I grew up in a household without a filter and with a very open dialogue about everything to do with the vagina and vulva. As worthy as it was, I am grateful for this continuous training and for the fact that I was never ashamed of natural body functions.
But this is not the case with everyone.
I will never forget when I was with a friend and she changed before me. She pulled down her underwear and inside was a pantyliner. I was a little confused because she wasn’t menstruating, but of course I respected her individual choices with what she did to her body.
It did hoist a red flag though, and when I asked her about it, she said she wears one every day so her panties don’t get gross. When she saw my shocked, compassionate response, she followed up with “I know, I know it’s a bad habit, but … “ She fell silent and shrugged.
At that moment, my nana’s words rang in my ears “You have to let your pishigugi breathe!” One of the words our family loved to use to refer to our vulva. I felt a touch of heartache for my friend that she felt such fear, disgust and fear for her body as to how she should work.
She’s not the only one. The fear of being discharged seems all too common in women and people with vaginas.
Why the fear?
We don’t exactly live in a world that praises and accepts women for who they are – although we are working towards it.
Part of living in misogynist societies is internalizing these feelings and shaming the bodies we live in.
Though no one is sure how the conversation started Uncertainties about vagina are nothing new. With people comparing them to rotten fish, cottage cheese, and worse, it’s no wonder so many women are less than proud of their parts.
There are many reasons a person may feel insecure about being fired. You could have made fun of it or other body functions. You can carry weight through sexual trauma or abuse. There could have been negative conversations about female bodies in their growing up families, or no conversations at all.
In addition, general sex education does not prepare people for success when it comes to normalizing bodies.
Time to throw it away
If you resonate with what I am saying and often feel insecure about your vagina and its events, it is time to get rid of that fear.
Building a better relationship with your body will not only help you heal emotionally, but it can also help you live a more holistic and healthier life.
A sense of peace for your body and everything it does for you, no matter where it physically is, is a constant practice of staying grounded and grateful.
What does this have to do with discharge?
Everything. Discharge is a gift from the vagina gods and one of the most important insights your vagina gives about its current state of health.
Think about discharge, period blood, and possible pain The language your vagina uses to communicate with you. And you’d better believe that discharge has a lot to say.
Get to know your discharge
Your vagina likes to be gentle pH of 4.5 to keep yours Vaginal flora happy and prosperous. The discharge is part of the natural maintenance system your vagina uses to keep it in this optimal condition. It is made up of bacteria, mucus, skin cells and fluid from the cervix and vagina.
A healthy discharge is usually white or clear and odorless.
If you trust your body enough to pay attention to your discharge, the first thing you will notice is warning signs that your vagina is sending out. If your discharge changes too much in color, smell, or texture, it could lead to infection, drug side effects, stress, localized allergy, bacterial vaginosisor an STI.
To know, what normal vaginal discharge is for your body, means recognizing when something is wrong.
Ovulation, oh my god!
Another reason to familiarize yourself with the investigation into your discharge? It can tell you where you are on your menstrual cycle!
Know when you are ovulating means being able to plan when you are try to understandor help avoid pregnancy.
Keep in mind that birth control and other medications can alter your discharge. Hormonal contraception in particular suppresses natural ovulation. Even if you release the discharge, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are ovulating.
Here’s a guide to checking your cervical mucus.
I hope this has helped alleviate, even just a little, any security you feel in your vagina. At Intimina, we want women and people with vaginas to be proud and safe in their bodies. We hope through education to instill a sense of empowerment so that you can make the best possible decisions for you, your body, and yes – your vagina.
Natasha’s passion for reproductive health began at the age of fourteen when she was present at the birth of her youngest sister. Her incredible experiences as a birthing doula gave her insights into the magical realm of childbirth, pregnancy and everything in between. Your role as an obstetrician is her way of serving as an activist. She uses writing as an important educational tool to bring about changes in our view of reproductive health as a whole.