The female body is a complex yet intentionally-designed and intuitively-capable system. This is particularly true of the vaginal area which manages multiple changes on its own accord, including the balance of bacteria, pH and moisture.
The vagina is capable of cleansing itself, but in order to do so must secrete certain fluids. Everything from vaginal discharge, periods and children pass through the vaginal canal. While some women opt out of childbirth or miss their monthly cycles altogether, vaginal discharge is unavoidable and a natural experience that happens daily.
While it is a normal and regular occurrence, there can be reasons to monitor everything from the smell, color, consistency and volume – which could provide hints to issues ranging from infections to medical conditions.
So, your first question is likely “what’s considered “normal” vaginal discharge?” The color and consistency is likely dry and sticky with a creamy and whitish hue. The smell should be similar to that of a fleshy or musky odor but not offensive or off-putting. It is important to identify what your natural discharge smells and looks like when your body is in optimal health so that you can quickly identify when something is perhaps a sign for concern.
As you are monitoring your regular discharge keep an eye out for the following possible changes.
Consistency: If your fluid has a thinner or thicker texture to it than usual.
Color: If you notice a gray, green, yellow or brown hue.
Volume: More or less discharge than usual.
Smell: odor that is offensive, fish-like, metallic (like iron) or similar.
Abnormal discharge happens when the vagina’s microbial community gets out of balance. Essentially, the good bacteria are overtaken by bad bacteria which cause odors, infections and more. Bacteria can become imbalanced by a number od different activities and occurrences including using a douche, swapping pelvic health medications, sexual intercourse, change in medications, hormonal issues, medical conditions, changes in diet and more.
There are three more common reasons that your discharge may be “off” a bit. Here, we share the most common to keep an eye out for.
Bacterial Vaginosis. This could manifest as a gray or whitish coloration, with a fishy odor that is strong. It also may likely become more pronounced after sexual intercourse, with feelings of itching or burning sensations accompanying the fluid.
While this can go away on its own, you may wish to talk with a physician to ensure that it isn’t something more serious.
Yeast Infection. Very common in women of all ages and lifestyles, this discharge may likely appear as a cottage cheese-like, white paste that doesn’t necessarily boast an odor but can come with itching as well as discomfort when intimate or during urination.
There are many affordable and convenient OTC options for treatment of yeast infections, however, if these do not work, you may wish to speak with a healthcare provider for options that will assist you in treatment.
Trichomoniasis. This condition can certainly cause for further action as it may be a sign of sexually transmitted infection. It is coupled with genital itching, odor and a yellow or green discharge that can be similar to a foam-like appearance.
Because this could be a sign of an STI it is important to have these symptoms discussed with an OBGYN or other primary care physician specializing in women’s health.
Monitoring the above is much easier when you are using Apele everyday undies that are tailored to catch these daily occurrences while pushing the moisture or fluid away from your body. Be on the lookout for the above issues and be certain to report anything unusual or uncomfortable to a trusted source.