Vaginal health is as important as the well-being of any other organ of the body. So a healthy vagina gives a healthy amount of discharge that flow away dead cells and unwanted bacteria. This way it keeps the vagina safe and infection-free. The process keeps the vagina lubricated and prevents from dryness.

An unhealthy vagina has an adverse effect on your health as well as your personal life. It affects your fertility and libido. It is worth noting that the long-term vaginal distress can affect your relationship with your partner. It also lowers your self-confidence and causes stress.

An unhealthy vagina is more sensitive to attract vaginal yeast infections such as genital and vulvovaginal candidiasis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claim that roughly 75 percent of all women are prone to incur a vaginal yeast infection at least once in their lifetime.

Here are the mojor 5 warning signs that indicate your vagina is unhealthy.

Itching and Burning

When vagina contracts a number of infections a constant itching and burning sensation occurs. It happens due to the harmful bacteria outnumber the good bacteria in the vagina. The imbalance exhibit itself through the physical symptom of itching and burning.

In the vaginal area, some amount of yeast is required to remove harmful bacteria, though, an excess of yeast can result in a yeast infection, which also causes itching and burning.

The Journal of the American Medical Association published a 2004 study says that an inflammatory sensation and itching without any foul odor coming from the vagina indicates a yeast infection.

Itching is also caused by a reaction to chemicals or ingredients in soaps, creams, contraceptive foams and prepackaged douching mixtures. It affects the bacterial balance and acidity of the vagina which preserves from infections.

Smelly Discharge

The International Journal of Women’s Health published a report conducted in 2011 study says that a “fishy odor” is one of the principal manifestation of bacterial vaginosis. It may occur especially after intercourse. The discharge contracted by a pregnant woman run a risk of delivering their baby prematurely, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Such discharges have chances of increasing the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV, and may sometimes lead to pelvic inflammatory diseases.

Discoloration and Excessive discharge

Vaginal discharge holds the vagina lubricated and wash away harmful bacteria. So a normal vaginal discharge could be clear or white and does not produce a bad odor. However, a brown or red discharge that happens right after a menstrual cycle and it is generally not a matter of concern. If you experience brown or red discharge during normal days between periods then you require medical attention. Since it could be a sign of cervical cancer. Or if it happens during early pregnancy, it could indicate a miscarriage.

Discharges like a green or yellow, smelly and froth-like are not common. This could be indicating trichomoniasis, an STD. While, a watery white, gray or yellow discharge could also be a sign of bacterial vaginosis. However, to note that the amount of discharge varies from woman to woman, so repeated and extreme discharge could be a symptom for bacterial vaginosis.

Abnormal Bleeding

Bleeding between periods is a cause for alarm. After reaching menopause (absence of menstruation for 12 months), if you still experience bleeding and spotting, you should consult your gynecologist now. Symptoms like post-menopausal bleeding should not be ignored it calls for a quick diagnose to stop its transmutation into a malignant disease, as per a study conducted in 2013 which was published in the International Journal of Reproduction, Contraception, Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Other problems like the passage of blood clots through the vagina post-menopause is also a sign of an unhealthy vagina. It causes related diseases like endometrial polyps (growths in the inner lining of the uterus) or endometrial or cervical cancer.

Bleeding During or After Intercourse

Although women who are new to sexual intercourse to experience bleeding is normal but if it is a recurring issue in young women, then medical attention is required. Woman of any age experience bleeding during or after intercourse could be a sign of a vaginal infection, a vaginal tear (induced by childbirth), STDs like chlamydia or vaginal dryness. The friction produced during intercourse can irritate dry skin and cause spotting.

Any women experience bleeding during or after intercourse, following their menopause could indicate cervical cancer.