Praise be to Allah.
What comes out of a woman may be maniy, madhiy or regular discharge, which is called “moisture”. Each of these has its own characteristics and rulings that apply to it.
1 – With regard to maniy:
1.It is thin and yellow. This is the description that is narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “The water of the man is thick and white, and the water of the woman is thin and yellow.” Narrated by Muslim (311).
It may be white for some women.
2.It smells like pollen, and the smell of pollen is similar to the smell of dough.
3.There is pleasure when it is emitted, and desire ceases immediately after it is emitted.
It is not stipulated that all three characteristics appear at once, rather one is sufficient for the ruling on maniy to apply. This was stated by al-Nawawi in al-Majmoo’ (2/141).
With regard to madhiy:
It is white and thin, and is emitted when feeling desire either when thinking or otherwise, but no pleasure is felt when it is emitted, and desire does not cease when it is emitted.
With regard to moisture:
This is the discharge that comes from the uterus; it is clear and a woman may not notice it. Women vary in the amount they emit.
With regard to the differences with regard to rulings between these three things (maniy, madhiy and moisture):
Maniy is taahir (pure) and it is not essential to wash it from one’s clothes, but one must do ghusl after it is emitted, whether that happened when one was asleep or awake, whether it was due to intercourse, an erotic dream or anything else.
Madhiy is najis (impure) and must be washed off if it gets onto the body. As for clothes, if madhiy gets onto them it is sufficient to purify them by sprinkling them with water. The emission of madhiy invalidates wudoo’ but it is not essential to do ghusl after it is emitted.
As for moisture, it is taahir and it need not be washed off, and clothes need not be washed if it gets onto them. But it invalidates wudoo’, unless it is continuous, in which case a woman should do wudoo’ for every prayer after the time for it begins, after which it will not matter if there is any moisture.
And Allaah knows best.