Why am I wet all the time?
April 22, 2007 7:15 PM   Subscribe

I'm a female in my mid-twenties and I have excessive vaginal discharge ALL THE TIME. What's wrong with me?

I've been to the gyn; she's done tests and everything came back normal. I definitely do not have an infection; there is no itchiness except that which is associated with sitting in moisture all the time. When I say I have excessive discharge, I mean to the point where I have to go to the bathroom regularly just to wipe myself.

Also, another point which may or may not be related - I haven't had my period in over a month. I am not pregnant.

What's going on with my body?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Could it be sweat?

Do you usually wear underwear made of 100% cotton, or do you wear synthetic fabrics? Does wearing a skirt vs. pants make a difference? Are you on any medications that list excessive sweating as a possible side effect?
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 7:27 PM on April 22, 2007

Which tests did she run? There are many, many things that could be right or wrong Down There, and some ob-gyns don't think as broadly or creatively as they could. Given then you aren't menstruating regularly either, it may behoove you to see an endocrinologist instead.

I figure anyone who clicked on the link can handle the details, so anonymous, it might help if you could give some more info about the discharge. Is it the same variety as you secrete when aroused? Does it have a strange consistency or odor? Is the "flow" heavier at some points in your ovulation cycle than others?
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 7:28 PM on April 22, 2007

The real question for me is: is this normal FOR YOU? Have YOU always been like this? If so, it's probably just your anatomy. If it's new or weird for YOU - maybe a problem.
posted by tristeza at 7:38 PM on April 22, 2007

Are you sure it's excessive? Did your GYN tell you that it was? I guess I'm wondering what 'excessive' is. Probably different people have varying amounts of discharge, naturally. I know you said you have to go wipe it off, but that still could be interpreted differently, as your comfort level with the discharge and others' might differ.

The bigger issue might be not having your period. But they might be related. I agree you should check with other doctors.
posted by veronitron at 7:43 PM on April 22, 2007

This thread might be useful for purposes of comparison.
posted by amber_dale at 8:10 PM on April 22, 2007

You should read Taking Charge of Your Fertility. It talks EXTENSIVELY about normal vaginal discharge.

"Discharge" or more accurately, cervical fluid, changes throughout the month - sometimes it's like Elmer's glue, sometimes it's like thick egg white, sometimes it's like stretchy, slippery egg white. If that sounds like you, it's almost certainly normal.

Some people have a lot. No biggie.
posted by peep at 8:43 PM on April 22, 2007

Excessive discharge is one of the odder side effects of hormonal birth control, if you happen to be on that.
posted by Violet Hour at 9:05 PM on April 22, 2007

Probably nothing.

I've been that way since puberty. Been to multiple gynecologists who initially raised alarms, then tested for STDs and infections and ended up saying I was fine. I sometimes have to wash my panties in the private restroom at work and change mid-day. Liners are helpful, but (I hate them and) wearing them all the time is bad for you.

If you've been checked out already, don't feel weird or embarassed about it. It is inconvenient and annoying, but healthy is healthy.

I think your other point is almost certainly unrelated, and too complex for anyone but your doctor to answer.
posted by zebra3 at 7:52 AM on April 23, 2007

Different women have different amounts of discharge, if this is not a change in the amount for you I wouldn't worry about it. A friend of mine calls it "dew", as a nicer sounding name for it.

Increased discharge, or "dewing up" if you will, can also be caused by thoughts of certain people or activities being on your mind. This is normal.
posted by yohko at 8:09 AM on April 23, 2007

Find out what tests your gyn has done. If they have screened you for chlamydia and gonorrhea, and if they have done a wet mount and/or cultures for yeast and trichomoniasis, they have ruled out most infectious causes of excessive discharge. According to your description, I agree that it is very unlikely that you have an infection, especially if you have had the symptoms chronically.

Are you using hormonal contraception? Any kind of hormonal contraception can alter your discharge. Anecdotally, I have known some women who had a problem in particular with the NuvaRing - whether this is a true side effect or whether women using the ring are just more aware of their discharge, I don't know. Pregnancy also causes increased discharge - I know you are not pregnant, but just wanted to point out again the hormonal connection. As we age, our vaginal secretions diminish, and this dryness is usually much more bothersome and uncomfortable than having a lot of discharge.

There are definitely other, much more rare causes of unusual discharge like fistulas, but I really doubt this is what is happening to you.

I would also caution you against using pantiliners to absorb your discharge as this can cause irritation.

How much discharge is too much? You say you need to wipe every few hours, but maybe this is because you are really sensitive to your discharge. It is normal for women to stain their underwear with discharge, and it is normal to be aware of that wetness from time to time. You may notice it more after sweating or working out - make sure you are wearing loose clothing in natural fabrics. There seems to be a myth out there that vaginas are supposed to be neat little packages that look and smell like roses - don't buy into that!

A good reference is The V Book by Elizabeth Stewart, a gyn who specializes in vulvovaginal health. Tons of good info in there about discharge, itching, and other vulvovaginal issues, and well-written, too.

As for your period - many, many things can cause women to miss periods. If you miss several in a row and you usually have monthly periods, go see a health care provider. Most will only do a workup after you have missed about 3 or more.
posted by tuff at 7:14 AM on April 24, 2007

You're at your sexual peak as a female around 25, according to Natalie Angier. I'm in my mid-twenties too and there are weeks it blows my mind how wet I stay all the time. I chalk it up to ovulation and my body trying to get me pregnant. If it's somewhat related to a general increase in sex drive and a general "puffiness"/increase in blood circulation to the labia/vulvar area I'd just figure that's what it is. If it bugs you you might want to try panty liners on the really crazy days.
posted by ifjuly at 2:29 PM on April 25, 2007

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