What's coming out of your body is a pretty good indicator of what's happening inside your body. Vaginal discharge is a normal bodily function that keeps the natural ecosystem of the vagina healthy and functioning. The colours and consistencies of our vaginal discharge can be key indicators of your vaginal health. While most changes are normal, others can signify anything from bacteria, an STD or whether you just need to drink more water.
WHAT IS THE COLOUR OF MY VAGINAL DISCHARGE TELLING ME?
So, we’ll start with the colours it can be, and what they can indicate in terms of your health, diet and time of your cycle:
Most ordinary healthy vaginal discharge is clear or whitish. It may be slippery or have the consistency of egg whites. A person is likely to experience more clear, slippery discharge just before ovulation, during sexual arousal, and during pregnancy.
White can also include cream or light yellow. If a person has no other symptoms, white discharge is most likely a sign of healthy lubrication in a healthy vaginal ecosystem. However, if the white discharge has a thicker, clumpier consistency like cottage cheese or is accompanied by a strong foul odour, it can indicate an infection. If this occurs an individual should see a doctor.
YELLOW (& GREEN)
If the discharge has a very slight yellow hue, it may not indicate a problem. Especially if the hue only coincides with a change in diet or dietary supplements.
Discharge that is a darker shade of yellow, yellowish-green, or green usually signals a bacterial or sexually transmitted infection. See a doctor promptly if vaginal discharge is darker yellow, thick or clumpy, or it has a foul odour. There is one STD that makes a major mark in your undies: Trichomoniasis is characterised by “frothy green and yellow” discharge, according to health care professionals. And “frothy” is never a word you want to be associated with your genitals so it’s always necessary to keep up with your sexual health
Discharge can be light or a deeper pink. It usually means it contains a little bit of blood. Pink discharge most commonly occurs with spotting before a period. However, it can also be a sign of implantation bleeding in early pregnancy. Some people experience a little bit of spotting after ovulation, which can also cause pink discharge.
The shade of red can vary from bright to a dark rust colour. Red discharge is most commonly the result of bleeding during a period and towards the end of a period. Menstrual bleeding happens around every 28 days, though it can range between 21 and 35 days.
Gray vaginal discharge is not healthy, and it can be a symptom of a common bacterial infection called bacterial vaginosis (BV). BV usually causes other vaginal symptoms as well, including itching, irritation, a strong odour, redness around the vulva or vaginal opening. Anyone with gray discharge should promptly see a doctor.
WHAT IS THE CONSISTENCY OF MY VAGINAL DISCHARGE TELLING ME?
Consistency often goes alongside the different colours vaginal discharge can be, however the consistency can mean additional things on its own.
Some women may notice less or thicker than usual vaginal discharge when they are dehydrated, just like you may notice less, and more concentrated urine when you are dehydrated, so it’s always something to consider your habits when taking a look, incase there are other factors affecting your body.
Thick white discharge is common at the beginning and end of your cycle. Normal white discharge is not accompanied by any vaginal itching or odor. If there is itching along with it, then the thick white discharge & itching may indicate a yeast infection.
CLEAR & STRETCHY
When discharge is clear and stretchy in its consistency this usually means that you are ovulating and is referred to as the ‘Fertile mucous’
CLEAR & WATERY
When vaginal discharge is clear and watery, it’s a healthy vagina just going about its business. It can often occur after exercising heavily
THICK & CLUMPY
Cottage cheese is not what you want when we’re talking about vaginal discharge, but it is accurate. If you notice that consistency, especially when its yellow or greenish and is also accompanied by a foul odour then it could be an infection and its best to get it checked out asap.
Thicker consistency & a brown colour is less to be alarmed of, especially if its right after your period as your body is cleaning out your vagina and any blood that’s left behind, older blood can look brown, and the older blood deposits can make it thicker.
As much as we can reinforce that discharge is completely normal and healthy, it can still make some women feel uncomfortable. Some women choose to use disposable sanitary protection even outside of the period to absorb their discharge, which isn’t such a great solution every day of the month for the natural bio-system of the vagina or for the planet. The plastic content of disposable sanitary liners can cause overheating or additional moistness in the vaginal area, which can cause further issues. The heavy absorbency of sanitary liners and tampons can be too absorbent just for discharge, leading to vaginal dryness and creating a predisposition to thrush. The chemicals found in disposable liners and sanitary protection are also not good for the most intimate and delicate area of our bodies.
Natural TENCEL Lyocell, organic and sustainable Rosaseven period lingerie is a great solution for dealing with vaginal discharge when it becomes a little heavy. The moisture of the discharge is wicked away leaving your body free to breathe as normal, allowing your vagina to go about its normal routine of keeping the unique eco-system in balance.
You can read more about Vaginal Discharge and what it does in our previous blog article UNDERSTANDING VAGINAL DISCHARGE