It’s not that time of the month yet, so you know it’s not your period. It’s kind of thick and creamy some days, then at times it resembles egg whites? Okay then… so what IS that liquid in your undies!? No head tilts here girls, what you’re seeing is actually called vaginal discharge and is a TOTES normal part of the female reproductive system. Well, most of the time! A little confused by it, or unsure if what you’re experiencing is normal? Read on sister, we’re here to guide you through the ins and outs of discharge!
So, what exactly is vaginal discharge and what does it do?
Vaginal discharge is a mucus secretion released by the glands in the vagina and cervix, in order to ‘flush out’ fluids, cells and bacteria. This fluid flows out of the vagina each day, and you can think of this process as a kind of ‘house cleaning’ for your downstairs; keeping your vagina clean, moist and helping to prevent any nasty infections, as well as maintaining a healthy pH balance. Yep. Our vaginas are pretty amazing and it’s a very normal part of being a female! The first time you may notice discharge in your undies is when your body starts going through puberty, and in fact, discharge is a key sign that your first period is on its way! Discharge can vary in amount, odour, texture and colour, and not only differs from girl to girl, but differs depending on where you are at in your cycle.
Okay, so when should I expect to see discharge?
The short answer here is anytime, anyplace, anywhere!
• Typically, when you’re going through the changes of puberty , you will start to notice a clear/whitish discharge in your undies. Then when your first period is right around the corner, the discharge may have a light brown tinge due to a little period blood mixing in.
• Once your cycle starts to regulate and you’re in the ovulation phase of your cycle, you will notice that your discharge is a little heavier for a few days, and then the amount will reduce when your period is due.
• When your monthly flow has finished, you may observe that your discharge takes a break! However, like all things #girl, your discharge may follow a different pattern and that’s totally ok! What’s most important is learning about your body and its version of normal.
What should discharge look, feel and smell like?
The rule of thumb is that normal discharge is either clear or white in colour, and has a fairly subtle odour that isn’t unpleasant or foul smelling. It’s common for discharge to vary throughout our monthly cycle, but it’s important to know what is considered your “normal” and to recognise what may call for a trip to the GP.
Colours of discharge that you might see:
• Clear or whitish discharge – this is the most common type of discharge and is the healthy process of your vagina cleaning itself by getting rid of any dead cells and bacteria. Typically about two weeks before your period is due, Ovulation begins. Here, you’ll notice an increase in the volume of this clear discharge with it feeling quite slippery. This is our bodies’ way of allowing sperm to easily swim through the cervix and into the fallopian tubes, to help its survival until the egg is released. Cool, huh!
• Red or brown discharge – normally seen just before, after and/or during your period. This is totally normal around #thattimeofthemonth. Be aware of seeing it at any other time though as it can indicate spotting, which can be one of the first signs of pregnancy, hormonal changes or something a little more serious. It’s always best to check with your GP if you’re feeling worried or unsure.
• Creamy or milky white discharge – similar to clear discharge, white and creamy discharge can indicate vaginal cleaning. However – if it smells too strong or the consistency seems off, check in with your doctor as it could indicate a yeast infection.
• Pink discharge – some girls may see this type of discharge after intercourse, or at the beginning of their menstrual flow. If it pops up at an unexpected time in the month though, please visit your GP for a check up.
• Yellow discharge – a pale yellow discharge isn’t really a cause for concern as typically normal discharge can leave a yellowish tinge in your undies, or could be because of a dietary/vitamin change. However, this type of colouring can be a sign of infection, especially if paired with a bad odour.
• Grey or green discharge – definitely not considered normal and healthy colours for discharge, often these indicate a present infection like bacterial vaginosis. Don’t put it off, call your GP and make an appointment!
Although it may not be ideal for your undies (liners to the rescue to keep you feeling fresh!), it is normal for your discharge to be watery, sticky, thick or thin, like egg-whites, or even a creamy consistency. However, there are some signs that indicate something is not quite right, which can include;
• Vaginal itching or burning
• A strong, foul smell
• A frothy, foamy or cottage cheese consistency
• Green or grey in colour
• Bleeding (that’s not related to your period).
If you’re experiencing any of these signs, we recommend that you go and speak to your GP pronto, as it can mean an infection or something more serious that calls for treatment.
Just remember sisters, discharge is a normal part of being a girl and because it’s influenced by your reproductive hormones, you’ll notice variations depending on where you’re at in your menstrual cycle. To make sure your discharge is the healthy kind, keep an eye out for the signs that we’ve mentioned here – it’s always best to check with your GP if you think something looks or smells a little off. If you have a new pair of undies that you want to keep clear of discharge, check out our range of Libra Liners . You’ll feel as fresh as a daisy, all day long.
Anything else? Asaleo Care makes no warranties or representations regarding the completeness or accuracy of the information. This information should be used only as a guide and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional, medical or other health professional advice.