It’s a common dilemma: do you need to see a doctor for some changes you’ve noticed down there, or will the problem go away on its own? You might wonder if it’s normal to have a smell in your vulva and vagina, or what colour the area should be. If you experience pain during sex, you might believe it’s due to your nervousness or lack of desire. All in all, it can get confusing the more you think about it.
While not every problem requires a doctor’s appointment, there are some warning signs to look out for that indicate less than ideal vaginal health.
3 warning signs – See your doctor if…
#1 There is abnormal discharge quite different from the usual.
Vaginal discharge is considered normal if it is seen a few days before and after the period, and is clear and not odorous. However, if you have almost constant discharge that is thick and curdy, or which has changed colour and become yellow, green or grey, then you must schedule a pap smear and vaginal swab appointment at once. A change in colour and a strong fishy or sour odour is a clear marker of infection, and must be investigated at once. Meanwhile, wash yourself down there with the Nua intimate wash for women twice a day to feel clean and dry.
#2 If you experience dryness down there.
On the other hand, your vulva might be completely dry. The vulva is supposed to be slightly moist, while a too wet or completely dry area are causes for concern. A dry vulva often indicates that the vaginal canal may be dry as well, which leads to pain during sex. It can be due to a yeast infection, or uterine fibroids, a condition like PCOS/PCOD, or even cervical cancer. It is best to have the cause investigated.
#3 If your vulva has become itchy.
An itchy vulva may have several different causes, from a yeast infection to an STI. A yeast infection is the most common cause, especially if the itching is accompanied by a thick white discharge. Also known as ‘vaginal candidiasis’, it is a fungal infection seen in the vulva and vaginal canal, and may recur more than once in a lifetime for certain women prone to it. It occurs due to a genetic disposition, high-sugar diet, stress or even sexual transmission from an infected partner. Your doctor will take a vaginal swab and examine it under a microscope to know what the exact problem is. Treatment ranges from taking daily medication for a few weeks or months, to lifestyle and diet changes.
Use the right products
Most women unknowingly create a fertile ground for bacteria and yeast in their vulva and vagina, by not cleaning themselves down there adequately, or with the right products. While your bath soap is not recommended for use, you should clean yourself with the Nua intimate hygiene wash during your period, during days of heavy vaginal discharge, and after sex. Also use Nua panty liners (a type of sanitary pad to collect non-menstrual vaginal discharge) to feel dry during heavy discharge days and to prevent odour in your underwear.