Let’s talk about discharge. That mucousy liquid you see in your undies is there for a reason. It keeps your vagina healthy and lubricated, and naturally changes colour and texture across your cycle.
What is vaginal discharge?
Made by the skin cells of your vagina and cervix (which connects your vagina to your uterus), discharge is a combination of skin cells, bacteria, mucus and fluids. That might not sound all that nice, but it’s actually very healthy and an essential thing to have!
In fact, most folks will make about a teaspoon of discharge a day!
Why does it look and feel different sometimes?
As hormone levels change across your cycle, it’s normal for the colour and feel of your discharge to also change. Let’s take a closer look.
During your period - period blood
Low estrogen levels during your period, often means little to no discharge.
Just after your period - none, dry
Right after your period ends, there’s often little to no discharge because estrogen levels are still low. As estrogen levels rise over the coming week’s, you’ll start to see more discharge.
Near ovulation - clear, slippery, wet, like egg-white
You’ll probably notice your discharge is clear and more of a stretchy or watery texture (a bit like egg white). And there’ll be a lot more of it.
In fact, you might have up to 30 times more discharge when you’re ovulating than other times in your cycle! This is due to high estrogen levels, and the slippery texture of the discharge helps sperm travel easily to an egg.
After ovulation (luteal phase) - thicker, white, dry
Later in your cycle, during the luteal phase, discharge becomes thicker and whiter (maybe even yellow). This is caused by rising progesterone levels as your body prepares for either pregnancy or a period.
Is my discharge normal?
There are times when discharge can give you a clue that something is wrong. If you notice that there’s any pain, unexpected color change, burning or a bad smell along with your discharge, have a chat with your doctor to make sure there's no infection or other issues going on.
Find out more about abnormal discharge here. [INSERT LINK TO ARTICLE ‘Abnormal Discharge’]
Otherwise, discharge is absolutely natural and healthy. It helps to lubricate and clean your vagina and can help you to track where you’re at in your cycle.
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