Vaginal discharge is one of the most common symptoms of a healthy vagina and almost every girl/woman/lady will experience discharge at some point. But it’s also one of the tabooest subjects, ever (but why). Part of it is probably because we call it “discharge” and that’s a word that’s usually associated with gross things. At Blume we think that vaginal discharge should be reclaimed as something empowering and not nasty. Call it your magic fluid what have you!
The point is, there’s nothing gross about vaginal discharge or talking about it. Your discharge is unique, just like you!
How often does vaginal discharge come up in conversation with you and your friends? Probably never... But it’s totally normal to experience discharge and it shouldn’t be anything to be embarrassed about. I’m sure a lot of us experienced discharge and wondered if something might be wrong with us just because we never heard about it — well nope! (at least, unless you have some sort of health condition)
What is vaginal discharge?
First of all, what is vaginal discharge? The discharge your vagina produces is its way of self-cleaning. The vaginal fluid helps maintain the pH balance and clears away bacteria and dead cells, to ensure everything is A-ok (woah!). You don’t need any chemically floral scented washes to keep clean, your vagina does takes care of it itself (another reason why women are basically superhero’s amirite). Discharge is can be clear, white, or kind of yellow and may even smell a little. If it smells really bad though, go get that checked out by a doctor. The texture can also change and it might be liquid, sticky, stretchy, or kind of pasty. Discharge changes throughout different parts of your cycle.
The cycle of discharge
Your discharge probably follows a pretty repetitive cycle. If not, that’s fine as well but make sure you consult with a doctor if something seems off compared to your cycle.
The first few days post period: If your period has just finished, you might notice dark red or brown spotting. This is normal, it’s just your uterus shedding the last of its lining.
The time between the end of your period and ovulation: This is when you’ll notice very light or almost non-existent discharge. If you do happen to have white discharge after your period, during this time it’s likely thinner than during the rest of your cycle.
Mid-point of your cycle and around ovulation: Vaginal discharge will probably increase for a day or two as estrogen rises. It will probably be a similar color to an egg white and a sticky texture. If you’re trying to get pregnant, this is a sign that your fertile. If you’re trying to avoid pregnancy, double check your birth control method.
Post-ovulation and the days leading up to your period, the discharge will be thicker and clear. You can expect thick, white discharge before your period as a signal that you will be starting your period soon.
The few days before your period, you can expect your discharge to become even thicker and whiter. This is a signal your period is starting soon. If you’re pregnant, you can expect to see this type of discharge throughout your entire cycle.
When discharge miiiight be a problem
Now that we know what to expect, let’s talk about what not to expect. Your vaginal discharge can tell you a lot about your health and it’s important to be aware and pay attention so you can see your doctor if you need to.
Look out for the following:
- Lumpy or frothy texture
- Greenish/greyish colour
- Cottage cheesish, curdly discharge
- Vaginal burning, itching and irritation
- A lot of vaginal discharge
- A change in smell