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Vaginal Health – an integral part of a woman’s well-being

Your lady parts may be a bit of a sticky subject, but your vaginal discharge, which is actually the result of the natural shedding of cervical and vaginal cells, can effectively tell you quite a bit about your health.

Women all have a bit of discharge ranging from a teaspoon to a tablespoon daily. The amount, smell, color and texture of vaginal discharge can be indicators of what is going on inside your body….so read on to know more.

  • Thin and clear: This is your standard discharge. Towards the beginning of your menstrual cycle, your discharge will generally be clear/milky white and watery. As long as there isn’t any itching or a foul odor, there is no need to worry.
  • Brown or bloody: If you just finished your period, a brownish discharge could be some leftover blood being sent out. But if you have random mid-month spotting around the time of ovulation or otherwise, please consult your gynecologist. Brownish or blood-tinged vaginal discharge could be from a vaginal infection, a lost tampon, an ovarian cyst, uterine polyp. Eat unsweetened cranberries if there is a urinary tract infection.
  • Cloudy or yellow: This could be a sign of an STD like gonorrhea. Consult your gynecologist asap if you also have bleeding between two menstrual cycles, urinary incontinence, and pelvic pain.
  • Fishy smell: Your vaginal pH could be the reason…it is acidic when healthy and alkaline when there is an infection. Treat infections when they arise to prevent reproductive problems later on. Douching, using harsh soaps and cleansers, using body sprays, talcum powders etc will only cover up the smell without addressing the problem. In fact, douching can alter the acidic pH of the vagina and make it more susceptible to bacterial infections. Use sanitary pads, not tampons during infections.
  • Thick and lumpy: If you're experiencing discharge that is odorless, thick, white and has a lumpy texture …a bit like paneer, it's likely to be a yeast infection. You may also experience itching, soreness, burning, and irritation. Plain dahi or plain Greek yogurt has probiotics which prevent yeast infections. If the problem still persists do consult your gynecologist.
  • Egg white consistency: If your discharge is occasionally clear and stretchy, like raw egg whites, it is an indication that you are ovulating …you should get your period a fortnight later if you haven’t already conceived!!
  • Thick and gummy: At the beginning of your pregnancy, you may notice a thicker, heavier or gummy discharge. This is because the cervix and vaginal walls get softer, and discharge increases to help prevent any infections traveling up from the vagina to the womb. Just nature’s way of protecting your fetus!!

Stay blessed with good health…always!!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza

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