Discharge….what is it?

Hi Shawna,

I was in class and I thought I had started my first period but I when I went to the bathroom and all I saw was white stuff.  What is it and how do I deal with it?

-Anonymous

Well Hello There!

Ohhh I love good questions!  This is a very common one so thanks for asking!

It’s hard to tell exactly what is causing the discharge (fluid that comes from the vagina) without an exam by a health care provider. But, here are some things that could be going on. Sometimes discharge is perfectly normal and sometimes it’s not.

Normal:  Women & girls produce a daily discharge that can change daily depending on her hormone levels. Clearish/white discharge is usually normal.  If it bothers you, you can wear a panty liner which is a very thin pad.

Not Normal:  Discharge that looks like cottage cheese,  causes itching,  is yellow or green,  has any kind of bad smell,  or anything else that isn’t normal for you.  These kinds of discharge are usually a sign of some sort of infection,  even if you aren’t having sex. Get it checked out.

Check out an awesome website called Scartleteen.  The attached article can help explain discharge a bit more and has lots of other useful information about teen health stuff.  Check it out and let me know if it helps answer your question!

In happiness & health,

-Shawna

Reviewed by Grace Shih, MD

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