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. This discharge helps keep the vagina healthy.
Normal vaginal discharge can have a texture that's anywhere from thin and slightly sticky to thick and gooey. Discharge also can vary in color, ranging from clear to white or off-white. The amount of discharge can depend on 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 tube.
Normal discharge should have only a slight odor and should never cause itching or burning. If you notice itching, a strong bad smell, or a change in color (such as to brown, gray, or green), it's a sign of a vaginal infection. If that happens, 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 not wearing tight clothes. Do not use over-the-counter feminine washes or douches as these can irritate the vagina and may cause infection.
Reviewed by: Julia Brown Lancaster, RN
Date reviewed: January 2013
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.