Category Archives: Qadam Uthao

Understanding Periods: What’s This Sticky Discharge?

Understanding Periods: What’s This Sticky Discharge?


Discharge is a fluid mixture from glands in the vagina and cervix, that clean, lubricate and protect the vagina. Discharge can vary in amount, color, consistency and smell, depending on the menstrual cycle.

Younger children can experience vaginal discharge before getting their first period.

Menstruation & Discharge: 

  • Estrogen is the main hormone that regulates fluid production and progesterone inhibits it. These hormones vary throughout the menstrual cycle.
  • On the first day of the period, progesterone and estrogen levels are low. There is low fluid production.
  • After the period, as estrogen levels rise, so do fluid levels.
  • Ovulation is when an egg is released from the fallopian tubes. Closer to this phase, discharge can be white, cloudy, sticky, wet or creamy. Around ovulation, estrogen levels peak and discharge becomes more egg-like, clear and stretchy. This provides a ‘fertility window’ and filter, to allow the strongest and ‘best’ sperm to swim through to the egg.
  • When a sperm and egg meet, it is called ‘fertilization’. After fertilization, an embryo is formed – this is the first stage of development of the baby. The embryo, then sticks to the uterus – this is called ‘implantation’. If implantation occurs, pink or orange discharge may be stimulated.
  • If fertilization doesn’t happen, then after ovulation, progesterone levels rise and decrease fluid production. There is either dry and yellowish discharge or no discharge at all.

Causes of Abnormal Discharge:

As mentioned before, discharge is a normal and healthy bodily function. Factors such as sexual arousal, use of birth control pills, stress and allergic reactions can result in heavier-than-usual discharge.

Abnormal discharge is usually a symptom of infections or in rarer instances, cervical and endometrial cancers.

Below we have a chart with types of vaginal discharge and possible causes. Please remember that not everyone will experience these symptoms.

Coping During A Pandemic

Coping During A Pandemic

With the rise of coronavirus at the beginning of the 2020, our social media feeds were suddenly flooded with overwhelming bursts of information. More often than not, this influx of posts and stories created a panic stricken environment, where we were not only struggling to keep up with pandemic updates, but new trends that were presented to us under the guise of “productivity” “the right way to quarantine” and in certain cases as a sure shot cures from the virus. Naturally, this sudden pressure to “not let any time go to waste” only further added to the uncertainty and anxiety induced by the pandemic.
It is important to remember that we all respond to stress differently, and that nearly all reactions are valid. We cope according to our individual needs and priorities, which may be different from those of our peers. As we are all collectively adjusting to a new world, mindfulness and compassion are key – not just towards those around you, but towards yourself as well.
Here are some tips that we feel will help you navigate these unpredictable times:
Know the facts: There’s a surplus of rumors and “breaking news” circulating around the pandemic. Stick to reliable sources only, and take everything else with a grain of salt. If you find yourself falling into an information black-hole – stop. Breathe. Take a step back. Give yourself a time limit for all things pandemic related, so that you don’t get too overwhelmed.
Have a plan: Corona scares are immensely nerve-racking. However, having a plan, for what to do in-case you or your family are experiencing worrying symptoms, will help to curb some of that anxiety. Know where and how to get treatment, don’t only rely on home remedies circulated on social media. Remember to isolate, hydrate, wear your mask and wash your hands regularly!
Take time to unwind: With everything moving online, a lot of us are spending hours staring at our screens. Set some time away from the internet entirely, and tune in with yourself. Try out meditation, reading, cooking, or any activity that helps you feel good. Don’t feel guilty about not doing anything “productive” during your free time – sometimes, doing nothing is exactly what one needs.
Honor your body: If you’ve been telling yourself you’ll start all those saved Instagram workouts eventually, but never got around to it – don’t sweat it. Incorporating movement and good nutrition into your daily routine does not need to be overly complicated. You don’t need to train hard every day – working around the house, a short 10-minute workout or a brisk 30-minute walk is enough to stay healthy and get that feel good serotonin pumping. You may find your eating habits and sleep schedule changing drastically during this time – do not guilt yourself. Remind yourself that such changes are natural during high-stress periods. Again, planning your day can help regulate these habits, promoting a sense of well-being.
Focus on what you can control: A spiral of “what-if” thoughts aren’t good for anybody – it leads to a vicious cycle of fear, frustration, anger and hopelessness. Instead of thinking about all the things that could go wrong, start small and think about one thing you can control everyday – be it scheduling a call with a friend, watching a show for a certain amount of time etc. Make it a point to focus on things that excite you and help you relax. Reframing thoughts and redirecting our focus takes time to learn. Acknowledge your feelings, the how and why behind them, and ask yourself: is this true? what is the evidence for this? Imagine consoling a friend who expresses these thoughts to you, what would you say to help them? Come up with some affirmations to put a positive spin on these feelings, and repeat them to yourself when necessary.
Connect: Take out time to catch up with loved ones. Express your feelings to someone you trust, or, reach out and offer an ear to someone who may be struggling. We’re all learning to navigate this new world and find our new ‘normal’ while social distancing. Respect boundaries – yours and others’ – with lockdowns easing up and the sudden frenzy to return to a pre-corona state, it’s natural for anxiety levels to rise again. Maintain social distancing – if you’re not yet ready to meet in person, opt for an online meet-up instead.

