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What’s Going On Down There, Girl?: What’s Normal and What’s Not In Vaginal Health

It is no secret that vaginas are tricky (just ask our significant others). No woman’s vagina is the same so, sometimes, it is hard to tell what is normal and what is not. Any little change in your vagina and you may think you have an STD or STI. That is not always the case. Below are three very common issues woman may experience “down there”.

Discharge? Completely normal. While it is super annoying and wastes panty-liners (even before your period), discharge is very important for the female reproductive system. Discharge is fluid made by the glands inside the vagina and cervix, and it carries out dead cells and bacteria. The amount, color, and odor of discharge vary during different stages of your period. The color can range from clear to milky-white. However, if the color or smell is different than what it is usually is, you could have an infection or another condition. Thick, white, and cheesy discharge could mean you have a yeast infection while cloudy or yellow might mean you have gonorrhea. To give yourself a peace of mind, go get checked.


Severe Itching? Not normal. Yeah a little itch here and there is okay, but when it lasts for over several weeks, go see your doctor. Itching can be the result of a yeast infection or eczema. Severe itching is also a symptom for many sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia.

Bleeding aside from your period?  Not normal. Bleeding after sex, bleeding in between periods, having unusually long and heavy periods, and bloody discharge are common signs of cervical cancer. Do not panic. Bleeding could be caused by other conditions, but to be safe just go see your doctor.


Vaginas are mysterious things, but knowing your vaginal health is the most important thing. You should always know what’s going on with your body. It is better to be proactive than reactive. For any concerns, please contact your doctor.


"I am learning everyday to allow the space between where I am & where I want to be to inspire me and not terrify me." Daisha Edmundson is a senior criminal justice major on the pre-law track from Raleigh, North Carolina. In addition to being a writer for HerCampus, Daisha is the Editor-in-Chief of the Hampton University Yearbook and the Secretary for Alpha Phi Sigma the Criminal Justice Honor Society. Next fall, Daisha will be attending law school in pursuit of her J.D.
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