I have a question. I’ve been having a lot of vaginal discharge every day for so long now. It doesn’t smell or look weird, but it’s annoying! I’ve been told to drink more water, try douching, or use panty liners. What should I do? What’s the healthiest way to deal with it?
Here’s the thing about having a vagina: it comes with a lot of stuff. By stuff, I mean things like discharge, period blood, and strange smells. So, unfortunately, your every day discharge is a normal occurrence that can happen to a lot of women out there. I say “unfortunately,” because that means it’s pretty unavoidable. But, when you think about it, it’s not that unfortunate, because it means you’re healthy!
Anyway. Just because discharge is normal and expected doesn’t mean it isn’t annoying. It can be rough to sit around in underwear that feels wet all day long, and it can feel embarrassing to hook up with someone and wonder if they notice it. Of course, there shouldn’t be any shame surrounding discharge – it just comes with having a vagina – but still: I see where you’re coming from here. So, what can you do about it?
Well, like I already said, uh… not much. You said your discharge doesn’t smell or look weird, so it’s probably nothing to head to a gynecologist about. There is no real way to prevent discharge from happening. It’s your vagina’s way of staying clean and healthy! I can tell you what you shouldn’t do that might be making it worse, though.
Here are some things to avoid! One: douching. Please do not douche. It is not good for you in any way and will probably make your discharge worse. Two: wearing panty liners. I know it seems like they help with the uncomfortable, wet feeling, but using panty liners every day doesn’t allow your vag to breathe. If your vag can’t breathe, you put yourself at risk for infections and even more discharge. Three: Wearing underwear that isn’t cotton. Silk, lace, anything like that can, again, keep your vag from breathing. Four: Never going commando. Do I have to tell you again that your vag needs to breathe? Skip the underwear when you can! Five: Using scented body washes, shaving gel, or laundry detergent. Some of us are more sensitive than others, and scented products that go on our bodies and near our down there area can lead to extra discharge.
I can also give you some tips on how to deal with your discharge. Let’s tackle that soggy underwear feeling, shall we? Instead of panty liners, try carrying around an extra pair of underwear just in case. I know this sounds ridiculous, but if you really need to change, you’ll feel grateful. You can also try wearing looser pants, as they might be more comfortable. As far as underwear goes, you might like something in a material that wicks away moisture. And, sometimes you might just need to run to the bathroom to, uh, wipe things up.
I know it’s frustrating to hear that there’s basically nothing you can do, but… it’s just part of being a lady with a vagina. Try not to think about it! And avoid what I told you to avoid. Seriously – that might help.
What’s on your mind? Heather can help! Send her your question at firstname.lastname@example.org