 years ago •

  1. Dimpho Moile

    This article was really helpful! It’s important that women are informed about such things and how to deal with them.

    2 years ago •

  1. Feli0017 CHEYANAND

    A really helpful article explaining what we go through and why, a lot of women are not aware of why we experience certain things and what could be harmful to look out for.

    2 years ago •

  1. Portia Mathebula

    I wish people would talk about such things more… Instead, it’s deemed as wrong, disgusting and embarrassing. It kills your confidence. I’m actually really grateful for my ex, he taught me to embrace all of that because it is NORMAL (The perks of dating science geeks).

    2 years ago •

BeautySouthAfrica - your pre-shop stop for all things beauty is South Africa’s most comprehensive online beauty magazine and your pre-shop stop for product information and reviews. From the latest international make-up trends to the hottest new products on the market, we offer insights into the glamorous world of beauty. Join like-minded beauty fanatics in our loyalty program and earn points, trial beauty products and share your experiences.

Become a beauty addict!

Get great deals and climb the ladder to a Gold Star!


Sign In