Is Vaginal Discharge Normal?

>> Friday, February 21, 2014

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Our bodies are constantly changing. It seems like everything from aging and the food we eat can have a profound effect on a woman's body. Diseases that we have come to expect as we get older are becoming common in teens and pre-teens. It is hard to keep all of the information straight.

But, what can we trust in the media or on the Internet? You can find information to support your thinking on one website and then find another says the exact opposite. It hard to know what the truth is. Let's face it, we all like to be right. We enjoy finding information to support our long-held beliefs about our bodies (especially feminine hygiene) influenced by our mothers, friends and other female influences.

Today let's talk about one of those topics we all wonder about - vaginal discharge.

First, it's important to know that all women have vaginal discharge that can occasionally become itchy or have an odor. Many women will notice odor towards the end of their period and after intercourse. These odors are usually transient and last from an hour to a day or two. Vaginal odor that lasts longer and doesn't go away with normal bathing can become troublesome and embarrassing.

Frustration leads many of us to reach for drastic measures, like homemade concoctions to douche with that we've learned from others or looked up on the internet. Some of us still buy the pre-mixed douches at the corner drug store. Any of these may work temporarily, but to our disappointment the odor returns within hours. And, they can be dangerous!

Nothing, nothing, nothing is more embarrassing that the thought of your partner going down there when we smell. Even though many men have become accustomed to it and even joke about it (we've all heard those jokes - not funny when it's you.)

So if it's normal to have discharge that it odorous at times, is there anything that can be done about it? For some of us, it may require relearning and changing our feminine hygiene habits to keep the odor away.
The first things you should know are that: a) women shouldn't smell badly down there, and b) vaginal discharge is normal. Trying to get rid of discharge is akin to trying to stop making saliva or snot.

Discharge will change throughout the month. There are times when it will be thick and creamy, then sticky and gooey during ovulation, and also thin and watery, but never smelly.

The main bacteria in the vagina that acts as the guard to keep it healthy is lactobacillus, which is the same bacteria used in yogurt cultures. This bacteria keeps the yeast and abnormal bacteria that get into the vagina from over-growing and it maintains the low pH (acidic) vaginal environment. Plain yogurt does not smell nor does it have a bad taste. It should be the same with the vagina when the bacterial balance is intact.

So what causes the imbalance? Period blood is neutral pH and can, therefore, interfere with the acidic, healthy vaginal environment. Semen is also alkaline (basic) and very sugary, so sex can also disrupt the vaginal ecosystem's balance. This is why we notice odors with our periods and after sex.

If the odors remain, do not panic and DO NOT make up your own concoctions or buy a pre-mixed douche. You can shower 5 times a day and still notice the odor. Don't wash inside your vagina with soap either, as soap is alkaline and will worsen the problem. And don't try covering up the odor with lotions or feminine sprays. This won't work. Of course, washing the outside around your anus and labia, between all the creases and folds with mild soap and water is a necessary hygienic practice. But do not wash this way internally.

Good feminine hygiene is mandatory in keeping odor away and maintaining a healthy vagina. WaterWorks is the only FDA cleared method to prevent vaginal odor, with or without discharge. I know that for those of you who battle odor all the time it will come as a welcome relief. Many of you feel the odor means you are not clean when actually you are too clean and trying too hard.

WaterWorks is a simple way of keeping odor away and feeling fresh. It is a "green" product, as it is reusable and uses no chemicals. Many women use it every day when they shower or to rinse out semen and period blood. What a relief it is to stop struggling with feminine odor! To have confidence with your partner! To feel and smell fresh and clean!

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