Virginal discharge is a topic ladies often shy away from, as many are not really sure if they have a healthy virginal discharge or may be dealing with one infection or another.
Yet, it is a vital indicator of their health condition. It is an early warning system which may, if read well determine whether they saty active in their businesses or spend time away treating preventable illnesses. Health is wealth.
Vaginal discharge is a clear, white or off-white fluid that comes out of a woman’s vagina. A woman’s uterus, cervix and vagina produce vaginal discharge, which is mainly made up of cells and bacteria. It helps clean and lubricate your vagina, and helps fight off bad bacteria and infection.
This means virginal discharge is normal and almost every lady experiences this.
However, what may make a virginal discharge unhealthy could then be the colour, texture, smell and amount of discharge a lady notices. Changes to your discharge can be a sign of infection or disease.
An article by Cleveland Clinic, a non-profit academic medical centre, providing clinical and hospital care and a leader in research, education and health information explains that normal vaginal discharge should be clear or white. It shouldn’t smell bad, and its thickness may change throughout your menstrual cycle.
Other characteristics of vaginal discharge according to Cleveland Clinic include:
Texture: It’s normal to have vaginal discharge that ranges from watery and sticky to gooey, thick and pasty. Your body’s hormones cause this change to happen, but factors like infection can also change the consistency of your vaginal discharge. Vaginal discharge that is chunky, foamy or accompanied by itching and changes in colour may mean you have an infection.
Colour: Vaginal discharge is healthy if it’s clear, milky white or off-white. Dark yellow, brown, green or grey discharge may indicate an infection or other issue.
Smell: Vaginal discharge may have an odour, but it shouldn’t be strong and shouldn’t be unpleasant. If you notice a fishy or foul smell to your discharge and it’s accompanied by changes in texture or colour, you may have a vaginal infection.
Amount: Some people produce lots of vaginal discharge, while others produce less. Certain factors like pregnancy, using birth control pills or ovulation can affect how much vaginal discharge you have. Sudden changes in the amount of vaginal discharge you produce could mean something is wrong.
Women are often advised to contact their healthcare providers if they notice an increase in the amount of vaginal discharge, a change in the colour of the discharge, a foul-smelling odour, a change in texture or consistency of the discharge, irritation, itching or pain in or around your vagina.
It is therefore important to note that the colour of your vaginal discharge can mean there’s a problem: Yellow, grey or green: Yellow, grey or green discharge may suggest a bacterial or sexually transmitted infection (STI).
Brown or red: Brown or red discharge is usually related to irregular menstruation or pregnancy (implantation bleeding). If you have brown or red-tinged discharge and it’s not your period, it may indicate a problem.
Clear or white: Normal vaginal discharge is clear, white or off-white. If your discharge is white, but seems thicker than usual or causes itching, it may be a yeast infection.
There are however ways to ensure your vagina is clean and smelling good.
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Using mild soap and water to gently clean your vulvar area once daily should be enough to keep your vagina clean. Your vagina naturally keeps itself clean with the help of certain healthy bacteria.
These bacteria keep your vagina acidic, which prevents microorganisms and fungi from growing out of control.
Other tips for keeping your vagina clean include avoid using perfumed soaps, gels, wipes or other feminine products not washing inside your vagina, avoid wearing tight underwear, leotards, bathing suits or sweaty clothes for long periods of time and wiping your vagina from the front to back. This prevents bacteria from your rectum from getting into your vagina.