Soft, dry underwear that smells of flowers and freshness. It’s a simple but perhaps universal fantasy. The reality is that within an hour that fantasy has disappeared into sweat and stains that can be frustrating and embarrassing. Just remember that vaginal discharge stains the underwear of healthy women all around the world, every day.
Getting to Know Vaginal Discharge
1. The Role of Vaginal Discharge
Vaginal discharge is a normal physiological phenomenon for all women. Vaginal discharge prevents damage to the vagina or the vulva from external friction by keeping the mucous membrane moist. It also prevents the proliferation of external pathogens by maintaining the acidity and the stable growth of healthy bacteria inside the vagina. Vaginal discharge keeps the vagina clean and healthy.
2. Normal Vaginal Discharge
Normal vaginal discharge is a clear or white fluid. It may look like a white stain on the underwear. The texture can be watery or sticky. While many may state it should be odorless, this is actually false. Vaginal discharge includes lactic acid so it has a slightly sour smell. There is no need to be concerned about occasional changes. Vaginal discharge changes slightly in color, texture, and smell depending on the menstrual cycle.
- Clear or white color
- Sour smell
3. Abnormal Vaginal Discharge
Most discharge is normal. However, some discharge could be a symptom that requires medicine or a visit to the hospital. If your vaginal discharge is similar to the following you should seek expert advice.
- Discharge that is not clear or white - Clumpy white discharge : Might mean vaginal candidiasis - Gray or yellow discharge : Might mean bacterial vaginosis - Green discharge : Might mean trichomoniasis
- Fishy smell
- Itching or burning for more than 7 days
- Sudden increase in the amount of discharge
4. Your Discharge
The condition of vaginal discharge varies by person. Some women do not have vaginal discharge while some experience more vaginal discharge to the point of soaking their underwear. Discharge can differ by individual and the menstrual cycle so you should observe and take note of your own unique vaginal discharge pattern.
- Vaginal discharge has a sour smell.
- The appearance of the vaginal discharge changes according to the menstrual cycle.
- Observe your vaginal discharge and pay close attention if it is different than usual.