Vaginal discharge is a combination of fluid and cells continuously shed through your vagina. Normal vaginal discharge helps keep vaginal tissues healthy, provide lubrication and protect against infection and irritation. Common causes of abnormal vaginal discharges include: Bacterial vaginosis (BV): This is the most common vaginal infection, caused by bacteria. It is treated with antibiotics and won't respond to over-the-counter treatments for yeast infection. Vaginal discharge serves an important housekeeping function in the female reproductive system. Fluid made by glands inside the vagina and cervix carries away dead cells and bacteria. This keeps the vagina clean and helps prevent infection. Most of the time, vaginal discharge is perfectly normal. The.