Do You Know Your Vagina?

It’s time to get acquainted with what’s normal for you!

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When it comes to vaginal discharge, everyone wants to know if theirs is normal. Since every woman's vagina has a unique personality, you'll need to learn what's normal for you.

The vaginal mucus has a purpose: it makes it easier for sperm to swim to a woman's egg during ovulation, lubricates the penis during sex, and flushes out harmful microorganisms that can cause infection. It is comprised of shedded cells, healthy bacteria, proteins and mucus.

Vaginal secretions vary in color, appearance, consistency, amount and smell throughout a woman's life. What is normal in your twenties may not be normal in your fifties. Changes occur during the menstrual cycle, menopause, pregnancy and sexual arousal. And certain medications, douches, soaps, medical conditions, allergies and birth control pills can also affect the characteristics of vaginal secretions.

Any woman who has experienced a vaginal infection knows that it can be unpleasant. If you have bacterial vaginosis, yeast (Candida), trichomoniasis or any other sexually transmitted infection you want to know as soon as possible.  Familiarizing yourself with the characteristics of your vaginal discharge on any given day can help you know when things are not right.

So wash your hands, give yourself some good light and explore.

If discharge is clear or milky white, that's normal. It can also look very pale yellow when it's dried.  If you are seeing grey, green, yellow, pink or red, that's not. Blood-tinged mucous may be a sign of pregnancy.