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Women's Health

Female discharge

03/15/2007

Question:

please help I have always had a problem alot of vaginal discharge along with my mother and some of my sisters. ive been married for 18 years and my husband found discharge in my underpants and said it smelt like i had sex with a man other than him this is so far from true but he doesnt believe me. can mens secreations also smell like a womans discharge? please help me and thank you.

Answer:

I am sorry this is causing a lot of concern in your home.  Here is some information that may help you and your husband understand the basics about a woman's vaginal discharge.  Vaginal discharge in a women, as you have experienced, is quite normal.  What is also very normal is that the amount, consistency, and color changes monthly (where a woman is in her period or menstrual cycle) and over the course of a woman's life (such as pregnancy, menopause, etc.). 

The "normal" color of vaginal discharge can be any color from clear to creamy or very slightly yellow.  The consistency can be runny to slightly thick (very similar to how mucus from the nose looks).  There are many factors that can affect vaginal discharge or change its color or amount and still be considered "normal".  These include the following:

In regards to the odor you are referring to in your vaginal discharge--a slight musky or musty smell is not uncommon and can also change from month to month.  It is also important to note that an odor associated with a man's semen can change from month to month as well (hence your husband's semen may take on different odors). 

Vaginal discharge becomes a concern when a woman experiences the following symptoms:

These are all signs that mean you should call your health care practitioner immediately. 

I hope this information has helped; if not, please ask questions until you have the answers you need whether it be from this website or your own health care practitioner.

For more information:

Go to the Women's Health health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Victoria  von Sadovszky, PhD Victoria von Sadovszky, PhD
Assistant Professor
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University