Bodily Fluids: A Guide To What's in Your Knickers
Bodies. They’re complex and often prone to change. And while this is usually totally normal, some changes can cause a ton of stress and anxiety, particularly when it comes to sexual and reproductive health.
The biggest reason for this anxiety is a lack of understanding. Noticing sudden changes, particularly when it comes to intimate fluids, can be quite distressing. So, to help dispel this confusion and concern, we’ve put together a helpful guide on all the major vaginal fluids your body produces, so you aren’t left wondering what’s going on in your knickers.
Although our infographic below offers a guide to the different types of fluids, we understand all bodies are different. So, if you do find yourself experiencing sudden changes within your body, we’d recommend getting booked in with your GP for a check-up.
Types of Bodily Fluids
Each of these vaginal secretions is distinct from the other, and most of the time they are easily recognisable as they have their own particular coloration, smell, consistency and purpose.
However, various changes to these fluids can lead us to become confused or concerned about what’s exactly going on down there.
There are several reasons why your period may have changed. As you can see on our infographic, changes can be caused by the type of flow you have, how long your period lasts, as well as diet, pregnancy or health conditions such as bacterial vaginosis.
The term ‘period colour meaning’ is being searched for +69% more year-on-year, indicating an increase in the number of people to figure out what the (bloody) hell is going on in their knickers. Colours can range from bright red to dull grey, and we’ve provided some reasons for these differing shades below in the guide, though your local GP will be able to give further, more detailed guidance.
Colours aside, if you find you have a particularly heavy flow and want to prevent leaks or protect your favourite pants, why not take a look at our full range of period products for added protection?
If you notice changes to the smell, colour or consistency of your discharge, you can refer to our infographic for some hints as to what may be causing this, as well as speaking to your GP if you notice the changes persist.
Different colour discharge is something to pay attention to, as it can be a sign of dietary issues as well as sexual health issues. In fact, around 1,600 people Google ‘why is my discharge yellow?’ every month, followed by another 880 searches for ‘why does my vaginal discharge smell?’.
If you’re worried, or these changes persist, don’t hesitate to see your doctor or attend your genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic, particularly if you are sexually active.
Take a look at our guide on discharge and why it’s natural for more information.
Vaginal fluids tend to be clear or white and typically occur during arousal, to keep everything moving nice and smoothly.
If you notice any changes, particularly dryness, this could be a sign of bacterial vaginosis (BV) which is a common health condition that can cause soreness and changes in discharge consistency and smell. In fact, ‘BV symptoms’ gets around 14,800 Internet searches every month, suggesting this is something many of us go through.
While BV isn’t an STI, it can leave you more vulnerable to catching an STI, so if you suspect you have BV, it’s best to seek assistance from your doctor.
Urine colour can also be something that changes a lot, to such an extent that there are around 8,100 Google searches for ‘urine colour chart’ every month. These changes often depend on how hydrated you are, with colours ranging from pale/medium yellow all the way through to red or pink. This is usually a sign you’ve eaten a lot of beetroot or blackberries, but in some cases could indicate a more serious condition.
Check out the infographic for more detail, but if problems persist, make an appointment with your doctor.
If you have unanswered questions about changes to your intimate bodily fluids , it’s important to listen to your body and see a doctor. If you still have questions, check out our daily intimate care pages for more advice.
The medical information in this article is provided as an information resource only and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Please consult your doctor for guidance about a specific medical condition.