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I have a smell and slight discharge coming out of my vagina. What is it, and is it normal?

The vagina is a self-cleaning organ, and a slight discharge and scent are typical. Each day, the vagina produces some discharge that helps cleanse it by flushing out any harmful dirt or bacteria.

Every vagina has its own scent and every person who has a vagina has vaginal discharge, which might be noticeable on underwear or on toilet paper when wiping after going to the bathroom. On some days, the discharge is white and pasty. On the days of the month during ovulation, it may be clear and stringy, kind of like egg whites. And on a few days each month, there may not be any discharge at all.

It’s helpful to know your vaginal scent and discharge so that you can tell if something is different. If you notice a stronger odor or “fishy” smell and your discharge is greenish or grayish or you feel itching or soreness, you might have a yeast infection, bacterial infection or other type of problem, such as a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Some of these infections can happen in people who’ve never had sex. If you notice any of the symptoms listed above, see your health care provider. Find a clinic near you.

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