BLEACHY KEEN

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10 reasons why your discharge has changed and what your vagina can teach you x

Well, well, well. You again? very keen x

As you can tell from today's title, I thought "when would be better than Halloween to write about two little words that strike fear into the hearts of many?" Today, boys, gals, n non binary pals, we're talking vaginal discharge. {bet ur excited for this one x}


Now, obviously this isn't the most glamorous of topics, but I have had so many worrying conversations {an unbelievable amount, trust me} in the past on the topic of vaginal discharge that I thought I'd shed some light on the subject {of course she's acting like she's the only person who's ever written about this - i'll make sure to link some v useful pages throughout this lil ramble - 'cause let's face it, you'll probs learn more from them than you will from me x}.

Anyway, whether you're a lil rusty on your vagina knowledge; you were never taught about the benefits of getting to know your vagina; or maybe you think vaginal discharge is a gross phrase and it's a gross concept in general {we don't tolerate that kind of close minded nonsense here x}, buckle up n get ready:


*DISCLAIMER* - I don't claim to be an expert in this field at all. All of the writing here is based off of research and personal experience. If you're experiencing a change in discharge or some other symptom down there that's worrying you, please go and get checked by a professional. Also - there is no "normal" when it comes to vaginas and this goes for discharge too! If your normal is different to my normal, that's perfectly okay! Remember, take advice that anyone gives you about your body and its goings on with a pinch of salt because no one knows you better than you do!


  1. 1 - Using your discharge {get used to that word, folks x} to monitor your menstrual cycle:

This one is probably the most well known lil snippet out of the ten you'll find here today: getting to know your vaginal discharge can help you determine what stage you're at in your menstrual cycle. Are you ovulating? Well, check for slippery, clear discharge that's similar to egg whites in consistency (usually happens around day 10 - 14 in your cycle). If you find it, you're most likely ovulating and in your most fertile window.


Similarly, if you're experiencing thicker, stickier discharge and there's much less of it, chances are you've entered the Luteal Phase of your menstrual cycle. This occurs right after ovulation. There's some v interesting info here on the different phases of your menstrual cycle and why you experience the changes you do throughout the month! Cosmo also references 'clue' here - which is a brilliant little app that allows you to track your menstrual cycle and log everything from info on your daily discharge, your drinking habits, and your arousal levels. It's v v interesting and I found it v useful in helping me get to know my body just that lil bit better!


2 - your underwear/clothes are too tight


This one isn't something I used to think about, but wearing tight/silky underwear or skinny jeans/workout leggings every day can have a significant affect on the rate at which your vagina produces discharge. At the end of the day, how would you feel if you were wrapped in Lycra for 12 hours and left to sit n get....well...v warm n sweaty? {this is an entirely rhetorical question, I really don't wanna know x}.


Anyway, if you've been experiencing an increase in discharge {or sometimes the complete opposite - oops} if you're just feeling a lil itchy and sweaty down there, perhaps ditch the silk brazilians or that lacy thong in favour of a pair of soft, cotton briefs. You and your vagina will thank me later x


3 - you've been using the wrong soap

I know so many vagina owners who wash their vulva with soap (or worse they douche/wash their vagina with soap). Now, time for a lil anatomy lesson: The vagina and the vulva are not the same thing.

The vulva is everything you can see on the outside - your labia minora, labia majora, vaginal opening, mons pubis, urethral opening, part of your clitoris etc. The vagina is the tube of muscle that extends from the vaginal opening to the cervix.


So, to break this into two parts - first we'll talk vagina:

  • Pls pls pls, whatever you do, do not douche {what is douching, you ask? check this out}. You don't need to flush anything out of your vagina as it's entirely self cleaning! You also don't need to stick anything up there to 'clean' it for that very same reason. That's literally what discharge is for. Varying smells down there and discharge consistencies are completely normal! If you start douching because you don't like the smell coming from your vagina, you're going to make it so much worse. Ask yourself, why don't you like this smell? does it smell bad? are you self conscious? If you're experiencing any worry relating to your vagina, please visit a professional!

In regards to your vulva:

  • The vulva is slightly different. However, you can wash with just warm water if you want! Alternatively, there are some PH balanced {this is super important} soaps out there that are gentle and designed not to disrupt any of your good bacteria. Avoid anything overly perfumed! I'm a huge fan of Faith In Nature feminine wash . It's lightly fragranced and doesn't contain any added nasties that might muddle things up!

