A Guide to Better Understanding what is Happening Down There
That wet stuff in your pants, do you know what it is? Seriously, is that fluid urination, infection or simply normal ovulation? Well, here is your guide to understanding what's going on down there.
OVULATION and Fluid Changes
The first thing to do is CHECK. That's right, it is important to actually check so you know what is going on. One of the easiest ways to check cervical mucosa is to look at the toilet paper after you wipe. Another easy way to monitor cervical mucosa is by checking your underwear and monitor the changes that happen cyclicly. It is completely NORMAL for your body to secrete these fluids based on where you are in your cycle.
First, let's talk about the cycle in general as well as the changes in fluid that comes with it. Cervical fluids change based on your cycle and it's time to connect with your body!
- Dry Phase (not fertile): Days 1-3 after period
This is where we normally feel dry down there and there is only a hint of moisture. The thing about this is that all women are little different so your "dry" may be different from a friend.
- Sticky Phase (not fertile): Days 4-6
Those small sticky globs that are white/cloudy in color and look like little chunks of glue? They are normal! This is a mucus that will most likely not support sperm because the little swimmers can't make it through the gluey substance.
- Creamy Phase (semi-fertile): Days 7-9
Pre-ovulation is where the thickness of cervical mucus changes and becomes more abundant and creamy or pearly in color. This mucus is semi-fertile and feels like lotion when rubbed between the fingers.
- Watery Phase (may or may not have)
This is the phase where we are most likely to question if we have pee'd our pants or simply preparing for ovulation. This mucus is important because it is preparing our body to be more fertile. It is possible to get pregnant during this phase but the prime-time for conception is actually the next phase.
- Egg White Mucus/ Clear Phase (fertile): Days 10-14
The clear phase is the fertile window and when the body transitions to create a raw egg white substance that is both stretchy and slippery like slime. This phase is paired with the luteal phase and the mucus will be both clear and odorless. It is also the phase to try and conceive (or prevent conception)!
URINATION and discharge
Urinary incontinence is common but normal! There are different types of incontinence such as stress incontinence which occurs with increased pressure such as coughing, sneezing, laughing and exercising/lifting. Another form of incontinence is urge incontinence which happens when there is a sensation of needing to void and an immediate loss of urine, this type of incontinence is seen with people that have to frequently pee in the middle of the night. There are other types of incontinence, but the key thing is to monitor what is happening! In general, urine is watery and a clear-yellowish color that does not have an odor. It's important to track when this happens... is there a specific time or exercise that makes the incontinence worse? If your incontinence is cyclical, there may be other reasons! If not, it is important to look at your menstrual cycle because it may be normal cervical mucosa!
INFECTIONS and vaginal discharge changes
It is important to know what is normal so you can know what is abnormal! It is not uncommon for women coming off of birth control or learning their cycles to be concerned they have an infection because they have never seen these changes.
If you experience odorless discharge that is thick and lumpy like cottage cheese, then you may have a yeast infection or thrust. These changes typically come with itching, soreness, burning and irritation. A more serious condition is bacterial vaginosis which typically has a fishy odor, burning sensation and mucus discharge. All of these are best treated by a primary care physician so if you aren't sure if your discharge is normal, it is best to reach out to your physician.
Understanding the Ebbs and Flows
If you question whether or not it is an infection, it is better to be safe and have it evaluated by your physician. Struggling with incontinence? Reach out, I would love to help you get a better grasp on what's going on and help you to dryer days.