It is a question that is often asked: Is my vaginal discharge normal or should I be worried that something is wrong? The answer is: It depends. Every woman experiences some vaginal discharge and usually, it signals a healthy vagina but there are times when you should talk with your doctor.
What is Normal Discharge?
The pH in your vagina is naturally acidic to help prevent infections. This acidity is caused by “good” bacteria created by your body. Your vagina produces secretions to help cleanse your vagina, much like the saliva in your mouth. The secretions are released every day cleaning out old cells. The secretions also help prevent infections and keep your vagina lubricated.
As the secretions flow out of your vagina, you may see some discharge. Normal discharge is clear or milky white. It can sometimes appear yellowish when dry on clothing. You may also see small white flecks or, depending on your menstrual cycle, it may be thin and stringy.
Every woman's period is different, some lasting only a few days with a light flow, others last a week with a heavier flow. But each person normally has a relatively similar flow each month and it is hard to know whether you have what is considered to be heavy menstrual bleeding, or menorrhagia.
What is a Typical Period?
During a typical period a woman loses approximately 6 to 8 teaspoons, or 35 ml., of blood, although yours may be a little lighter or heavier than this. To be considered menorrhagia, doctors look for blood loss of about 80 ml.
Determining if Your Period is Heavy
But because we do not really have any way of actually measuring our blood flow it is normally impossible to know whether our period is "typical."
You can somewhat measure your flow by how many and how often you change your tampon or pad. According to Epigee.org, 1 normally soaked regular tampon holds approximately 5 ml. of blood and super or maxi pads hold about 10 ml. Using these amo...
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