I've never had my period, so what's this discharge?
About 6 months to 1 year before a girl gets her first period,
her body may start to produce vaginal discharge. This is normal and
is caused by the changing level of hormones in the body, resulting
in an increase in secretions in the vagina. This discharge helps
keep the vagina healthy.
Normal vaginal fluids vary in texture from thin and slightly
sticky to thick and gooey. They also vary in color, ranging from
clear to white or off-white. The amount of discharge can vary
depending upon a girl's menstrual cycle. For example, fluids
tend to be a bit heavier around the time a girl ovulates, which is
when an egg is released from the ovary and moves into the fallopian
Normal discharge should have only a slight odor and should never
cause itching or burning. Symptoms like itching, a strong odor, or
a change in color (such as to brown, gray, or green) indicate that
a girl may have a vaginal infection and needs to see a doctor.
Sometimes a normal vaginal discharge can irritate the skin. This
is due to the moisture against the skin. You can prevent skin
irritation in the vaginal area, especially when it's hot and
humid outside, by wearing cotton underwear and avoiding clothes
that don't let your skin breathe. It's also important to
keep your body clean by bathing on a regular basis.
For more information, check out these articles:
All About Menstruation
Are Changes in My Vaginal Discharge OK?
Coping With Common Period Problems
Female Reproductive System
The Deal With Feminine Hygiene
Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: September 2006
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