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Most clear vaginal discharge is considered to be normal. It is typically caused by ovulation, hormone changes, natural cleansing or sexual arousal. Clear discharge is usually not a cause for concern unless the frequency, odor or color changes.
In general, most women will experience some type of discharge. The normal frequency may vary between individuals. Discharge is more common around certain ages when estrogen and progesterone hormone levels begin to fluctuate. Normal discharge is usually odorless and colorless, although it may take on a whiter color during periods of ovulation.
One of the common causes of clear vaginal discharge is ovulation. Discharge occurs because the cervical glands become stimulated as the ovaries release their eggs. The discharge is usually clear, with a water-like consistency. It may contain some white spots and is usually odorless.
Although there is considerable variation, vaginal discharge due to ovulation will usually be most prominent about 14 days after the start of the menstrual cycle, which begins with a woman's period. Some women may notice daily discharges around the time of ovulation and others may only notice it occasionally. It is considered to be a normal part of the reproductive cycle and should not be accompanied by itching, pain or discomfort.
Sometimes the cervix goes through natural cleansing cycles which can result in clear discharge. The reasons for this vary, but it is recommended that women do not use douche products to replicate the body's natural function. Douche products can actually lead to increased irritation and other abnormalities. As long as the discharge is not foul smelling or experienced in conjunction with pain or itching, there should not be too much concern.
Adolescents and teenagers who are going through hormonal changes may experience bouts of clear vaginal discharge. This is due to the fact that their bodies are attempting to establish a regular menstrual cycle and the cervical glands are stimulated by the changes. The frequency usually subsides once regular periods begin.
Sexual arousal is another common cause of normal vaginal discharge. The glands become stimulated in order to make sexual activity more comfortable and enjoyable. Some women may experience heavier amounts of discharge than others.
A number of vaginal infections can cause abnormal clear or white vaginal discharge. Yeast infections may result in a white, clear, or cloudy discharge that is usually accompanied by itching. There are several over-the-counter medications that can help alleviate the problem.
Bacterial vaginosis is a condition that might result in a clear or white discharge. The infection will usually cause the discharge to take on a fishy or foul smelling odor. Prescription medications will usually take care of the issue.