This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.
A healthy vagina isn’t quite as elusive as it may seem. Menstruating bodies function in phases that each come along with their own shifts and experiences. So for those wondering what a healthy vagina looks like, rest assured that healthy vaginas encompass a wide range of sensations.
What is important though is that you notice your vagina regularly. Women have an important role to play in their own sexual health. When you regularly take stock of what is going on down below, you and your doctor will be on a better, more effective team, to get you the help your body needs. So let’s dig into it, what does a healthy vagina feel like?
The Key Components of Vaginal Health
When we ask about what a healthy vagina looks like, discharge is gonna show up at the party. Several different types of discharge are normal for healthy vaginas.
Thick White: This kind of mucus is common post menstruating when an egg begins to mature and after ovulating. You can expect to see a cloudy white or yellow discharge and shouldn’t cause any pain or itching. If there is any pain or itching with this kind, it may be due to a yeast infection.
Clear: Clear discharge is an indicator of healthy lubrication and even fertility. Expect this mucus to become slippery and even elastic like egg whites near ovulation. You may experience this after a workout or when you’re aroused.
Red/Brown: Expect discharge in this spectrum mostly when you’re menstruating. After a period, you may experience brown that’s a sign of your cervix clearing out any blood left over. Spotting will also be in this group and can happen at other times during your cycle. It often happens before a period, after ovulating and can be pretty normal during pregnancy too. No need to be concerned here! For those who’ve already experienced menopause, though, this would be unusual and warrants a trip to the doctor for a check in.
Green: Don’t expect to see green or dark yellow mucus normally as it’s typically a sign of an infection that would benefit from the care of a doctor.
Bodies have odor. It’s simply a fact of life and vaginas are no exception. Most of us have sweat glands in the area and a microbiome that coalesce in a unique scent all our own. Healthy vaginas also shift in scent throughout our cycle and with changes in diet or lifestyle.
Even healthy vaginas experience itch from time to time. Itchy sensation can be caused by lots of different factors from scented soaps or drying to more severe itching caused by bacterial or yeast infections. Tuning into your body and what’s normal for you here will help you to notice when something isn’t quite right.
Even healthy vaginas shift
What makes self-evaluation so important is because vaginas, and all their nuanced symptoms, can shift throughout your cycle. Women who have a firm grasp on their sexual health are in touch with their vaginas and how they respond throughout their menstruation cycle.
Shifts during follicular phase
This phase starts after menstruation begins and goes until ovulation. Physically and mentally, we’re at the top of our game in this phase. We might even start to feel sexier around this time.
Shifts during ovulation
During the ovulation phase, healthy vaginas produce that slippery clear discharge that says ‘I am fertile; hear my roar!’ Our bodies will feel energized and joyful in this phase. And with the hormone flush of leutenizing hormone, people with healthy vaginas will also experience a surge in sex drive.
Shifts during luteal phase
This phase begins after ovulation as our bodies prepare as if for pregnancy. So it’s normal for us to experience symptoms like bloating and feeling warm in this phase. We’ll also notice discharge that’s white to yellow-ish.
Shifts during menstruation
This phase is all about letting go. Healthy vaginas in this phase are shedding uterine lining and doing hard work. So while it’s inevitable to feel the discomfort of cramps, rest, pain medicine and avoiding caffeine will help ease you through it.
Knowing yourself best
At the end of the day, the best way to diagnose what is going on with your vagina is your doctor. But to do so, it helps to be on an observational team. By taking notice of your vaginas symptoms and shifts, you will be able to get the most help from your medical team.
If you’ve enjoyed this read and learned something, we encourage you to keep reading. In our regular blog feature ‘Ask the Experts’ we answer your real questions about feminine health. https://www.kushae.com/blogs/news/tagged/ask-the-experts