Q&A: Clitoral And Vaginal Dryness, Vaginal Discharge
Posted November 10, 2008
QUESTION: My clitoris is constantly dry and sometimes I can see some white, slightly yellowish discharge on my underwear. It's not flaky, and it has a delicate bread-like smell, though only if you smell it very closely. My vagina is not very dry, though not also as moisturized as it used to be. During intercourse it takes time for juices to start flowing and really it is not like it has been before. There is no itching or redness. What could be going on?
All women experience vaginal discharge, though the color, consistency and amount can vary over the course of a woman’s menstrual cycle, as well as with age or in relation to other health issues, gynecological or otherwise.
If these changes are significantly different for you, I would encourage you to check in with a healthcare provider who can examine you and give you more personalized information about your health.
A Range Of Smells
The smell that you describe is also well within the healthy, normal range of scents that women notice in regard to their genitals. After all, most everything has a scent to it and the vagina is no different. Quite a lot of women feel that their vagina smells slightly sweet, slightly sour or even slightly yeasty.
In fact, smell is such an important characteristic that healthcare providers sometimes use it as part of their diagnosis. Don’t worry – that doesn’t mean that a gynecologist gets in very close to smell a woman’s vaginal odor, but in the course of doing an exam, they can often pick up cues such as odor that can help to inform their diagnosis.
As for your clitoris, it is unclear to me in what way you feel that it is dry, as you mostly talked about discharge that appears on your underwear which would be from your vagina rather than your clitoris. If your clitoris feels dry, itching or uncomfortable, these are symptoms that you can talk to your healthcare provider about.
If the lack of vaginal moisture that you’ve noticed has become uncomfortable, you should also mention this to your healthcare provider who may suggest a vaginal moisturizer. If you experience discomfort during vaginal intercourse, but not at other times, then using a personal lubricant may be helpful.
To learn more about vaginal discharge, vaginal odor and the clitoris, you might read The V Book: A Doctor’s Guide to Complete Vulovaginal Health by Dr. Elizabeth Stewart.