Vaginas can tell us a lot about our reproductive health. They’re really great communicators, you just have to know what to look for. Many women suffer from vaginal discomfort but are too shy to examine themselves or to seek the help they need. So it’s time to stop being embarrassed, and get educated.
Everyone feels a little dry every once in while. If you haven’t hit menopause yet, you shouldn’t feel that way all the time. Common causes of vaginal dryness include medication, anxiety, irritants (from soaps, underwear or douching) and hormonal changes
2. Itching/ Burning
Itching and burning is commonly caused by irritation and friction. If you tried changing your underwear or trimming your bikini and symptoms preside, call your gynaecologist. You may be suffering from an STI, a yeast infection, bacterial vaginitis or eczema
3. Heavy Periods
Every woman experiences her period differently. Heavy bleeding is normal at the beginning of your period, but it should subside after a day or two. If you’re bleeding heavily every day of your period, bleeding more than usual, or passing along large blood clots, talk to your GP. You may be experiencing menorrhagia or a more serious condition
4. Bleeding After Intimacy
Bleeding after sex is never a good sign. It could be a simple case of insufficient arousal, but it could also be a symptoms of something bigger. Common causes of bleeding include infection, vaginal tearing, cervical or endometrial polyps, inflammation or cervical cancer.
5. Strange Smells
It’s normal for a vagina to have a distinctive smell. This odor may change after exercising, during your period or after sex. However, if it smells like fish, smells overly yeasty or just seems abnormal, make an appointment at your local clinic. It might be bacterial vaginitis, trichomoniasis or rectovaginal fistula.
6. Sores and Lesions
Ladies know that it can difficult to keep tract of what’s going on down there simply because it’s hard to see. Every time you shower and clean yourself, check out the skin on your pelvic area and inside your thighs. For a better view, sit down in front of a mirror and preform a thorough self-exam. You’ll notice redness, sores and lesions easier and get appropriate treatment before it becomes a bigger problem
7. Strange-Colored Discharge
Discharge is one of the ways by which your vagina cleans itself and prevents infection. It changes slightly in color through your reproductive cycle and can become brown before and after your period. Alarming colors include yellow/green, grey/white or brown (if it’s in the middle of your cycle).
8. Abnormal Discharge Texture
Vaginal discharge is also called cervical mucus. It changes throughout your reproductive cycle and can serve as an indication of fertility. One of the most common symptoms of a yeast infection is a cottage cheese-textured discharge. Foamy discharge is also a sign that your body might be fighting an infection.
9. Bleeding Between Periods
Light spotting between periods is often an early sign of pregnancy. It can also be caused by a hormonal imbalance, pregnancy complications, uterine polyps, infections or cancer. This is not a symptom that should be taken lightly.
10. Painful Urination
It’s very easy for women to get a urinary tract infection. Make sure to pee after sex, drink lots of water, rinse the vulva daily with clean water and avoid douching to keep your pelvic region healthy. If symptoms persist for more than a day or two, it’s worth a quick doctor’s visit.