Talking About SRH: It’s Not Just One Conversation

Talking About SRH: It’s Not Just One Conversation


If you read our previous post on the ‘DO’s and DON’T’s’ of talking to a child about sexual and reproductive health (SRH), you know that SRH education is not just one “big talk”. Incorporating relevant and age-appropriate details over time is essential, for as a child matures, this allows them to understand SRH at their own pace and make informed decisions.

SRH isn’t just about reproduction its knowledge is essential for overall physical as well as psychological functioning. If anything, the details of reproduction are to be discussed during early-teen years. Don’t wait until your child reaches a certain age or approaches you – there are an array of topics within SRH education to be discussed way before the reproductive process. We’ve listed some below.

Note: there is no one-conversation-fits-all approach for SRH. Discussions vary according to your child’s needs, what is age-appropriate and their current comprehension level.

  1. Anatomically Correct Terms. The words penis and vagina are usually treated as ‘dirty’ and swapped for more ‘palatable’,’ cute’ words, or ignored altogether. They are parts of your child’s body, the same way their arm or nose is. Teaching correct terms ensures that if anything is wrong in those areas, children can effectively communicate it.
  • Body Autonomy. Teach boundaries – “you need permission to touch others and give permission to be touched”. This sets the groundwork for consent. Highlight that no one should be touching their genitals and to approach you (parent) regarding such inappropriate actions. Over time, you can add what is an appropriate (good)  and bad touch..
  • Inclusive Language. Instead of ‘all boys have penises’ and ‘all girls have vaginas’, say “people with penises” and “people with vaginas”. Though these shifts in language seem subtle, they set the groundwork for future conversations about gender expression and roles.
  • Birth Stories. Telling your child their birth story can help in teaching “where babies come from”. Emphasize that not every birth story is the same, and there are lots of ways to have a child. Introducing the idea of various relationships and families, paves the way for more detailed conversations in the future.
  • Digital Safety. Regardless of whether internet use is supervised, rules on speaking to strangers online need to be established. It needs to be made clear that if at any point, your child is unsure or uncomfortable about what’s going on online, they should approach you. You don’t need to explicitly explain pornography, but highlighting that they may stumble upon these “grown-up” websites, is important. With teens, you can be more clear cut about sharing of explicit photos. Make the consequences of such actions clear – legal as well as social. Discuss what it means to be responsible and respectful online and how to tackle situations.
  • Puberty. Detailed puberty talks are to be saved for when your child, or their peers start experiencing it. When talking on puberty, highlight the physical and hormonal changes, while simultaneously assuring them that such changes are a normal part of growing up.
  • Consent & Sexual Abuse and Harassment. Although upsetting and a sensitive matter, it is important for children to learn about consent and sexual abuse, in order to protect themselves and others. It is important to note that many cases of sexual abuse often occur at home, by trusted family members and adults. Informing your child of this, in language that they would understand is key. Tell your child that if they ever find themselves in such a situation, they should immediately inform you. Abusers manipulate vulnerable children into thinking that if they tell others about their “secret touch”, their parents will become angry or will get hurt. It is important to emphasize that by telling you, no harm will come to your child or your family. If you feel this conversation becomes overwhelming, take a step back and revisit the topic later gently. With teenagers, be sure to highlight the role drugs and alcohol can play in these situations; discuss healthy relationships and how to protect themselves against violence. If your teen opens up to you, remain calm and gentle, so as to encourage them to trust in you. Make yourself available and reassure your child that you are here, to protect, guide and help them.
  • Gender Expression & Sexual Identity.  Discussing positive examples can empower your child and help them overcome stereotypes. By the time you approach this conversation with your child, they’ve likely already begun exploring and understanding their gender identity and “role” – having this conversation can help dispel any confusion and reassure them that you are available for support.  
  • Body Image & Peer Pressure. Pre-teens and teenagers may find navigating the social changes they are experiencing particularly difficult. Regularly checking in (without interrogating and snooping) is important – ask your child how they are feeling about these changes and how it affects them socially. At this stage, children are vulnerable to feeling pressured to look and present themselves a certain way. Tackling these issues, by discussing possible scenarios and the emotions they may provoke, can help in making your child feel more comfortable in their skin and their social decisions. Talking about your own personal experiences at their age can be reassuring as well.
  1. Safe Sexual Practices. Teenagers are likely to make better decisions when they are well-informed of the consequences and risks involved. Talk about the different types of birth control; maintaining hygiene and consent. Be frank – let your child know what your intentions are and that you would want them to speak with you openly about any decisions they make.
  1. Mechanics of Reproduction. The actual physical bit. Introduce this information as you see fit according to your child’s needs and comprehension. Be prepared for any and all types of reactions – remain calm and let your child express themselves. If they see you turning red in the face and getting embarrassed, they may be inclined to do the same.

