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TUESDAY SPECIAL: 5 Facts About Vagina Discharge Every Woman Should Know

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Some women are concerned about vagina discharge, yet it is important for reproductive health.

But what substance is it made of? And what is and isn’t normal.

Here’s everything you need to know about vagina discharge, according to experts:

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1. VAGINA DISCHARGE IS NORMAL

Discharge is a clear or whitish fluid that emerges from the vagina.
Vagina discharge is not only natural, but also common during the monthly cycle.

2. DISCHARGE HELPS KEEP VAGINA HEALTHY

Because of its capacity to clean itself spontaneously, the vagina has been referred to as a “self-cleaning oven,” and discharge plays an important part in that.

According to Dr. Alyssa Dweck, vagina discharge involves “mucus from the cervix and fluid from the vagina itself.” Discharge is “primarily a mechanism for the vagina to keep itself healthy and maintain a proper microbiome.”

The fluid also helps protect against harmful bacteria and infections, according to the Cleveland Clinic. More specifically, the vagina microbiome contains “a ton of great bacteria called Lactobacilli.”

The bacteria produce lactic acid, which research shows kills or inhibits the growth of many other bacteria, keeping them in check.

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3. IT HELPS WITH SEX

Vagina discharge also helps with lubrication both for sex and to keep vaginal tissues from becoming dry and itchy.“Women need some moisture in the vagina to be able to have comfortable sex”.

4. HOW MUCH DISCHARGE YOUR BODY PRODUCES CAN VARY

The amount of vagina discharge a woman’s body makes varies from person to person. Some naturally produce a lot of discharge, while others make only a little. Discharge quantity, as well as texture, can also change at different points in the monthly cycle — and, for those of reproductive age, those changes can even let you know when you’re about to ovulate.

For example, as you get closer to ovulation, vaginal discharge increases and becomes more sticky. But right before or during ovulation the consistency shifts, becoming thin, watery and slippery like raw egg whites.

 

5. CHANGES IN VAGINAL DISCHARGE CAN SIGNAL AN INFECTION

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The healthy bacteria in vaginas do a good job of keeping harmful bacteria in check. However, “anything that alters that, whether it’s a tampon, douche or sex can change that,” by throwing off the delicate balance and leading to irritation or in some cases, an infection.

Changes in the usual color, texture or odor of your vagina discharge can be a sign of infection.

Normal discharge may have a slight scent, for example, but it typically doesn’t have a strong odor. “Scent becomes an odor when there’s an infection”.

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Written by Ruth Semilore

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