The Vagina: a self-cleaning oven

Updated: Jul 25, 2019

By Courtney Snavely

“What is that weird shit in my underwear?” — the question that haunts our female pubescence. We embarrassingly hang our heads when someone sees a crusty white stain on our new swim suit bottoms and try to cover it up by saying “oh they must have been like that when I bought them!” (Anyone else have this happen or just me?)

Women with vaginas, you are not alone! Vaginal discharge is TOTALLY normal and one of the most frequently asked questions healthcare professionals deal with.

Think of your vagina like an oyster, secreting its natural juices to maintain it’s beautiful pearly insides. Maybe not the perfect analogy, but the point is your vagina’s discharge is your body’s natural way of flushing out everything bad and keeping your vagina in its balanced state.


But what if there’s, like, A LOT of discharge?


Fret not, dear reader! As your body goes through it’s natural routine of shipping out eggs to the fertilization field of your uterus, your discharge will change. During ovulation, expect the texture of an uncooked egg white and either clear or white in color. Your hormones are in a constant flux, also influencing the amount and texture of your discharge.


But what if it smells?


Vaginas are not like a Hollister store. Every woman has their own unique biome which produces its own unique smell.


[ YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: A TALE OF ONE WOMAN'S BATTLE WITH YEAST ]



Okay, but when will I know something is wrong?


Repeat after me, I should see a doctor if there are any abnormalities in my usual odor, discharge color or texture, or itchiness. This could be a sign of an infection and it’s best to get it taken care of sooner rather than later. Not to mention, nobody wants to deal with discretely trying to itch their lady bits for an extended period of time.


So how can I avoid upsetting my delicate pearly insides?


Ladies, put those douches back on the shelves. Many healthcare professionals agree that under no circumstances is douching a good idea.


Your vagina is home to many good bacteria that protect your vaginal wall from infection.


What happens when you douche, is you upset the pH in your vagina, flushing out those good bacteria and making yourself vulnerable to things like bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections.


[ READ MORE: WHAT FOODS ARE SAFE TO USE DOWN THERE? ]


Other things that throw things out of wack are perfumed soaps, gels, or antiseptics. Your best bet is to use plain soap in the area outside/ around your vagina. NEVER INSIDE.

Moral of the story, discharge is normal. Let your vagina do it’s thing and see a doctor if anything is abnormal for what is normal for you.

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