If you're anything like me, you don't think about your vaginal discharge unless there’s a problem. And despite the plethora of products marketed to make our vaginas smell "fresher," steam away toxins, or feel “drier," most of the time a vagina is fine just the way it is. Vaginal discharge is not only normal and natural, but it's the vagina's way of keeping itself clean and healthy. So, what are signs your vaginal discharge is normal and doing it's job?
To find out, Romper spoke with Certified Nurse Midwife and virtual vagina expert Anette Ferrell, MSN, ARNP, CNM, via email. Ferrell noted that it's totally normal for your discharge to change throughout the month. The most important sign of a healthy vaginal discharge is that it's "normal" for you, which means you should probably get familiar with how your vaginal discharge looks, smells, and feels. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) notes that sometimes changes in your vaginal discharge's smell, color, or consistency can indicate a problem, like an infection, especially if those changes are accompanied by other physical symptoms. Other times — like ovulation, pregnancy, or following childbirth — changes in consistency, quantity, smell, and even the feel of vaginal discharge are totally normal, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Population Affairs.
If your vaginal discharge doesn't seem right for you, smells, bad or is accompanied by other symptoms like burning, itching, or pain, you should absolutely not feel ashamed to consult an expert. After all, that's what doctors are for So with that in mind, here's how to know if your vaginal discharge is healthy, or if it’s time to schedule an appointment with your health care provider: