Hello and as always welcome back to ‘Vibe.’ Today we are tackling another taboo topic… vaginal discharge. I know this may be an uncomfortable topic for some of you but fear not vaginal discharge is totally normal and nothing to feel ashamed of.
Dr Pradhan explains ‘vaginal discharge starts when young girls grow into beautiful young ladies’ this is so important, we all need to remind ourselves our bodies are beautiful and we should welcome change as we grow and develop.
Discharge starts as the ovary (see our anatomy post for a refresher on the lingo) begins to produce eggs. During this process girls start mensurating (having periods) and vaginal discharge. Neither of these are anything to worry about but I do remember when I first experienced periods and vaginal discharge and I felt embarrassed as I had no idea what was going on, so rest assured your body is totally normal!
Dr Pradhan explains ‘during the first half of the periods cycle (usually a 28-day cycle) the discharge is thin and stringy, due to a rise in oestrogen, one of the female sex hormones, which is produced by the developing egg. The second part of the cycle is attributed to the hormone progesterone which is released upon ovulation (please do not worry if you don’t know what these terms are, a future post will go into more detail, but for now here is some information)
If you find you have a lot of/ excessive discharge- this can be normal but if you feel self-conscious you can wear a pantyliner which may help you to relax (we recommend an unscented option to avoid irritation.)
Fun fact, vaginal discharge serves as a lubricant for the vagina during intercourse (sex) and is also there to protect against bugs entering the vagina!
Once the hormones ‘dry up’, the vagina feels dry and it leads to symptoms of dryness, soreness and pain during sex which is typical in the post-menopausal years. If you do struggle with painful sex and vaginal dryness, opt for a lube such as KY jelly, this should make sex more comfortable.
As always of you are worried about your discharge consult a doctor but normal vaginal discharge is clear/ whiteish yellow. A green colour may signal an infection, if you do experience this remember your doctor is there to help you not to shame you, so go to your GP as soon as possible. The last sign to look out for is smell, if you have a fishy odour this is a sign of a change in the vaginal PH, once again do not forget to go to your GP.
Anyway, things to take away from this post- vaginal discharge is totally normal and nothing to be embarrassed of, despite what the media may have us believe.
The Vibe team xx
Declaimer, this is a blog for educational purposes only and is not a replacement for consulting a doctor.