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What Does Your Vaginal Discharge Mean

Close up view of young woman and Hand is a symbol of heart over her crotch, conveying curiosity about what vaginal discharge may mean.

Having vaginal discharge is a normal and healthy part of being a woman. Vaginal discharge plays an important role in maintaining vaginal health by keeping the area clean and free from infections. However, changes in the color, consistency, or odor of vaginal discharge can sometimes indicate an underlying issue that requires attention. 

Understanding what your vaginal discharge means can help you distinguish between normal variations and potential problems. 

In this post we discuss the different types of vaginal discharge and what they might signify to help you stay in tune with your body. If you’re experiencing any concerning symptoms, we always recommend you schedule an appointment to discuss your concerns with your healthcare provider.

Clear and Watery

Clear and watery discharge is often considered normal and may occur at different times during your menstrual cycle. It usually indicates the presence of increased estrogen levels, which is common during ovulation. This type of discharge helps facilitate sperm movement and is also associated with fertility.

Yellow or Green

Yellow or greenish discharge can be a sign of an infection, such as bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis. Bacterial vaginosis occurs due to an imbalance in the natural bacteria of the vagina, while trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by a parasite. 

Both conditions require medical attention and can be treated with antibiotics.

White and Thick

White and thick discharge with a consistency similar to cottage cheese is typically a sign of a yeast infection. It is usually accompanied by itching, redness, and irritation in the vaginal area. Yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida and can be treated with over-the-counter or prescription antifungal medications.

Brown or Bloody

Brown or bloody discharge can have several causes. This type of discharge can occur at the beginning or end of your menstrual cycle and is usually considered normal. 

However, if the discharge is accompanied by severe pain, unusual odor, or lasts for an extended period, it may indicate an underlying issue such as an infection, hormonal imbalance, or even cervical or uterine abnormalities. Consulting a healthcare professional, such as the experts at Copperstate is recommended in this case.

Tips for Dealing with Vaginal Discharge

Of course, there is no need to prevent normal vaginal discharge, as it is crucial to your reproductive and overall health

However, abnormal vaginal discharge may be prevented by implementing changes such as:

  • Wipe front to back after using the toilet
  • Avoid wearing tight pants or underwear for extended periods
  • Bath regularly and practicing good hygiene
  • Wear cotton underwear at night or during the day to allow for airflow
  • Avoid feminine hygiene sprays, colored or perfumed hygiene products
  • Change your soap or laundry detergent if irritation occurs
  • Avoid douching

Copperstate and Vaginal Health

If you are experiencing any type of vaginal discharge or symptoms that seem out of the ordinary, Copperstate is here for you. 

Our practice is recognized as one of the most progressive OB/Gyn groups in Tucson, Arizona. Our expert physicians offer a number of services focused on helping you feel your best, including annual Well Woman exams, STD testing, and pelvic pain consultations.

Are you a patient of Copperstate OB/Gyn? Access your patient portal here, or share your experience with us on Google!




Hormonal Acne: What It Is, Treatment, Causes and Prevention

Shot of a young woman squeezing a pimple on her face at home

Acne can be incredibly frustrating, embarrassing at times, and even painful. 

Hormonal acne can be particularly severe and stubborn so it’s important to understand its causes, and how you can properly treat and prevent it. 

Luckily, this is where the experts at Copperstate can help! We’ve created a guide with everything you need to know about hormonal acne, also known as adult acne.

What Is Hormonal Acne 

Hormonal acne is a type of acne that occurs as a result of hormonal fluctuations in the body. It typically appears on the lower face, chin, and jawline, and is most common in women, especially during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. 

Hormonal acne can appear in different forms including:

  • Whiteheads
  • Blackheads
  • Papules (raised skin tissue)
  • Pustules (skin bumps that contain pus)
  • Cysts (pockets under the skin that contain fluid)

Causes of Hormonal Acne

The most obvious cause of hormonal acne is fluctuations in hormones, particularly androgens like testosterone, which can cause the skin’s oil glands to produce more sebum. However, hormonal acne can also be genetic, meaning that if your parents or other blood-related family members struggle with adult acne, you may be predisposed to it.

While less common, certain medications like steroids, lithium, and anticonvulsants can also cause periods of hormonal acne.

Preventing Hormonal Acne 

Since hormonal acne is caused by factors within your body, it can be difficult to prevent using external measures. However, there are steps you can take towards prevention including: 

  • Avoiding touching your face: Touching your face can transfer bacteria and oils from your hands to your face, which can contribute to hormonal acne.

  • Maintaining good hygiene: Wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser and avoid using harsh scrubbing motions that can irritate your skin.

  • Using non-comedogenic products: Use non-comedogenic products that are oil-free and won’t clog your pores.

  • Staying hydrated: Staying well-hydrated can also improve your immune system, supporting your body in fighting off infections — which can help prevent acne.

  • Managing stress: Stress can trigger hormonal acne, so practicing stress management techniques like meditation, deep breathing, or yoga can help prevent it.

Treating Hormonal Acne

When it comes to treating hormonal acne, the first thing to consider is of course, your hormones. Having your hormone levels tested to detect any possible imbalances can be a great place to start. 

Many women also find success with utilizing contraceptives such as the birth control pill to maintain stable hormonal levels that then prevent and treat hormonal acne. 

Other treatments for acne include:

  • Topical medications: Prescription-strength topical medications that contain benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, or antibiotics can help treat hormonal acne.

