i. Is it normal to have discharge and a smell?
Every woman has a “smell” that is normal to her. It can change, for example after sweating especially after working out or around the time of your period. If it becomes bothersome or malodorous, especially with a “fishy” odor then it may be a sign of an infection. Discharge in menstruating women is also normal and changes based on where she is in her cycle, it is usually clear or slightly yellow.
ii. How should I clean my vagina?
It is not necessary to put any cleansers into the vagina. Cleaning the vulva, the outside parts, with warm water and a mild cleanser should be sufficient.
iii. My vagina has bumps, is this normal?
When a bump is noted in the genitals it doesn’t necessarily mean there is a sexual infection. Hair follicles and glands in the area can cause bumps and cysts, sometimes they can even be tender and painful. If it doesn’t resolve quickly then definitely let your doctor know so that testing, and treatment can be considered.
iv. Why does my vagina sometimes itch?
Having vaginal/vulvar itching can be on account of sweating or tight clothing. It also may be a yeast infection. Mild yeast infection symptoms can improve on their own or with over-the-counter preparations and more stubborn ones may require a prescription. If it is bothersome, persistent or recurrent then make sure nothing else is the cause and discuss it with your doctor so testing and treatment can be decided.
v. How do I know if I have an STI/STD and when should I get tested?
If you are thinking about being tested, then you probably should get tested. Testing is easy and with early diagnosis then treatment can be more effective in preventing a more serious complication and side effects. Women who are 26 years and younger and are sexually active should have chlamydia testing every year and any woman who has multiple partners, a partner who has multiple partners or a known exposure should also have testing.
Voilà does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and is not a medical provider. If you think you may have a vaginal issue, consult with your doctor.