Dr Brigid Monda
A healthy vagina is never dry. It has natural secretions that keep it lubricated, clean and moist.
The cervix, the lower end of the uterus that opens into the vaginal cavity has mucus secreting glands which secrete a clear mucus that drains downward into the vagina and mixes with bacteria, discarded vaginal cells, and certain gland secretions to form the normal vaginal discharge.
Its volume and consistency will also vary depending on the time of the cycle.
During ovulation there is increased wetness and a clear discharge because Estrogen makes the cervical mucus thin and runny to allow the sperms to pass. Pregnancy, emotional stress, nutritional status, medications, the pill and sexual arousal also increase the amount.
Abnormal vaginal discharge is not always yeast or thrush.
This is the most common cause of an abnormal vaginal discharge in women during their childbearing years, more common than thrush. It is caused by an overgrowth of the bacteria that live as permanent non-paying guests in the vagina.
You get an abnormal amount of a thin greyish watery discharge with a foul fishy smell that is worse immediately after sex, during menstruation or when exposed to air. Recurrence of bacterial vaginosis is common.
Also called "Trick", it is caused by a parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis, a sexually transmitted infection common in those with multiple sexual partners.
It is transmitted from penis to vagina or from vulva to vulva. Men harbour the infection in the urethra and prostate. It can also be transmitted when there is genital contact with damp or moist towels, wet clothing, or toilet seats because the parasite can live outside the body for up to 45 minutes.