  • Oral medications: This includes medications like birth control pills, spironolactone, and isotretinoin.

  • Lifestyle changes: Adopting healthy habits such as a balanced diet, regular exercise, and stress management techniques like meditation and yoga can help improve existing hormonal acne.

Copperstate and Hormonal Acne 

No matter your age, if you are experiencing hormonal acne, Copperstate is here for you!

Our practice is recognized as one of the most progressive OB/Gyn groups in Tucson, Arizona. Our expert physicians offer a number of services focused on helping you feel your best, including hormone therapy, contraceptive counseling, and more. 

Are you a patient of Copperstate OB/Gyn? Access your patient portal here, or share your experience with us on Google!





Postpartum Hormones Explained

Mother holding her newborn baby after labor in the hospital.

The period of time after giving birth is exciting and filled with lots of love and joy – but can also be a rollercoaster ride of hormones.

After giving birth, your body will produce several different postpartum hormones including estrogen, progesterone, prolactin, oxytocin, and cortisol. The hormonal changes that occur during this time can be intense, and can lead to a variety of both physical and emotional symptoms.

The experts at Copperstate are here to help you fully understand what to expect with each of these postpartum hormones, and determine what symptoms are normal, versus when it may be time to speak with your provider.


Estrogen is a hormone that plays a crucial role in the development of the female reproductive system. During pregnancy, estrogen levels increase significantly, reaching their peak in the third trimester. 

However, after childbirth, estrogen levels will drop rapidly, which can lead to a variety of physical and emotional symptoms. Most biological females will experience mood swings, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness during this time.


Progesterone is another female hormone that plays a critical role in pregnancy. It not only helps to maintain the uterine lining but also prevents the uterus from contracting prematurely. During the postpartum period, progesterone levels drop significantly just as estrogen does, which can lead to mood swings, anxiety, and feelings of depression. 

This feeling is also commonly referred to as “the baby blues”. In most cases these emotions will begin to subside in 2 weeks, however, if they last longer, or you experience any of the following, it’s important to contact your provider right away:

  • Difficulty bonding with your baby
  • Excessive crying (from you, not the baby)
  • Overwhelming fatigue
  • Hopelessness
  • Severe anxiety and panic attacks
  • Thoughts of self-harm or harming your baby
  • Thoughts of suicide


Prolactin is a hormone that is responsible for milk production in breastfeeding mothers. During the postpartum period, prolactin levels increase significantly, which stimulates milk production for the baby. 

Unlike estrogen and progesterone, which are associated with negative symptoms postpartum, prolactin can provide a feeling of overall well-being. It typically creates a calming effect on mothers, which can help to reduce stress and anxiety.


Oxytocin is often referred to as the “love hormone” because it is associated with feelings of bonding and attachment. During childbirth, oxytocin levels increase significantly, which helps to stimulate contractions and facilitate the birth process. 

After childbirth, oxytocin levels remain high, which can help to promote bonding between mother and baby. Similar to prolactin, oxytocin can also help to reduce stress and anxiety in new mothers.


Cortisol is a hormone that is released in response to stress. During the postpartum period, cortisol levels can be elevated due to the physical and emotional stress of childbirth and caring for a newborn. 

High cortisol levels can lead to anxiety, depression, and fatigue, as well as health problems over time if not lowered. Luckily, there are a number of ways you can adjust your hormones postpartum and begin lowering cortisol.

Adjusting Your Postpartum Hormones

The significant and rapid hormonal changes your body experiences after giving birth can be hard to adjust to and cause disruptions to your daily routine. Luckily, there are a number of steps you can take to ease the symptoms of postpartum hormones such as:

  • Eating healthy – including sufficient amounts of iron and protein-rich foods
  • Staying hydrated
  • Taking postnatal vitamins
  • Exercising
  • Getting plenty of sleep
  • Practicing meditation
  • Seeking help when needed

Copperstate and Postpartum Hormones

If you are experiencing uncomfortable symptoms from postpartum hormones, Copperstate is here for you!

Our practice is recognized as one of the most progressive OB/Gyn groups in Tucson, Arizona. Our expert physicians offer a number of services focused on helping you feel your best after giving birth.  Our services include annual well women exams, hormone replacement, and contraceptive counseling. 

Are you looking for an OB/Gyn you can trust to support you during and after pregnancy in the Tucson area? Let us support you in achieving true health and wellness. Call (520) 721-8605 to book your appointment today.

Adjusting your Hormones Postpartum

Your body is miraculous. It’s gone through physical and hormonal changes to bring life into the world and will continue to provide for your baby. While postpartum hormone changes are normal and expected, sometimes they can cause unwanted symptoms such as the “baby blues” or postpartum depression. Luckily, there are ways that you can help your body adjust your hormones back after giving birth, to more stable levels.

Continue reading “Adjusting your Hormones Postpartum”

Common Pregnancy Symptoms No One Talks About

You already know about pregnancy cravings, morning sickness, and even about getting stretch marks – but pregnancy involves so much more than what people normally talk about, and there can be some unpleasant symptoms during each trimester. Once the first trimester symptoms begin, you’ll have a better idea of what you’ll experience the rest of the pregnancy.

No two pregnancies are exactly the same but if you’re a mom-to-be, you should be aware of some of the unpleasant pregnancy symptoms that no one talks about.

Continue reading “Common Pregnancy Symptoms No One Talks About”