I'll apologize now for any writing mistakes (or differences in med components names), English is not my first language.
My post is about vaginal discharge. I saw several posts about it here but I couldn't find in them a situation similar to mine. I don't know if this question will have a simple answer but this issue has been in my head for some time, and I'd figured I'd ask here.
Some background if it's relevant: I'm a 22-year-old cis-female, got my period at 10 years old, never had had any YI or BV until I started having PIV and oral sex at 20 years old (and if I got one of those, they were asymptomatic and cleared up with no treatment), I have been on HBC -combined pill- for 8 months.
The type of contraception my cis-male boyfriend (24 years old) and I use is the pill + condoms (only for PIV). We're both free of STDs. We use already lubed condoms and add lube (glycerin based) when needed. We perform PIV, oral and rimming on each other, and he performs anal on me. His penis never passes from my anus to my vulva/vagina without a condom, and no fingers or tongue that were near any of our anuses do either unless they've been washed before.
Finally my question: what type and amount of discharge would be considered healthy?.
Since I started having periods I kind of remember having some discharge throughout my cycle, which I learned was a normal thing. Sometimes I would have my underwear wet in the part which is in contact with the vaginal opening for a whole day.
Last year I started having PIV and I got a YI after two months (March). The symptoms were itchiness, redness, burning in my vulva and cottage cheese-like discharge. I had to get treated twice for it and it went away (metronidazol and miconazol were the main ingredients in the vaginal suppositories prescribed). My gyno said it was a result of the medication I had taken for an UTI I'd had previously, but added, for me to take in account, that leaving the vulvar srea wet for a long time and wearing several layers of non-breathable underwear and clothes could help develop a YI.
This year, around the same time, I got an UTI. I suspected I might get a YI again due to the meds and the doctor I saw about it said I wouldn't necessarily get it. I delayed my annual pap smear until the UTI was healed as recommended by this doctor. Finally, during the pap smear, the new gyno I'd started seeing said I had "vulvitis". I thought the name standed for only one condition, but later through the internet learned "vulvitis" could refer to different infections (I never knew which of them she was referring to, silly me for not asking). She said there was "a lot of discharge" and that my vulva was swollen; and couldn't get a proper sample for the test. She prescribed a med (vaginal suppositories) that contained metronidazol as its main ingredient. She recommended I washed my vulva with mild soap or a glycerin one, with no scent or colouring. I was already using the second type of soap suggested, but not on my vulva because I'd read in the internet that part of the body should be washed with water only. But as she recommended it, I started using soap on my vulva.
The discharge I was having was normal for me (and I didn't have any annoying symptom), that's why I started asking myself the question "what would make a healthy discharge?" (and now ask it here).
After finishing this treatment, I got checked by my gyno again and she said the vulvitis had cleared up, but I had some kind of wound around the cervix, that could be caused by "something infectious" or maybe the lubricant that already came in the condoms. She also said it was difficult to find some balance between birth control and vaginal health (DAMN!). I got vaginal suppositories meant to cicatrize the wound.
I went back to get checked almost one month after that because I had to wait until my period was gone. She found out the vulvitis was back and my wound had not healed. So this time she gave me prescriptions for the infection and the wound in order to be used simultaneously. The meds for the wound were the same prescribed before. Nevertheless, I recognised the ones for the vulvitis; those were the meds I'd had to take for the YI one year before. I realised this when looking at the packaging back home. That was when I discovered "vulvitis" standed for several conditions (checked via internet). I have to say I'd only felt some mild burning when washing my vulva for some days before the diagnosis. I hadn't felt anything really annoying in my body indicating a YI as the previous year (there was no itching and redness), apart from the symptom I've just described, though my discharge was cottage cheese-like. I remember I felt my vagina super tight one of the times my boyfriend and I had PIV during the treatment (my gyno said I could do it before inserting any suppository), so I attributed it to the swelling caused by the vulvitis, a symptom apparently I can't be aware of unless I'm having PIV. I say this because I'd been looking at my vulva with a mirror for awhile and hadn't noticed any swelling.
I finished both treatments 1 month and a half ago, I haven't gone to the gyno yet because I had to choose a new one (no luck with the last one, really skilled at practising but also at making inappropriate comments) and couldn't get an appointment until this week. I have a discharge now that at first looked like the one I had last time I got diagnosed with a YI, although by now it's not cottage cheese-like but thick. Soakes my underwear like I explained before, sometimes. It's also of a really light green. I found greenish discharge can indicate trichomoniasis but it doesn't have a bad or strong smell, and I don't feel any pain or itching (symptoms I saw listed for trichomoniasis) when I urinate. I also don't feel any itching, burning or redness in my vulva/vagina; as regards to symptoms related to BV. I also found out many vagina-bearing people don't get symptoms for BV, so I guess I could have it without noticing it. And that leads to another question: what can occur to your body if you happen to not have any symptoms of this kind of infections, therefore don't realise they're there?.
I plan to take to my gyno appointment this week every product I use near or straight on my vulva. And also the meds I've been prescribed and my HBC. Maybe she notices something needs to be changed in that set.
OK, SO SORRY FOR SUCH A LONG POST. Hope someone has something to share as an experience or information.