While it's important to note that what's normal to you is absolutely not normal to someone else - things like your monthly cycle, having recently given birth, or undergoing some form of hormonal therapy can all have an impact on how much discharge your body is producing. But if you suddenly notice a lot more vaginal discharge in your underwear, it could be a sign that something might be going on down there.
To find out more, we spoke to Melissa Vranjes, certified Fertility Awareness Educator and Kolorex Brand Ambassador.
"The discharge from your vagina is as common as the vagina itself, but before I get into the brilliance and sheer genius of your discharge I’m going to teach you what it is. And believe me, when you understand where the stuff on your knickers comes from, how it works, and why it's there, you'll be sharing this knowledge too!"
Read more below.
What is vaginal discharge?
Vaginal discharge plays a significant role – it’s the body’s way of keeping your vagina healthy and clean. Discharge is a combination of vaginal fluids and mucus from the cervix. You know, what you see in your knickers during the day. The glands inside your vagina and cervix produce small amounts of fluids, known as vaginal secretions, this cleanses old cells that have lined the vagina to keep it clean and healthy.
Discharge is different for every person. It’s normal to see and experience different types of discharge throughout your cycle. What's important is to keep track of what's normal for you.
Types of vaginal discharge
Your vagina's ecosystem is sensitive to changes, so it's common to see different types of fluids throughout the month. As estrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate, so does your discharge.
Some days discharge can be white, creamy, or milky; other days, it’s clear, slippery, and similar to a raw egg white. A few days after menstruation or ovulation, it’s also common to experience dryness. Go ahead, have a peak; it’s your bodily fluid!
What is ‘normal’?
Vaginal discharge colour, texture, taste, and smell changes with your menstrual cycle, so what’s ‘normal’ varies from woman to woman—some experience it daily, others only a small window in their cycle.
Vaginal discharge varies in descriptions but typically is clear, stretchy, creamy, milky, white, cloudy and may have a subtle scent that is not strong or unpleasant. These changes are normal and associated with ovulation.
What is ‘abnormal’?
Although discharge can change throughout the month, changes in colour, smell and texture can signal that something is wrong, especially if there is itching, burning, or irritation. If your discharge is yellow, grey, green, resembles a thick cottage cheese consistency, or has an unpleasant odour, talk to a healthcare professional.
So what are the best things you can do to take care of your vagina and vulva?
If you’re like me and always opt for natural approaches, you’re going to want to reach for this herb - Horopito. It is grown in New Zealand and is known to gently soothe and help women with thrush and vaginal discomfort. This herb is perfect for the vagina and vulva area because of its gentle healing approach to such sensitive areas. Your vagina will love you for it!
The vagina is genius, right? Your discharge can be a prescription slip for what’s going on in your body. Every woman is different, so it’s a good idea to pay attention to your natural rhythms and recognise what’s normal for you.