QuestionWhat is the sticky fluid inside a woman's vagina?
The lining of the vagina secretes a fluid that is much like the mucus produced in your nose. It serves numerous functions:
- It keeps the lining of the vagina soft and moist
- It traps dust and germs that might enter the vagina and slowly pushes them toward the entrance where they can be washed away.
- When a woman is sexually aroused, excess fluid is produced to provide lubrication for sexual intercourse.
Normal vaginal fluids will range from clear and slippery to thick and whitish, depending what part of the menstrual cycle you are currently experiencing. They should have very little odor and you should not experience any itching or burning feelings in or around your vagina.
Sometimes diseases still manage to lodge in the vagina, just as you can pick up infections in your nose. Usually a woman notices it because of unusual odor or color to her vaginal fluids, or because her vagina feels itchy. The most common cause is a yeast infection -- yes, the same family of bacteria that makes bread rise. Yeast is fairly prevelant in the environment, so it is not hard to catch it. Often when your immune system is weak, such as when you are over tired, stressed, or recovering from another disease, the bacteria get out of control.
No matter what the cause, the problem is called vaginitis. You should see your doctor if you suspect a problem. She will collect some fluid from your vagina and examine it to determine exactly what bacteria or virus is causing the problem and then prescribe the appropriate medication to combat the cause.