What’s Wrong With Me? I’ve had this vaginal discharge for years.

Posted on March 15, 2015

Probably nothing! In my clinical practice it amazes me how many young (and not so young) women don’t know that vaginas and vulvas make discharge. They think there is something terribly wrong with them. They think they need fixing: with scrubbing and douches, sprays and gels and medications. But most times, if you treat your vagina and vulva (puss, kitty, vajayjay or whatever other endearing term you use for you intimate female sexual parts) kindly, gently and with a little common sense she will be just fine.

Vaginas and vulvas have lubricating, cleansing and sweat glands-and hair(though LOTS of women get rid of that nowadays). These naturally cause, to some degree or other, discharge, wetness and a unique, kind of musky smell. Some women have tons of discharge, others have hardly any and most have some amount in between. The amount and character of your discharge will change at different times of your cycle, and is affected by certain medications and dietary changes.

Discharge does not automatically = infection. If you have a green discharge, a white clumpy- cottage- cheese- like discharge, vaginal and/or vulvar itching, burning, or irritation, or a nasty fishy odor, especially after intercourse, you likely do have an infection and should see your health care provider (preferably one who specializes in women’s health).

Your vagin and vulva-not to mention your sexual partner-will really appreciate it if you give her a little healthy attention. I mean really. I see lots of women with the most intricate toenail polish, dyed/weaved/coiffed hair, $300 shoes, perfect eyebrows and well, let’s just say, neglected kittys!! Gently wash between all those folds and crevices with water and perhaps a very mild soap. No bubble bath beads, feminine hygiene sprays, douching, baby wipes (except in emergency camping or foreign travel situations;-)), powders, lotions or perfumes. All these things can cause bad irritation, allergies and a change in the very delicate pH balance of the vagina. Wear cotton panties or none at all. Your puss needs to breathe! No undies for sleeping. Avoid thongs. Avoid pantiliners to stay “fresh”. If you must, make sure they are 100% cotton.¬†Avoid nylons and spandex-they trap moisture.

Your vagina does a lot for you in your lifetime. Repay the favor and give her some loving attention.