I am back with another topic ” Vaginal discharge”, most of us are rather shy talking about it and frankly speaking, find it ” Embarassing”. But contrary to the belief they are actually “Blessing in disguise“.
Destigmatizing Vaginal discharge
Image source: original photo by anna-nekrashevich,www.pexel.com
How so ?
Well ! you need to go through my blog to know that and a lot of other things…..
What is actually “vaginal discharge”?
Secretions of glands of cervix and vagina along with dead cells, bacteria`s make up the “vaginal discharge” which cleans the vagina daily whilst making its way out.
So, what is considered as a normal vaginal discharge?
Vaginal discharge changes according to the stage of your menstrual cycle.
A few days before onset of your periods it can be pinkish (white discharge mixed with small amout of blood) indicating start of your periods, sometimes termed as “spotting”.
During menstruation it is bright red in color and towards the end of it is dark brownish, indicating the end of your periods.
After the period ends there is very minimal or no discharge ( low estrogen). After a few days the discharge becomes whitish and slightly thick and later on mucousy in nature.
Just before ovulation the discharge becomes clear and slippery typical”egg white consistency” (This my dear ladies is the fertile window,if you want to conceive – have unprotected sex and if not – use protection.)
After ovulation the discharge becomes thick and white.
Apart from the above cyclic variation, there are other situations when discharge varies but still can be considered normal:
- Pregnancy- discharge may increase, usually thin and white and milky in character.
- Perimenopausal/ menopausal stage- amount of discharge is very much reduced ( low estrogen levels)
- During sexual arousal – copious discharge, usually termed as ” feeling wet”( vaginal secretion provides lubrication to protect the delicate vaginal mucosa against injury from friction.)
We need to understand that vaginal discharge can be different for different individuals, bearing in mind that it depends on a lot of things like hormonal profile, if the individual is on a hormonal pill (e.g oral contraceptive).
Most of the women know what is the normal for them, but do not know the reason for normal variation in characteristic of discharge.
When to consult a gynaecologist?
- Discharge ( any type) accompanied by pain in abdomen/ fever/ pain on passing urine.
- Discharge ( any type) accompanied with pain/ itching/ rash/ irritation/ burning sensation in vulva and vagina.
- Change in color/ characteristic of discharge – yellowish/ greyish/ greenish/ bloodstained unrelated to periods,thick white curdy discharge”cottage cheese“appearence.
- Discharge with abnormal smell – fishy odour etc. ( normally discharge has a distinct smell but it is not offensive).
All the above symptoms may either represent infection or signal of a problem that needs further evaluation by a gynaecologist. I would urge you all to visit a gynaecologist if any thing worries you, as it is better to be safe.
Coming back to my original statement about vaginal discharge “ a blessing in disguise” is absolutely true.
- It keeps vagina clean.
- Protects from infection ( by maintaining a slightly acidic pH, housing friendly bacteria`s)
- Keeps vagina moist and lubricated.
So ladies, next time when you see discharge on your knickers, it is normal unless you note something different that is not normal for you and when in doubt consult a gynaecologist.
Just to drop a word – you all at some point must have noted- bleached spots in your undies- they are due to slightly acidic pH of vaginal secretions reacting with the fabric.( so now you know why?)
I hope i have been able to throw some light on a topic that most of the ladies shy away from discussing, once we know and accept basic`s about our bodily functions all the stigma`s, attached to it will eventually disappear.
All proud owners of “Vagina” its time we overcome our insecurities and stigma attached to it and embrace freedom.
Thats all for now, will be back soon……….