We’re often taught that vaginas are beautiful mysteries... but they don’t have to be as cryptic as they seem. The truth is, most of us are severely lacking in knowledge when it comes to our own vagina. There’s a whole world of information you can learn from simply tuning into your own body. So, we’ve put together a guide to help you stay on top of your own health and wellbeing by taking notes from your vagina. Let’s get into it!
What’s your discharge telling you?
One of the loudest ways your vagina communicates is through discharge. If you’ve ever sat down on the loo and noticed your undies are smeared with a gooey, creamy secretion, you’ve gotten up close and personal to your own vaginal discharge. It can be confronting at first, but vaginal discharge is completely normal and is a sign of vagina health.
Produced by the cervix, discharge can change on the daily depending on where you’re at in your cycle, whether you’re pregnant or have an STI or infection.
Typical discharge is clear to pale white or yellow, and the consistency generally changes throughout your cycle. If you notice yellow-ish or green discharge, or it’s accompanied by an interesting smell, your best bet is to get it checked out by a doctor as it may signal something funky going on.
Pro tip: Discharge can get in the way of a breezy day sometimes, so make your life easier by popping on a pair of Modibodi on. We recommend our Light-Moderate if your discharge is on the lighter side, or you can wear our Moderate-Heavy if you’re on the heavier side. You’ll feel confident and fresh, no matter what your discharge is doing.
What’s the colour of your period telling you?
Another big way your vagina communicates is through your period. While we generally think of period blood as red, the truth is there’s a whole range of colours your bleed could show up as depending on what’s happening and what stage of your cycle you’re in. It’s important to get to know the spectrum of colours, as some shades can give you clues about your health.
If your period is black or brown, you’ll usually find you’re looking at old blood that’s taken its sweet time to leave your uterus. Not to worry, unless this black or brown blood is accompanied by pain, odour or itching. Brown blood is super common in spotting or towards the end of your period.
Got dark red period blood? You’ll likely see this when you first wake up in the morning, or towards the end of your bleed. It happens when your period slows down, and it’s generally a sign the blood isn’t as fresh.
Bright red blood is common at the start of your period every month. It signals that the blood is fresh and fast-flowing, and it’s generally accompanied by your heaviest days of flow. Bright red bleeding between periods can be a cause for concern though, so keep this in mind.
Pink or orange period blood can come out of the woodwork either at the very start or the very end of your period – and it usually signals blood mixed with cervical fluid. Pink spotting between periods can signal low oestrogen levels. It’s important to note sometimes orange blood that has a smell or is of a strange consistency could signal an STD.
Lastly, grey period blood is quite uncommon and should be checked out by a doctor ASAP. It could signal an infection, especially if you’re also experiencing itching, pain, odour or a fever.
What’s your vagina’s smell telling you?
Our vaginas smell sometimes – it’s true. You'll find it’s especially noticeable if you live in a sweaty, tropical climate or you’re in the middle of a Hot Girl Summer. Most musky, sweaty, vagina-like odours are completely normal, and our smells often fluctuate during our cycle. Diet, sex and exercise can also play a role. But when is a smell abnormal?
While it’s tricky to describe an ‘off smell’, if your gut tells you something isn’t right with your vagina’s odour, book an appointment with your doctor. ‘Bad’ smells could indicate bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, STIs, an allergic reaction to soap and in rare but serious cases, cervical or vaginal cancer.
What does pain in your vagina tell you?
Vaginas can be painful sometimes – but that doesn’t mean it’s completely normal. If you find your vagina is irritated, uncomfortable, itchy or there’s swelling, you might have something going on down there. Vaginal pain can also come from pelvic floor dysfunction after childbirth or an injury, as well as other reproductive conditions.
Finding sex painful suddenly? This is another biggy to watch out for, and it warrants a trip to the doctor.
Other bits and bobs your vagina wants you to know.
From orgasms to squirting, there’s a whole world of hidden vagina info that most of us don’t fully understand. To get the ball rolling, squirting is certainly not a myth (and it’s not pee). Female ejaculation is a thing. It’s your vagina’s way of saying ‘omg, keep doing whatever it is you’re doing!’.
Queefing on the other hand usually garners embarrassment – but it shouldn’t be this way. Queefing is vaginal flatulence that commonly creeps up after sex. It happens when air that has been trapped in the vagina is pushed out and sounds like a fart. You might also find you’re queefing during exercise or any other form of physical movement.