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3 things in your underwear that you need to watch out for

Do you keep a check on your underwear hygiene? If you do, you may notice a few things on your panty. Here’s what they mean.
Woman pointing at her private part
Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Aayushi Gupta Updated: 13 Apr 2023, 11:21 am IST
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Beyond what it does for your sexual health, how well do you know your vagina? Well, the vagina is a fascinating body part that can have a significant impact not only on your sexual health but general health too. Lack of information around it leads to misinformation and misconceptions. So, it is best for you to know facts about your vaginal health and keep an eye on your underwear hygiene. Any unusual discharge should be an alarm!

Health Shots reached out to Dr Swetha MP, consultant, obstetrician, and gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, HRBR Layout, Bengaluru, to help you understand your vagina and vaginal fluids better.

A little introduction to the vagina

The muscular canal known as the vagina connects the vulva to the uterus neck. This is where blood bleeds during menstruation and where penetration happens during intercourse. The vagina needs to maintain a delicate environment to maintain pH balance and lubrication by a secreting discharge that functions as a self-cleansing process to keep the good and bacteria in control. Every woman at the end of the day witnesses an occasional stain in her underwear. It could be anything, including discharge, spotting and other things.

Learn about these 3 things that you might find in your underwear.

1. Discharge

Every woman experiences varying quantities and types of vaginal discharge throughout the menstrual cycle. Here are different types of discharge that you may find in your underwear:

  • Egg-white discharge: This indicates ovulation, a period that allows the sperm to travel through the cervix for fertilization of the egg.
  • Creamy milky white discharge: Before the egg white discharge, a creamy discharge can be witnessed which helps keep the vaginal tissue healthy and acts as a natural lubrication by minimising friction during sex. This form of discharge is extremely common so unless the discharge is accompanied by certain textures or smells, it is normal.
  • Red or brown bloody discharge: This form of discharge is common during the menstrual cycle and ranges from cherry red at the beginning to rusty brown at the end. Women undergoing irregular menstrual cycles or spotting may also experience this form of discharge.
  • Pale yellow to neon green discharge: This discharge is a common phenomenon that may indicate signs of infection such as trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted infection caused by a parasite where women experience foul-smelling vaginal discharge, genital itching, and painful urination.
  • Blush to deep pink discharge: This discharge usually indicates that there’s some kind of bleeding going on. If this happens a little before or after your period, it’s likely due to either early bleeding or old blood that’s dribbling out. Another possible cause. This can also be due to health issues like cervical polyps which are non-cancerous growths in the cervix or irritation from an infection.
  • Gray discharge: This form of discharge indicates a sign of bacterial vaginosis (BV) which involves an overgrowth of bacteria.

Vaginal discharge has numerous advantages such as keeping the vagina clean, warding off infections, and providing lubrication. The range of vaginal discharge reflects one’s overall health and may vary from person to person however if you experience a weird discharge, it is important to consult a doctor and watch out for any other symptoms.

2. Spotting

Spotting is a very common condition among menstruating women. It is vaginal bleeding that is not due to a woman’s monthly period. You may see it in your underwear or on the toilet paper after using the restroom. If you need protection, you can simply use a panty liner and not a pad or tampon. There can be a number of causes of spotting such as you may be pregnant, you’re on birth control pills, you’re in your perimenopause stage, sexually transmitted infection, etc.

underwear hygiene
Spotting is normal! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Wetness

Since your vagina is a self-cleaning organ that lubricates itself on a regular basis, you may always feel a bit wet down there. In fact, during the summer season wet vagina condition is even more common. Blame it on your sweat and oil glands that keep your vagina moist.

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Also read: Wearing a wet underwear for too long can do this to your vaginal health

Apart from that, being sexually stimulated can cause an increase in watery cervical mucus, which functions as a lubricant to enhance your enjoyment and comfort during sexual intercourse, making you feel wet down there.

So ladies, keep a check on your vaginal health and maintain hygiene down there!

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About the Author

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More

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