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Vaginal fluid: you should know that about it
When thinking about vaginal fluid, many people probably think of sex or a fishy-smelling discharge. Few people know that women have permanent discharge. Together with the gynecologist Prof. Dr. med. Werner Mendling from the German Center for Infections, we have put together the 6 most important facts on the subject for you.
1. Discharge is normal
Every sexually mature woman has some level of discharge. "For the first time, a girl is confronted with the so-called 'white flow' at the beginning of puberty, which signals that the girl will soon have her period," explains the expert. Only with the onset of menopause does the woman have significantly less vaginal fluid again. This discharge is a mixture of cells in the vagina with fluids that escape through the walls of the vagina and, during ovulation, from glands in the cervix.
2. How much vaginal fluid is normal?
Every woman is different, and so one woman may have quite a lot of discharge while another has relatively little discharge. This is completely normal. So don't be surprised if your new girlfriend is different from your previous partner. On average, however, a woman produces around 5 milliliters of vaginal secretions per day. The amount can be increased significantly in some situations.
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3. What is the purpose of the vaginal secretion?
The vaginal fluid fulfills several purposes at the same time. You will surely guess one of them: When a woman is sexually aroused, she also produces fluid from glands at the vaginal entrance. It gets wetter underneath, which makes it easier to "slip" during sex. That makes perfect sense, because dry sex is not fun for either partner.
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On the other hand, the vaginal secretions form a kind of barrier for bacteria and other pathogens. The lactic acid bacteria, the so-called lactobacilli, occur naturally in the vagina and produce lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide. This creates the acidic vaginal environment of the vagina, with a pH value of around 4. Most bacteria do not feel comfortable in an acidic environment. In this way, the vagina can protect itself from being too heavily colonized with bacteria. Otherwise the bacteria could reach the fallopian tubes and organs unhindered via the vagina and cause infections.
4. What is vaginal insect made of?
The liquid, also called fluorine, consists largely of water, rejected cells and protein. The ovarian hormones estrogen and gestagen stimulate the glands in the cervical canal around ovulation (around the 12th to 14th day after the start of menstruation) to produce more secretions. Like sperm, this has a pH value of 7 and is intended to lure sperm away from the acidic silk discharge into the cervical canal.
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5. How does vaginal fluid smell and how does it feel?
The fluid that comes out of the vagina changes over the course of the month and depends on what phase of the cycle your partner is currently in. This means that the secretion changes depending on whether a woman is in her fertile or infertile days. "A woman is particularly fertile around ovulation. Then the secretion from the cervix develops a 'spinnable' and more slimy consistency than usual. In addition, the pH value of the vagina adjusts to the neutral pH value of the sperm, which increases the chances of fertilization ", explains the expert Mendling. Outside of ovulation, vaginal secretions are waterier and clearer.
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Good to know: The consistency of the vaginal fluid can also be used to find out when a woman is fertile, namely when the 'spinnable', thread-pulling clear mucus from the cervical canal comes out of the vagina. If you then also include the temperature, you can determine the fertile days of the woman. However, this requires a certain amount of experience and practice on the part of the woman.
6. What does the smell / taste say about health?
Discharge is a completely normal phenomenon and is initially nothing wrong or bad. A healthy vagina smells unspecific, slightly sour. However, if it starts to smell under the panties, this is an indication that something is wrong. "Many think that a vagina smells fishy, but that's wrong. A fishy smell is not normal, it indicates a change, bacterial vaginosis. This is a disturbance of the vaginal balance. It comes to a reduction lactic acid bacteria and a multiplication of numerous other types of bacteria, "emphasizes Mendling. Due to the bacterial miscompositions, it then smells strongly fishy. The woman notices this very quickly, especially during her period, as the unpleasant smell is then intensified again. So if you notice a fishy smell, advise your partner to consult a doctor. He will prescribe an antibiotic or antiseptic for the illness to bring the vagina back into balance.
Conclusion: The vagina remains healthy because of the vaginal fluid
Every woman is different, and so is the vaginal fluid. A woman can produce more or less secretion, and it changes within a month. A fishy odor, on the other hand, is abnormal and indicates bacterial vaginosis. Then it's time to see a doctor!
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