When you’re getting ready for some sexual fun, the vagina is designed to become moist and juicy. This is called vaginal fluid, and it is a wonderful lubricant to make sex more comfortable and heighten your pleasure.
This fluid consists mainly of water, with a number of other ingredients. While vaginal fluid has a light, pleasant smell, the combination of these additional chemicals affect the odour and taste of the fluid. What you eat or drugs you’re taking can affect the smell slightly, as can the time of the month, which will also affect the texture of the fluid. Vaginal fluid is slightly acidic, with a pH of around 4, compared to semen, which has a pH of around 7 or 8. Douching is usually not recommended, as it can upset this delicate pH balance.
How much lubrication you produce will vary from woman to woman, and can also be affected by whether you are aroused, as well as menopause and ageing. Certain medications such as antihistamines and some psychiatric drugs may also affect lubrication. If vaginal dryness is a problem, see your doctor who can help you determine the cause, and advise how to address it.
If a lack of vaginal fluid is affecting your enjoyment of sex, there are a number of personal lubricants available from the pharmacy. It’s best not to use oil or hand cream, as certain oils may reduce the effectiveness of condoms. Spreading lubricant onto your vagina and penis can be a very pleasurable part of foreplay.
Do bear in mind that HIV and other STIs can be present in vaginal fluids and so it’s important to practice safe sex.
Sources: Health24, McKinley Health Center, Medline(Picture of Woman on bed from Shutterstock) Read about semen.