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.
Have you noticed the changes in your body as you go through the menopausal transition? One day you feel fine, the next day you’re sweating up a storm because of hot flashes. One night you sleep like a baby and the next night you’re pacing around, unable to settle down.
Some changes, however, often don’t show up as noticeably. Take your vagina, for instance. It turns out our declining hormone levels cause the walls of our vaginas to become thinner and less elastic. The lack of flexibility hampers the ability of blood to flow through the area and, thus, create moisture. The combination of thinner vaginal walls and less moisture can lead to difficulty with sex and likeliness for irritation, injury and infection. These issues also are linked to vaginitis (an inflammation of the vagina that can result in discharge, itching and pain) and urinary tract infection . This video offers a good overview of vaginal dryness:
Importance of lubrication
Definition A fluid imbalance refers to an abnormal level of fluids in the body. Causes, incidence, and risk factors Your body is constantly losing fluids through breathing, sweating, and urinating. If you do not take in enough fluids, you may become dehydrated . Your body may also have a hard time getting rid of fluids, allowing excess fluid to build up. This is called fluid overload. Many illnesses can cause fluid imbalance: It is common to retain large amounts of fluid for several days after surgery (causing swelling of the body). In heart failure , fluid collects in the lungs, liver, blood vessels, and body tissues because the heart does a poor job of pumping it to the kidneys where it can be eliminated. When the kidneys do not work well because of chronic kidney disease , the body cannot get rid of unneeded fluids. The body may lose too much fluid due to diarrhea , vomiting, excessive blood loss, or high fever. A fluid imbalance is often associated with imbalances of sodium, potassium (see: hyp...
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