Basically, wash your vulva with a gentle, PH balanced wash if you want to. Leave your vagina to do her own thing! Otherwise, you run the risk of mucking up your natural balance {which can cause raging vaginal dryness - trust me} n before you know it your discharge will be up the creek too x



4 - you're allergic/sensitive to condoms/latex


I feel like this one is pretty self explanatory! There are countless other, perhaps more noticeable, symptoms of being allergic to latex (i.e hives, burning, and, in some severe cases, difficulty breathing and nausea.) However, if you're experiencing irritation and a change in discharge after using latex condoms and you've not been doing anything "out of the ordinary" there is a possibility that they're disrupting your PH big time.


It might not even be that you're allergic to them. You may just be a little sensitive to the material they're made from. This isn't an excuse not to practice safe sex though - you can get latex free condoms pretty much anywhere and if they don't tickle your pickle {pun intended} then there's a whole host of other styles, fits, and lubes that may do just the trick!

Don't be afraid to experiment.


5 - you've had sex recently


Now, hopefully you will be fully aware of this fact, but what I'm getting at here is that even sex can muddle you up a bit down there. Most commonly, vagina owners report smelling "stronger", more "sour", and sometimes even "metallic" down there after they've engaged in penetrative sex. Now, if you've not used a condom and your partner hasn't pulled out, then this could be the very source of your change!

Our vaginas are naturally slightly acidic (with a relative PH balance of 3.8 to 4.5) whereas semen is naturally slightly alkaline (with a relative PH balance of 7.2 to 7.8). So, mix these two things together and your vagina's natural PH levels may be left a little skew whiff {a technical term, pinky swear x}. Things should go back to normal for you in a couple of days, but if they don't, then don't hesitate to check with a professional as there could be another issue present!

6 - you have an infection


Listen carefully, 'cause this one's v important. There are countless types of discharge that may indicate that you have an infection of some kind. I've included a link here to the NHS website for a more detailed description of each symptom for a whole host of infections. Whether it's BV, Trichomoniasis, or just a humble ol' yeast infection, your vagina is probably trying to tell you something's up.

However, please remember that some STIs are asymptomatic! So, please do the responsible thing and get tested regularly! You can't expect your vagina to tell you everything after all x


7 - you're aroused


Again, I feel like this one is pretty self explanatory. When aroused, the vagina produces a clear, sticky fluid. As Clue puts it:


"increase in blood flow and pressure causes fluid (transudate) to be pushed onto the surface of the vaginal walls. Once you’re fully physically sexually aroused it’s normal to feel vaginal sensations, swelling, and sufficient wetness. Arousal fluid is vaginal lubrication created to enable painless penetration and movement."


So, that's that on that. Just remember that arousal doesn't equal consent, boys, gals, n NB pals. Just because someone is physically aroused does not mean that they're consenting to any activity that they haven't verbally consented to {I can't believe I have to say that, but there we are}.

8 - you're S T R E S S E D out


This one always interests me. It wasn't until I was about 18 that I realised just how much stress can have an affect on your body. I've missed periods before because I've been so stressed. So, it really shouldn't come as any surprise that stress can screw up your discharge too.


However, the one catch here, like with many of the points on this list, is that there is no normal. Stress can cause excess discharge, it can cause vaginal dryness, it can cause pretty much everything under the sun. So, maybe this point isn't that helpful. Although, if you're anything like me, you jump to the worst conclusions imaginable when something in your body changes. So, perhaps just take this point as reassurance that your vaginal dryness might not mean you have days to live, you could just be really freakin' stressed.


9 - you're on birth control


If you know me {or if you've had the misfortune of dragging yourself through any of my other ramblings} you'll be well aware of how conflicted I am about certain birth control methods and how angry I am that there is absolutely no hormonal birth control available for penis owners. Anyway, aside from negatively affecting your mental health, your skin, and your libido {and countless other things} birth control can also massively affect the type of discharge you have and the amount too.


The most common report is that women experience much much less vaginal discharge whilst using birth control - and this can lead to severe vaginal dryness. So, if you've recently started birth control and if you've noticed much less discharge than usual, there's a huge chance that your birth control is to blame.

Thankfully, there are ways to combat vaginal dryness - such as using lube during sex etc - but the point still stands that the fact that there's no hormonal birth control option for penis owners really sucks and is archaic as f*ck x


10 - countless other things!


Okay, so maybe this last one seems like a bit of a cop out, but it's true! There are so many things I haven't even been able to touch on in this list because otherwise you'd be traipsing through for hours. Your vaginal discharge and its changes can hint towards hundreds of things - are you pregnant? going through the menopause? on antibiotics? heck, it can even muddle up if you're living with poorly monitored diabetes. There are so so many benefits to getting to know your vagina and all that she does for you.


So, please, don't ever feel ashamed of your body's natural processes and next time someone mentions how "gross" discharge is just do me a favour and give them a swift kick to the shins x.


All my love,


Me x

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