Wondering why your undies are needing an extra spin in the wash? Swapping your bikini briefs multiple times a day? Don’t worry. Vaginal discharge is normal and healthy. It might be super inconvenient and uncomfortable, but it’s nothing to be worried about. We’re here to break it all down.
What is vaginal discharge?
Vaginal discharge comprises fluid and cells from your vagina, cervix, and uterus. Discharge may be different shades of white and stickiness based on the time of the month. It is a way for our bodies to help fight harmful bacteria and infections. Also, vaginal discharge is a safe and natural method of cleaning your vagina and providing a natural lubricant. Since every woman is unique, some women produce more vaginal discharge than others. Vaginal discharge offers women an excellent insight into women’s health based on color, odor, and texture. During different times of the month, you may notice an increase in discharge due to your menstrual cycle.
Is it normal to have a Discharge after having sex?
Vaginal discharge after sex is regular and expected. When aroused, your body creates a natural lubricant to help during sex.
Why do I leak after having sex?
If you have a bacterial infection, your discharge may be an off-white or light gray color. You may also notice a strong unusual odor. You may notice an increase in vaginal discharge after sex due to a bacterial infection. The odor and changes in color may be caused by the changes in the pH of the vagina, creating an unhealthy pH balance. If you suspect a bacterial infection, call your doctor.
Changes in the Menstrual Cycle
Another reason you may have discharge after sex depends on where you are in your menstrual cycle. Your cervical mucus actually changes throughout the month to accommodate the changes in your hormones. Beginning and end of the menstrual cycle, you may notice your discharge to be thick in texture and white. During ovulation, you may see your discharge be clear and sticky. Towards the end of your menstrual cycle, your vaginal discharge may be brown. This brown color may seem alarming, but it is just old blood present from your period.
When you are aroused sexually, the blood vessels in your vagina expand to allow for an increase in blood flow caused by sexual arousal. In addition, the glands of the vagina create discharge that is clear and watery. This discharge helps lubricate the vagina in anticipation of vaginal sex.
Yeast infections are prevalent in a female and easily treated. You may notice after sex that your discharge is clumpy, similar to cottage cheese. This may be a sign of a yeast infection. Yeast infections occur when Candida fungus grows more rapidly than expected. If you suspect a yeast infection, contact your doctor.
How much vaginal discharge is considered average?
On average, a woman produces between 1 and 3ml of vaginal discharge daily. However, it is important to note that even though this is the average, every woman is different. Since your body is unique, getting to know your body and what is considered “normal” for you is important.
How to manage vaginal discharge
Maintain proper hygiene
- Take a shower daily.
- Use mild soap when washing your body.
- Avoid using vaginal products containing fragrances.
- Always wipe front to back.
- Wear cotton underwear. Cotton is a breathable fabric that absorbs moisture rather than trap moisture. Synthetic material may irritate as it is not breathable.
- Avoid ultra constricting pants on a hot day as it does not allow for proper air circulation.
- Avoid sitting in wet clothing or a swimsuit.
- Maintain a healthy diet.
- Exercise regularly.
- Get an adequate amount of sleep.
Wear leak proof underwear
Proof Leak Proof® underwear offers an easy way to manage vaginal discharge by providing all-day protection from life’s leaks. Our super-light underwear feels just like regular underwear but holds up to 1 light tampon and replaces a panty liner. In addition, our underwear is complete with technical fibers that inhibit the growth of bacteria while helping to fight odors. The benefits of Proof Leak Proof® underwear include:
- Replaces a panty liner
- Offers extra protection from tampon leaks
- Helps stay dry from vaginal discharge
- Absorbs sweat
When to see a doctor
While vaginal discharge is how our bodies self-clean, it may be time to schedule a doctor’s visit if you:
- Observe green, yellow or thick discharge
- Suspect a yeast infection.
- Notice an unusual odor
- Bleeding or spotting in between periods
- Redness, itching, or burning of the vagina and surrounding areas
- Develop a fever accompanied by abnormal vaginal discharge
- Pain during or after sexual intercourse
- Sores or blisters in or on the vagina
Vaginal Discharge is normal and an essential part of women’s health. Vaginal discharge combines skin cells, healthy bacteria, and mucus. Vaginal discharge must maintain the proper pH balance to create an acidic environment. You are susceptible to yeast or bacterial infections if the pH balance is uneven. As a woman approaches menopause, it is typical for the amount of vaginal discharge to decrease. Sex may increase vaginal discharge and cause changes to the acidic vaginal environment. Always contact your doctor if you notice changes in your discharge, especially if you notice an unusual odor.
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