Vaginal Discharge

Vaginal discharge is normal and keeps your vaginal area moist and helps to protect it from damage or infection.


Discharge is usually milky in colour and does not smell. The amount of discharge you produce increases at certain times depending on your monthly cycle, if you are pregnant, or if you are sexually aroused or “turned on”. Being on the pill may change your discharge.

What are the signs and symptoms of something being wrong?

A change in your discharge may mean that something is wrong. These changes may be:

  • more discharge than usual
  • a change in the colour of your discharge
  • smelly discharge
  • sore, itchy skin around your genital area
  • discomfort when you pass urine
  • discomfort when you are having sex
  • rash or tiny cuts in your genital skin

How will you know if you have something wrong?

You may see or smell a change in your vaginal discharge

How do you get tested?

Getting tested is simple, You can get checked out by your GP or at your local sexual health clinic. A nurse or doctor will take a swab from the vagina

What is the treatment?

The most common infections which cause a discharge are called thrush (candidiasis) and bacterial vaginosis. Other infections are chlamydia, gonorrhoea and TV (trichomonas). The treatment given will depend on what is causing the infection.

Is there anything I can do myself?

Follow the information on the Vaginal Health leaflet from Health Scotland, To download the information leaflet on Vaginal health and for more information visit: