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 tube.
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 are tight. It's also important to keep your body clean by bathing regularly.
Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: June 2009
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