Keep an eye out for future articles where we dive deeper into some of these topics.

Preparing For Periods: When Will The Flo’ Arrive?

Preparing For Periods: When Will The Flo’ Arrive?


If you’re new to experiencing it, menstruation can often be a messy, confusing, uncomfortable, or even frightening ordeal. But good news – it doesn’t have to be that way! When going through puberty, one of the biggest changes you may face is getting your period. This is a part of what’s known as the menstrual cycle. This normally happens between the ages of 8 and 13 years. Some other changes you may notice during this time as well  can be  an increase in body hair and breast development – these can possibly indicate that you’re about to get your first period.

Menstruations prepares your body so that one day, (if you want to), you can have a baby. Ordinarily, once a month, blood comes out of your vagina. Your uterus creates a thick lining of blood on a monthly basis, so that if you become pregnant, the embryo (which is the baby’s first stage of development) can have a comfortable place to grow called the endometrium. If there’s no pregnancy, the uterus empties the lining out of your vagina (this is  known as period blood is) and the cycle starts all over again.  The average period lasts for 2-7 days.

Understanding your menstrual cycle is a huge part of knowing when something isn’t quite right. However, everyone’s menstrual rhythm is different – the symptoms you experience may not be the same as those experienced by your friends – so comparing cycles may not be the most reliable way to identify any ‘abnormalities’.

One of the first things to know about your menstrual cycle is when your period is due. Whether you’re waiting for your first period or have experienced menstruation previously – knowing exactly when your period will arrive can be tricky. Not only does an unexpected period interfere with pre-planned activities, but it can also help in identifying menstrual conditions when having irregular periods.

Luckily, there are some tell-tale signs that may occur before the start of a period. PMS or the Premenstrual Syndrome is the term used to describe the physical and emotional symptoms that many people experience due to hormone induced changes a week or two before their period comes knocking every month. During PMS, you might experience acne, bloating, fatigue, backache, breast soreness, headaches, body pains, constipation, diarrhea, food craving, moodiness, stress, or irritability. You may also have some light cramping in your lower back as well as a change in vaginal discharge.

Boy, that’s a long list. But don’t worry! Not everyone experiences all of these and some of these symptoms usually disappear when your period begins.

Once you notice the aforementioned changes, you can start preparing for your period. Remember to keep your preferred menstrual hygiene product with you as well as anything you use to cope with menstrual cramps.  If you don’t have a menstrual hygiene product at hand, don’t be shy to ask a parent, friend, or adult around for one. And if you leak a little, that’s okay, just wrap something around you until you’re able to change.

So now that you know the signs of your period, you may be wondering, do I need to keep track of all this? YES! Keeping track of your cycle and the accompanying symptoms can help in identifying any abnormalities that may show up, such as, starting your period early, spotting and strange looking or smelling discharge. Keeping a log of these changes will be helpful in diagnosing any menstrual conditions, if needed.

If noting things down in a notebook doesn’t work for you, there are plenty of apps you can use.

We’ve listed some below:

  • FLO Period & Ovulation Tracker: This app is perfect for those who want to take control of their menstrual health – it includes a tracker, ovulation and fertility calendar. By logging in your symptoms, the app converts the information into easy-to-read graphs that feed you all the stats you need about your body. The more you log in, the more accurate the app’s predications become, thereby helping those with irregular cycles as well.
  • EVE by Glow: This app covers all the basics with its sex, health and period logs. Information is presented daily in a “cyclescope” that forecasts what menstrual cycle phase you’re in and the symptoms you may experience. An added bonus are some quizzes and articles offering information needed to understand your cycle and body.
  • CLUE Period Tracker: This app helps you with all your menstrual-related needs. The more information you log in, the more accurate your reminders for your next period and PMS.

Do keep in mind that these apps may not always be entirely accurate. If you feel like your period may be late, stressing over it won’t make it show up any sooner. Instead – relax, breathe and investigate as to why this may be. Look at past patterns that you’ve noted down in your notebook or app. It’s important to note that occasional changes in cycle duration are normal and often due to hormonal, lifestyle and dietary changes, so not every late period is a sign that there’s something wrong or that you’re pregnant.