Getting Wet: Let’s Talk About Vaginal Discharge and What It Is

Vaginal discharge, arousal fluid, squirting fluid, and cervical fluid. So many different vagina fluids that it can be hard to keep track of and understand the differences between each, right? 

vaginal discharge

But it doesn’t have to be — once you understand the purpose of vagina fluids and why our bodies produce them, the difference becomes clear as day. 

So, ready for a quick vagucation lesson on different vagina fluids? 

What Is a Vagina Fluid, aka Vaginal Discharge?

Most of the vagina fluids are produced by either the Bartholin glands or the cervix.

Let’s start off by establishing the differences and true meanings of each term we’re going to be discussing in today’s post. 

  • Vaginal discharge is the term that’s used to describe any non-period fluid that comes out of your vagina. 
  • Vaginal lubrication is the term used to describe the fluids that the vagina discharges when you’re aroused.

So, vagina fluid or vaginal discharge includes all the natural fluids that a vagina produces, which is a very healthy and normal part of any vagina owner’s body. 

There are different types of vaginal discharges, and they each indicate the health of a vagina and vary depending on the hormones and time of the menstrual cycle.

What Purpose Does Vaginal Discharge Have?

The main purpose of a vaginal discharge is to remove the old cells and debris from the vagina to keep the reproductive tract clean and healthy. 

There is a misconception many people have that vagina needs to be cleaned with soaps and other cleaners to keep it clean, but mother nature has already taken care of that — vagina is self-cleaning, and vaginal discharge is the way. 

Another purpose of a vaginal discharge is to indicate the health of a vagina. If the vagina fluid is looking or smelling weird or out of the ordinary (more on that later), it can indicate that there is an infection, and you should go see the OB-GYN. 

Vaginal lubrication fluid has a completely different purpose, though. 

That purpose is to lubricate the vagina to protect it from drying out and also to protect it during sexual intercourse or when you’re aroused, to make sex more comfortable and, most importantly, pleasurable.

Different Types of Vagina Fluids

There are two different vagina fluids under the vaginal discharge umbrella that both serve different purposes that we just discussed. 

So, let’s take a closer look at each and what they mean:

Vaginal Discharge

The cervix produces vaginal discharge during a person’s menstrual cycle. Depending on the time of the cycle, the color and thickness of the fluids vary as well as the amount discharged each day. 

Vagina owners tend to get alarmed at the amount of vaginal discharge they experience during the day as some believe that there must be something wrong if there is always liquid coming out of their vaginas. 

However, it’s completely normal for a healthy person to produce anywhere between 1 and 4 milliliters of vagina fluid per day. 

Dr. Jen Gunter writes, “from my experience and reading the literature. It seems that 1-3 ml is the average range, and it will vary day-to-day. The 3-4 ml range might be worth checking out if you are irritated, but sometimes there can just be a lot, especially around ovulation or if a woman is taking estrogen.”

Most doctors evaluate the health of a vagina by the color and odor of the vaginal discharge. Because of that, it’s important to familiarise yourself and get to know your own vagina fluids so that you can recognize when something is out of the ordinary. 

Clear 

Clear vagina fluid is the most ordinary discharge women experience. Its consistency can vary, depending on the time of the menstrual cycle, and it can be anywhere from water-like consistency to stretchy, egg white-like consistency. 

Both are normal and healthy. 

White

White vagina fluids, ranging from cream to light yellow, is another common type of discharge that most likely indicates healthy lubrication. 

However, if white vaginal discharge is followed by other symptoms, like itching, strong odor, and has the consistency of cottage cheese, then there might be a yeast infection, and it’s better if you seek attention from your OB-GYN.

Pink, Reddish Brown

Pink of Reddish brown vaginal discharge containing blood is usually also normal. It can happen anytime before or after your menstruation, and it’s called spotting. 

In very rare cases, reddish or brown vagina fluid can be a sign of endometrial or cervical cancer. 

For this reason, it’s important to register for yearly checkups with your doctor, so they can ensure that your reproductive system is healthy and you don’t have to worry about your discharge.

Arousal Fluid 

Bartholin glands are responsible for lubricating the vagina to protect it from drying out on a regular basis. However, these pea-sized glands are also responsible for producing the arousal fluid whenever a woman is sexually aroused.

While vaginal discharge is regulated automatically by our bodies without us even thinking about it, when it comes to arousal fluid, our brain actually plays a huge part in it. 

Our brain is our biggest sexual organ, and that is where the sexual response cycle starts. Once it’s triggered in our brains, then the Bartholin glands produce the clear, slippery fluid we call arousal fluid. 

During this period, there is an increased blood flow to the genitals, which in turn can make your vagina feel swollen and wet, pulsating even. All those feelings and sensations, followed by clear and slippery vagina fluid, are very normal and natural. 

Squirting Fluid

Another type of vagina fluid we must talk about is the squirting fluid. This is the fluid that is expelled when a person “squirts” arousal fluid after sexual stimulation from the vagina. 

It’s also commonly referred to as female ejaculation, and it’s a topic that not all scientists and experts agree on. 

According to research, this squirting fluid is expelled from Skene’s glands located close to the urethra inside the vagina. The contents of this squirting fluid are what causes the most questions. 

Some studies claim that a small amount of milky fluid can be expelled during orgasm from the vagina and that female ejaculation and squirting are two different phenomenons. 

Other experts argue that squirting fluid is mostly diluted urine expelled from the bladder during the orgasm. 

Regardless of what this vagina fluid consists of, squirting is a very normal and natural thing, and there is nothing to be ashamed of or worried about if you experience it during sex. 

Some people find it very arousing and as a sign that a vagina owner is enjoying sexual intercourse. However, it’s important to note that squirting doesn’t always equate to an orgasm

These two sensations can be two different things. But both are pleasurable, nonetheless. 

Signs of Abnormal Vaginal Discharge

If you feel like your vaginal discharge is different from the usual and has changed for whatever reason, it might be a sign that it’s time to see a doctor. 

It’s also important to note that if you experience discomforts like itching or pain and there is a foul odor to your vagina fluid, there is also an issue that needs attention. 

For this reason, it is important to familiarise yourself with the color and consistency of your normal vaginal discharge so you could track and notice the change.

Grey

Grey vagina fluid is usually not a good sign. It can be a sign of a common bacterial infection called bacterial vaginosis, and it would be smart to get it checked out by your OB-GYN. 

Together with grey vaginal discharge, you might experience symptoms like itching, irritation, and strong odor, so it’s always important to keep an eye on that. 

Yellow, Green

If the vagina fluid is a very light yellow color, then there might not be any issues. 

However, if the color is more on the bright yellow, greenish side, it might sign a sexually transmitted infection and should be checked out.

It can also come with a foul odor and have a thick and clumpy consistency.