Is Your Vagina Healthy? THIS is the Biggest Clue.

Our bodies are designed to keep themselves healthy (for the most part). When we eat well, get enough exercise and sleep, and limit our alcohol intake, we’re helping our bodies function at their very best. So when our bodies are out of whack, we can usually tell. But unfortunately, when it comes to your vagina’s health, things can be a bit more mystifying. Plus, women's health is often not talked about it enough, which can make it even harder to know what’s normal and what’s not. So how can you really tell if your vagina is healthy?

One of the biggest clues? Discharge. A substance all vaginas produce. What’s tricky is that healthy discharge doesn’t have one appearance and changes throughout the menstrual cycle. It can range from clear and slippery, to white and creamy during a normal cycle. Discharge can also signal that something more is going on. It may have a strong odor or a different colour or consistency than you’re used to. Many girls and women who grew up not receiving women's healthcare haven't been taught about vaginal discharge, making it easy to mistake normal discharge variations for something else — possibly a yeast or bacteria infection. 

Pay attention to any abnormal changes in your vagina. For example, itchiness is a sign that something is off — a healthy vagina should cause any itching. Vaginal itching could be a sign of bacterial vaginosis, a yeast infection, or a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Vaginal pain, whether or not it occurs during sex, is never normal and should always be checked. And finally, of course, it comes back to discharge: if you notice that your discharge is lumpy, green, yellow, or another colour, these can all be indications that something is going on and needs to be evalutated.

Follow these tips to keep your vagina healthy:

In most cases, basic hygiene and self-care are typically enough to keep your vagina healthy on a day-to-day basis. Make sure to get regular Pap tests, and use condoms each and every time you have sex with new partners unless you are monogamous and know their health status. While you might feel embarrassed to talk about vaginal health, ignoring potential issues won’t make them go away. Taking a minute to speak to your doctor about any concerns can make all the difference.

Bella Women's Care Blogger

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