Girl Talk: Let's Get Real About Discharge

Vaginal discharge is a natural fluid that every woman excretes from their lady parts. According to WebMD, vaginal discharge is described as a “fluid made by glands inside the vagina and cervix that carries away dead cells and bacteria”. If this is a normal part of our female reproductive system that keeps us healthy and infection-free, then why aren’t more women opening up the conversation about what discharge can do for our overall vaginal health?

Going through puberty brings about many changes to your body as a woman. During my middle school to high school days, puberty was tough. I had my period, I had acne, I had sore boobs, I dealt with mood swings, and when I wasn’t on my period, I had discharge. As a teen, I always felt insecure and thought that discharge was an abnormal function of my body. I was too shy to open up about discharge to my family or friends and therefore went throughout my teenage years not knowing what this mysterious fluid was coming out of my lady parts.

It wasn’t until I started visiting a gynecologist as I got older that I learned more about how discharge is a normal housekeeping function of the vagina and even helps women to recognize the different phases of our menstrual cycle and can tell us when something in our body isn’t quite right. According to Clue, a menstrual cycle tracking app, there are numerous ways to tell if your discharge is “normal” or “atypical”. It’s important to familiarize yourself with what ‘normal’ discharge is for your body so that when the color, consistency, or odor changes throughout your cycle, you’ll know what to associate it with or if it’s worth a visit to your gynecologist.

Here’s a chart from UnityPoint Health to help you identify what type of discharge you may be experiencing throughout your cycle. It’s important to be aware of the changes to your body. Vaginal discharge is an easy way for us to identify if everything is running smoothly or if we need to get things checked out. Share this helpful information with women in your life and let’s open up the conversation about vaginal discharge as it is an important part of our health!