Think back to when you were 15. The word "discharge" was probably up there with "moist" as one of the most cringe-worthy things anyone could say. Then you grew up, starting trying to get pregnant (or avoid pregnancy), and suddenly "discharge" became a part of your everyday vocabulary. You check your discharge between your periods, you notice an increase in discharge during pregnancy, and, after your baby was born you may have even called your doctor and without flinching asked, "Does vaginal discharge look different when you're breastfeeding?"
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) vaginal discharge is normal at all parts of your life. There are glands inside your vagina and cervix that make small amounts of fluid used to carry out old cells and keep your vagina healthy and clean. What comes out, also known as the discharge, is usually clear or milky and does not smell bad.
When your body goes through hormonal changes, like those that you experience during ovulation, pregnancy, and breastfeeding, the amount and texture of your vaginal discharge can change greatly. For some women, discharge during breastfeeding can increase. But for others, they can experience a lack of discharge and maybe even vaginal dryness.
Health Day noted that vaginal dryness is usually caused by changes in your estrogen level. Obviously, while your production of estrogen may drop when breastfeeding, which can cause you to experience vaginal dryness. This problem typically disappears once you wean your baby.
The changes are most noticeable when you being to ovulate again post-pregnancy. Parenting warned that many moms notice small amounts of brown or pink discharge which they don't realize is the return of their menstrual cycle. This kind of discharge can mean that you are once again fertile.
Any time you have discolored, increased, or vaginal discharge that has an odor, make sure to contact your healthcare professional. It could be totally normal, but it may actually be a sign of an infection that needs to be treated.