You know that feeling when you’ve just showered and changed into fresh clothes, only to find your panties dirty already? We’ve all been there but other than more laundry to wash, there’s no reason to panic. Our vaginas have all sorts of discharge and most of it is fairly normal! Let’s take a look down our panties and find out what these different discharges mean.
Clear discharge is totally normal and shouldn’t worry you at all. It’s usually quite wet and slimy. You could call it the proof of vaginas working their magic, as it’s a way for it to self-cleanse. You might find clear discharge anytime throughout your period but it’s more common after exercise, right before ovulation or when you’re aroused.
White discharge is common as well. But make sure you pay attention to the consistency! If it’s wet and slimy egg white, then it’s pretty normal and is common after your period. But if it’s thick with a consistency like cottage cheese and comes with itching, then it might be a sign of yeast infection.
Light red or pink discharge is usually seen after your period. It may be the leftover shedding of your uterus lining. But be alarmed if it’s more than that and becomes unusual spotting. Brown discharge could be common towards the end of your period. Left over, old blood looks brown so that discharge is just your uterus clearing out leftover lining.
Yellow or green discharge might be a bit stickier and thicker and might come with a fishy odor. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. This kind of discharge could mean a bacterial infection or indicate sexually transmitted infections like trichomoniasis, chlamydia or gonorrhea.
So, when should we really be worried?
A healthy female reproductive system can produce 1 to 4 milliliters of discharge a day. So don’t worry if you’re going through more than 2 pairs of panties a day. Discharge is going to happen no matter what. Just beware of yellow, green, white cottage cheese discharge. As well as any odor, itching, pain, discomfort or increased amount. That is when you should go see your OBGYN.
How should we care for our vaginas?
What to wear?
The vagina likes to keep it loose when it comes to underwear. Make sure to avoid tight panties and wear preferably ones with cotton lining. Put on one of TOC’s thongs or cheekies as they're seamless, stretchy, and barely there to ensure your vajay is as comfy as possible.
How to clean?
We all know hygiene is number one when it comes to vaginal health. But hygiene doesn’t mean overcleaning .The vagina can clean itself so to keep it nice and clean down there, we should actually avoid cleaning inside the vaginas so we don’t mess up the balance of bacteria. Use mild, unscented soaps, add warm water and gently clean the vulva.
What to eat?
Our vaginas love good bacteria to help it self-cleanse. There are actually lots of foods that not only taste great, but also contain healthy probiotics. Add foods like kimchi, miso, yogurt and even kombucha to your diet to get those bacteria in check!
What to avoid?
Most scented wipes and cleansers are full of perfume and really bad for the vagina. Try to avoid those and definitely do not douche! Oh, and always wipe from front to back after going to the bathroom to keep the vagina free of infection.
These little habits go a long way. Take good care of your vagina, keep it clean and healthy, and keep an eye on the discharge. And your vagina will surely return the favor 😉.