Are vaginal symptoms ever normal?

Matthew Anderson, Alison Karasz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Vaginal complaints-discharge; odor, itch, and irritation-are among the most common reasons for primary care visits. Some women have symptoms but no infections, while other women have infections but no symptoms. The literature on vaginal complaints often describes a “physiologic discharge, " but usually without citation to primary literature. In 2004, S. Veres and colleagues published a crossover randomized controlled trial comparing various outcomes of women using the vaginal ring and oral contraceptives. As part of their study, they measured symptoms including vaginal wetness, vaginal odor, yellow-colored discharge, vaginal discomfort/pain inside, vulvar discomfort/pain outside, and vulvar itch. In 2014, Gungor and his colleagues sought to determine whether vaginal symptoms might have an effect on female sexual functioning as measured by the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI). Abnormal consistency was defined as a cottage cheese-like or thickened discharge.” The study’s only significant finding was that a slightly higher FSFI score was reported in women with abnormal odor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Vulva
Subtitle of host publicationPhysiology and Clinical Management, Second Edition
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages2
ISBN (Electronic)9781498752442
ISBN (Print)9781498752435
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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