The fluid that comes out of the vagina is termed as vaginal fluid, and is popularly known as vaginal discharge. It a mainly consists of old vaginal cells, mucus, bacteria, etc. This fluid is flushed out from the body in order to keep the vagina squeaky clean. It also helps in keeping the vagina moisturised, lubricated, maintains the pH of the vagina, and protects the vagina from infection as well. However, in some cases, the vaginal discharge might seem to be abnormal in terms of the amount secreted, texture, colour, etc. Therefore, it is better if you start know more about the vaginal fluid.
Here are 7 things you must know about the vaginal fluid:
Presence of vaginal fluid is extremely normal
There is no need to panic over the fluid coming out of your vagina. As mentioned before, if is the vagina's way of keeping itself clean, lubricated, and keeping infection at bay.
Should be clear or whitish in colour
A normal vaginal discharge will be clear or whitish in appearance, and might have a mild odour. It can also be odourless, and a little moist in terms of its consistency. The discharge might thicken due to hormonal changes occurring in the body (during ovulation, menstrual cycle, etc). More amount of discharge is secreted during pregnancy. As you age, you might experience vaginal dryness as the body slowly enters into the menopause stage, and produces very little oestrogen.
Visit a doctor if vaginal discharge is accompanied by itching, swelling, burning, etc.
Abnormal vaginal discharge could be accompanied by irritation, burning, pain, etc. This might happen due to certain conditions such as yeast infection, Bacterial vaginosis, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), etc. Besides this, also look for whether your vaginal fluid is yellow, brown, or greenish in colour. Another case of abnormal vaginal discharge when it is producing a strong odour (could br fishy, metallic, etc), or has an abnormal texture (could have cottage cheese-like appearance, or have a very thick consistency.)
Do not use scented soaps, or strong smelling products for cleaning
Using scented soaps, and products having a strong smell and cleansing action might cause irritation in the vagina. Such products might disrupt the vagina's pH, cause irritation, and might lead to secretion of abnormal discharge. The vagina is capable of cleaning itself, so it's better to use a mild soap and water to clean down there.
Hormonal birth control pills can increase the amount of vaginal discharge
Taking hormonal birth control pills manipulate the body's hormone levels, which could result in the secretion of excess amount of vaginal fluid.
Excess fluid could be a product of allergic reactions
Allergic reactions in the vagina can be result of using certain cleansers, sex toys, clothing, and toilet paper as well. This could result in excess secretion of vaginal fluids as a defense mechanism.
Amount of vaginal discharge increases when you are sexually aroused
When you are sexually aroused, the blood vessels in your genitals dilate, making the vagina secrete more amounts of vaginal fluid. Besides this your vulva might swell, and your heartbeat will increase too.