Anyone with a vagina knows all about the moment when you take off your underwear to find a wet spot that had spread over your panties throughout the day. Usually, vaginal discharge is just a mild annoyance, but for those of us who's vaginas seem to leak a lot, it might also raise concerns for our health.
After all, how much discharge is too much discharge? Is there such a thing?
Dr. Jen Gunter knows that this is a question on many vagina-owners' minds, so she took to YouTube on Saturday to show us exactly what a normal amount of vaginal discharge looks like.
And it's surprisingly a lot. Our vaginas can leak up to four millilitres of discharge in a day, Gunter says. To make it clear how much that really is, she takes a syringe with four millilitres of water, dyed yellow, and squirts it onto a pad. The water spreads throughout the pad, completely soaking it.
Now, imagining the pad were your underwear, that wet spot you usually see probably doesn't seem too bad.
Part of what makes us worry about the amount of liquid in our underwear is the idea that discharge is gross or unclean.
Less than a year ago, people all over Twitter were posting photos of their underwear for the #pantychallenge to show that they didn't produce any vaginal discharge, as if people whose vaginas don't leak (or don't leak very much) are somehow cleaner and better than those who do have a significant amount of discharge.
This is obviously not true. Vaginal discharge is completely healthy and normal, as Gunter said in the video.
Of course, if your discharge is the same colour as the water Gunter dyed yellow, she says you might want to make an appointment with your gynaecologist. The colour, and texture, of vaginal discharge can actually say a lot about your health and your ovulation cycle.