WOMEN'S HEALTH

Is it possible to be ‘Too Wet’? Is this really a turn-off?

Understand the different causes of vaginal wetness and their triggers

In Summary

• Birth control you use may increase vaginal wetness, as estrogen tends to increase the production of vaginal fluids

• During sexual excitement, your vaginal area swells to due increased blood flow. To combat this, wear breathable underwear, stay trimmed, and practice good hygiene.

Image: Courtesy: Pinterest

It often goes a little something like this:

“You’re in a little bit of a rush and perhaps tense a little too much before you feel moistness happening in your panty area. “

Or perhaps someone special catches your eye, and your body stirs, but you’re also nowhere in the mindset, or space, to think about sex.

So is your vagina actually reacting to something? What exactly is it doing? Or is it giving you a sign?

Gynaecologist Jane Kamutho who is also a certified sex therapist told the Star’s Margaret that it is natural for the vagina to produce lubrication as it is its natural physiological function.

“Glands in your cervix and vaginal wall create essential lubrication to protect your genital area from an injury or tearing and keep your vagina clean and moist. Depending on where you are in your cycle and hormone levels, the amount of cervical fluid could vary,” she said.

She also said that people should understand that fluid, or something similar, also appears during sex. But just because you see it doesn’t mean you’re turned on.

“If there is lubrication, it’s your glands at work. The responsible glands for producing lubrication for sexual activity are the Bartholin glands (located to the right and left of the vaginal opening) and the Skene glands (close to the urethra).” She said.

Other chances are the wetness you feel is a watery-like substance, not fluids caused by sexual arousal.

“Your genitals may feel warm, and your underwear may feel damp, moist, or soaked. You may also feel stomach cramps, depending on where you are in your cycle, or if you’re bloated,”

Overall, Kamutho said that how wet you become depends on several factors, including hormones, age, medication, mental health, relationship factors, perspiration and sweat glands, stress the type of clothing you wear, hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) or vaginal infections.

“For some, the type of birth control you use may increase vaginal wetness, as estrogen tends to increase the production of vaginal fluids. If this bothers you, consider asking your doctor about alternative birth control that has less estrogen,” she advised.

Infections, like bacterial vaginosis, could cause a feeling of wetness, as the wetness helps to move bacteria out of your vaginal canal.

Vaginal lubrication also increases near ovulation to increase the chances of fertilization by providing an easier passage for the sperm to travel.

“If the wetness is the mucus type, it could be cervical fluid (which is not what causes sexual arousal). Cervical fluid is made up of carbohydrates, proteins, and amino acids, and it is the most informative of the vaginal fluids. It changes in texture, colour, and consistency, depending on your cycle and hormone levels,” Kamutho said.

Cervical fluids are a natural bodily response, but if you have fluids that are green, yellow, smelly, or have a cottage cheese texture, it is best to check with your doctor, as this could be a sign of infection.

A timeline of how cervical fluid changes

During your period, Kamutho says cervical fluid may not be as noticeable, but once your period ends it may feel dry down there.

 After menstruation is when your cervix will produce a substance that can be mucus-like and sticky.

“The estrogen in your body starts to increase, the consistency of your cervical fluid will go from velvety to stretchy and feel wetter. The colour will be opaque white. The cervical fluid will then look more like raw egg white. (This is also when sperm can stay alive for up to five days.) good for people who are trying to conceive,” she said.

“The higher your estrogen, the more watery your cervical fluid becomes. When your estrogen is at its highest, that’s also when you are more likely to feel your underwear at the wettest. The fluid will be the clearest and slippery.

Another type of fluid that could be down there is vaginal sweat which she said comes from sweat glands.

“During sexual excitement, your vaginal area swells to due increased blood flow. This vasocongestion creates a watery solution called vaginal transudate. Stress can cause you to sweat more, including in your vaginal area. To combat this, wear breathable underwear, stay trimmed, and practice good hygiene,” she said.

Image: courtesy: Pinterest

“A milky white secretion that’s believed to be different from other fluids is another vaginal fluid that comes from vaginal transudate and from the vaginal glands.”

As mentioned earlier, Kamutho said the Skene glands (known informally as the female prostate) have a role in lubrication and fluids.

 “These glands moisten the vaginal opening and produce a fluid that is known to hold antimicrobial properties that protect the urinary tract region. They are also responsible for squirting, possibly because they are located close to the lower end of the urethra.”

Debates however still whether squirting, female ejaculate is real or whether it is actually urine.

“It is unfortunate, due to lack of research on women’s sexual health, there continues to be controversy about what actually is female ejaculate and what is it made of,” she said

Remember that everyone’s body is unique, and you may experience fluid ratios differently from others.

"To some people, it might be uncomfortable, but others that actually is a trigger for their partners," she said.

Edited by D Tarus