Signs Of A Healthy And Unhealthy Vagina

August 12, 2016  |  
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Corbis

Corbis

Your vagina can seem like it has a mind of its own. In fact, it probably has more sensations than any other organ in your body, every day. The vagina is a very active place between peeing, your period, sex, shaving and just sitting down, so it can be hard to learn what feelings to pay attention to. It doesn’t help that the signs of a healthy vagina and an unhealthy one can be very similar. Just the tiniest detail can indicate a change in your vaginal health. But you’re busy; for the most part, you just wipe down there, slap on some underwear and move on with your day. It’s important to familiarize yourself with what a healthy vagina looks, smells and feels like because it can help you catch infections early, as well as notice more serious conditions. Here are signs of a healthy and unhealthy vagina.

vaginal pH feat

Healthy: Clear discharge

While discharge is sticky and can make you feel a little damp, it’s normal and healthy to find it every time you look into your underwear. That’s your vagina shedding old, dead cells it no longer needs. Just make sure it’s clear or slightly foggy white.

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Unhealthy: Yellow discharge

Yellow discharge is never normal and can be a sign of vaginosis. Vaginosis is a blanket term for several infections that could afflict the vagina, but to determine which one you have, you’ll need to see a doctor.

Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Healthy: Egg white discharge

Your discharge should have the consistency of egg whites or slime. If you rub it between your fingers, it should be difficult to break apart, and it should have a stretchy consistency.

 

Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Unhealthy: Cottage cheese discharge

If your discharge becomes dryer, curdled and looks like cottage cheese, this is often the sign of a yeast infection.

Corbis

Corbis

Healthy: Moisture

Does it feel like your vagina sits in a swamp all day? Well, maybe shower regularly to avoid too much odor, but be grateful. You must be young and fertile! Most women are mildly “wet” all day until perimenopause.

 

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Unhealthy: Dryness

Dryness is not normal. Some medications including the pill and antibiotics can cause vaginal dryness. This isn’t ultimately bad for your health, but it can increase the chance of tears in the vaginal wall during sex, which makes you more vulnerable to bacteria and infection.

 

Period Sex

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Healthy: Varying severity of your period

No period is the same. You may have months where you only bleed for four days and others when you bleed for the full seven days of your period. Sometimes will be lighter and some will be heavier. That’s normal and can fluctuate with your workout routine, stress levels, and diet.

Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Unhealthy: Irregular or untimely periods

You should not have regular spotting between your normal periods, nor should you have periods show up every two weeks, or not for several months. If this happens, see a doctor because it can be a sign of several things, including delayed symptoms from STDs you never knew you had to cervical cancer.

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Healthy: A little sensitivity after sex

It’s normal to experience a little sensitivity after sex, especially if your partner is well-endowed. A slight tingling sensation when you pee immediately after sex is nothing to be concerned about, so long as it goes away within the hour.

 

Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Unhealthy: Bleeding after sex

You should never see blood after sex. This can be a symptom of cervical cancer and cause to go to the doctor right away.

Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Healthy: A mild odor, especially around your period

Your vagina has a natural odor. Don’t try to get rid of it with douching products because you’ll only mess up the pH levels down there. Around your period, the odor will intensify because our vagina is shedding lots of stuff.

iStock photo

iStock photo

Unhealthy: A strong odor

You shouldn’t have a noticeably unpleasant or strong odor. If you’re just sitting on the toilet, you shouldn’t be able to smell your vagina. If you can, this may be a sign of an infection.

 

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Healthy: A firm but flexible vagina

If you haven’t had children, your vagina should bounce back from sex pretty quickly. In other words, you shouldn’t be too loose down there.

 

 

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Unhealthy: A thin vagina

If your vagina feels as if it has become thinner and tighter, making sex very painful, this could be a sign of vaginal atrophy. Vaginal atrophy is common in women who are breastfeeding or in menopausal women, but you don’t need to live with it. A doctor can help you address it.

 

Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Healthy: A little irritation post shaving

If you shave or wax down there, you’re bound to see a few small bumps and experience irritation. That’s not a bad thing—it means your vaginal skin is alive and well! That’s better than stiff, insensitive skin.

 

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Unhealthy: Blisters

What you should not see are blisters that are bleeding. This can be a symptom of an STD or vaginal or vulvar cancer. This type of blister starts small but can grow into more of a mole-sized bump.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Healthy: A little urgency after the pool

Because your vagina is exposed to a lot of things in the pool, including chlorine, it may experience some irritation immediately after a swim. This should go away that same day.

 

 

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Unhealthy: Peeing every 20 minutes

If, after going in a pool or jacuzzi, you constantly have the urge to pee—even if your bladder is empty—and your vagina burns, you may have contracted a UTI in the pool.

 

 

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Healthy: Moderate, irregular itching

Your vagina can itch for all kinds of reasons! It could be razor burn, synthetic fabrics, dryness, or a reaction to a new soap. If it’s so infrequent that you can’t remember the last time it itched, you’re probably okay.

woman scratching her head confused pf

Unhealthy: Constant, uncomfortable itching

Your vagina should not itch all day long and for several days on end. This could be a symptom of an STD or a bacterial infection.

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