Do you know your Vagina has its own housekeeping system? How does it keep itself clean?
We use a mop to clean a house to get rid of the dirt and germs. We use soap water-soaked mop around the house to get rid of all the dirt and germs. Right?
The Vagina uses discharge – which is a liquid that does all the cleaning, collecting all the dead bacteria and unwanted material out of the Vagina to keep it clean.
The Vagina is home to bad bacteria and good bacteria. The good bacteria keep the vagina healthy. More good bacteria = healthy vagina = acidic
Your Vagina should always be acidic or pH should always be acidic.
What is acidic?
The space inside of the Vagina should be the same as the inside of orange or lime. An acidic vagina keeps bad bacteria away and allows more good bacteria to live. The Vaginal discharge that flows out of your Vulva is a good indicator of your vaginal health. The color and thickness of the discharge can vary over the time of the month. You can look at your discharge, feel it and tell
- If your Vagina is healthy or not.
- Phase of your menstrual cycle.
Your vagina can make more of Vaginal discharge when you are aroused or a day or 2 after ovulation (This is 14 days before your period begins).
It also important to pay attention to the odour of it. It can smell a little bad around the time of your period when blood and urine mix. It can smell unsual if there is some form of infection.
Below is a mini guide to judge if your vagina is healthy based on the color and odor of your discharge and some symptoms:
- You should not shy away from talking to your gynecologist if you notice your discharge is not normal.
- They will take a swab or sample of your Vagina and Vulva to identify and give you a solution to your problem.
Discharge Type & Reason
- Discharge Type: Feels and looks like raw egg white and no smell.
- Reason: Normal vaginal discharge– This happens during ovulation. This is
14 days before your period cycle begins
- Discharge Type: Brownish Red
- Reason: Discharge is usually this color during and right after your period
not in the middle of your cycle. If it is in the middle of your cycle
please go to a doctor.
- Discharge Type: Green / yellow
- Reason: STD/ Sexually transmitted disease like Chlamydia or Gonnorhea Accompanied with itching, burning and pain.
- Discharge Type: Curdy white discharge
- Reason: Yeast infection -Accompanied with itching at the opening(Vulva) means Fungal infection
- Discharge Type: Grey discharge and smells fishy/metallic
- Reason: Bacterial Vaginosis-pH of your Vagina has changed and there are more bad than good bacteria living in your vagina.
How can one keep the vagina healthy and prevent unusual discharge?
- Wear soft cotton underwear only. Cotton is breathable and absorbs moisture unlike other synthetic fabrics.
- Avoid tight uncomfortable clothing. Wear comfortable clothes in soft breathable fabrics.
- Do not use a Vaginal wash or douche or soap down there. It can change the pH in the Vagina and make more bad bacteria grow to cause more infections
- Use antibiotics and steroids only if necessary.
- Make sure your use the right form of protection with your sexual partners.
- If you have diabetes make sure the blood glucose levels don’t go out of control as elevated blood sugar level can cause more bacteria to grow in you vagina making you prone to infections.
- Make sure you eat a healthy diet. As always balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetable, whole grains, probiotics and prebiotics will keep bad bacteria at away.
- Make sure you schedule an appointment with the Gynecologist at least once a year. It is important to take care of your reproductive health.
- Make sure you get a Pap test done every 3 years if you are sexually active.