What Your Vagina Is Trying To Tell You
Itches, odours and period fluctuations explained.
You might have had your vagina your whole life, but if you're anything like us then you probably don't have much of an idea what's going on with it most of the time.
While everyone experiences fluctuations from time to time, changes in your usual discharge, general comfort and smell can be key indicators that something unhealthy is going on. Check out the guide below to find out exactly what your vag is trying to tell you and don't forget that if in doubt, a visit to your doctor is always a good idea.
You have more discharge than usual
Are you turned on? Is it midway through your cycle? Are you about to start your period?
All three including when you're ovulating naturally cause the vagina to produce more discharge than usual. If it's the same consistency as usual, it's probably quite natural. However, if it's a different texture or colour than usual or smells different, it could be an indicator of an infection, which leads us onto..
Your discharge smells weird
A fishy smelling, yellow or gray-tinged discharge can be an indicator of vaginosis, which is easily treated by antiobiotics but will necessitate a trip to the doctor.
You're itchy and your discharge has a thick, opaque white or lumpy appearance
This sounds a whole lot like a yeast infection and, again, is easily treated. Head to the pharmacist for a product to treat. It's worth noting that if you're sensitive to yeast infections, eating lots of sugary carbs like bread, pizza and pasta can upset the pH of your vagina and help induce them.
The vagina is also a pretty clever, self-cleaning operation so avoid washing the area with anything more than water. Scented body washes and laundry detergents can cause itching too, so bear this in mind if you've recently changed products that you usually use.
It burns when you pee
The most common offenders of this are a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), a bladder infection or an STI, so the best course of action is a visit to the doc. Drink plenty of water to help flush through bacteria and always make sure you pee after sex. Yes, it's a total pain in the arse to get up when you're all tired and snug, but it is so worth it to help reduce lingering bacteria from giving you a UTI.
Your vagina feels way more dry than usual during sex
Are you stressed? Because yep, stress can affect the amount of discharge your vagina produces. A side effect of some forms of the pill can also cause vaginal dryness, so it could be worth chatting to your doc. Either way, lube and extended foreplay are your new BFF.
The blood changes colour throughout your period
It's actually pretty normal for the colour and apperance of your period to change throughout your monthly flow in the same way it is for it to range from light to heavy. At the beginning of your period it's most usual to see darker blood as this is just blood that's taken longer to be expelled. So when your flow is lighter at the begginning and end, it changes colour as it's takes longer for it to exit. Brown or blackish blood and clotting are normal to the middle and end of the period in the same way. The brighter red blood is more usual when your period is at its heaviest, towards the middle of your period. The blood flows out of the body quicker and doesn't have time to darken.
If your period is grey or orange or very out of the ordinary for you in terms of colour, it could be a sign of something else going on, so go see the doctor to get things checked out.
Now why not check out Hannah Witton's guide to Doing It...?