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Dear Dish-It: Discharge Dilemma

Dear Dish-it,

I’m really confused about what’s going on with my [kwlink 19408]discharge. I have talked with my mom and she said it sounded normal but I would still like a confirmation. My discharge is different from month to month. Sometimes there is quite a bit and other times it’s just a little. Sometime it’s milky white and other times it’s white with a little yellow. Occasional itching but it’s pretty rare. I feel very awkward e-mailing this message. If you could give me some advice, that would be WONDERFUL.

HG

Dear HG,

Your mom is right. Discharge is a totally normal part of puberty, and of being a girl. About six months after a girl gets her first period, her body may start to produce vaginal discharge. This is normal and is caused by changing hormone levels in your body. In fact, this discharge helps to keep the vagina healthy. Discharge can be a normal part of some girls’ and women’s lives up until the time when they stop getting their period (which is called menopause and happens much later in life).

Normal vaginal fluids can vary. They might be thin and slightly sticky to thick and gooey. They can be clear to white or off-white in color. The amount of discharge can also vary depending on your menstrual cycle. For example, fluids tend to be a bit heavier around the time you ovulate, which is when an egg is released from the ovary and moves into the fallopian tube.

Normal discharge should have a slight odor and should never cause itching or burning. Problems like itching, a strong odor, or a change in color (such as brown, gray, or green) indicate that you may have a vaginal infection and need to see a doctor. For normal discharge, you can keep on wearing a pantyliner if that makes you more comfortable. It is also important to keep your body clean by bathing on a regular basis. You don't need to do anything special to keep this part of your body clean. Just soap and water does the trick.

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