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You might not realise it, but your vagina is pretty much A+, as far as body parts go. It’s self-cleaning, which is pretty cool. Some day a baby could come out of it, which is terrifying but also… pretty cool. But sometimes, things aren’t completely chill downstairs, so you’ve gotta know what to look out for.

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Your vag, your poon, your minge, your muff, your jootz – whatever you call it, you need to listen to it. Here’s what to look out for that might signify that all is not right in Vag Land.

The itch

It’s normal to feel a slight itching in your crotch from time to time, but if it’s persistent, or it’s itchy way up in your vaginal passage, it could be a sign of thrush, a pesky yeast infection caused by the fungus Candida albicans. It can be brought on by loads of things: antibiotics, stress, heat, your menstrual cycle, and more.

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don’t try this on your vag tho ok

It’s super common and around 75% of us gals will cop it at least once in our lifetime. Oh, YAY. Luckily, it’s super treatable and you don’t even need to go to a doctor – just ask a pharmacist for advice on the best product for you (usually a cream or tablet). But if that doesn’t help, or you have recurring thrush, it’s best to go see a doctor.

Itching can also be a sign of sexually transmitted infection (STI). Again, a doctor is your best bet here as you may need antibiotics.

The smell

Vaginas do have their own distinct smell, which is very normal so don’t get all freaked out about it. But if the smell changes, or becomes more intense or unpleasant, chances are your vag is trying to tell you something.

A foul-smelling “fishy” smell could be a sign of bacterial vaginosis. This condition most likely occurs when you’re sexually active, but can occur at any life stage.

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bacterium vaginosis does sound like a spell tbh

The vagina is home to natural and normal bacteria, but when the “good bacteria” (called lactobacilli) is outnumbered by the “bad” (known as anaerobes), an imbalance occurs which can lead to vaginosis.

Other symptoms might include itching, burning and pain – go see your doctor if you have one or all of these. Good news is, it’s totally treatable.

The ouch

Okay, so pain is always a pretty big alarm bell when it comes to your friendly neighbourhood vag. If it hurts to pee, hurts during sex, hurts when you’re walking, hurts when you’re just sitting on the couch doing sweet F-A, then it’s safe to say your vagina is trying to tell you something. Like, it’s basically screaming at you at this point.

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oi bitch can’t you hear meeee

If you’re in any kind of pain, hit up your GP, asap.

The stuff coming out of it

Discharge is a really normal part of being a girl, which can be a real bummer if you’re a fan of wearing black undies. You might even notice that your discharge changes thickness or colour during your cycle, which is ALSO very normal.

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But what’s not normal is when it looks waaayy different, or smells real different, or is accompanied by any of the above symptoms.

Foul-smelling or white discharge can be a sign of a few different conditions, including thrush, STIs, or vaginosis. So if you’ve noticed what’s in your knickers is lookin’ or smellin’ weird, see a doctor.

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Image: Getty Images / Neil Lupin