About 6 months to a year before a girl gets her first period, her
body may start to produce a vaginal discharge. This is normal and
is caused by the changing level of hormones in a girl's body and
the increase in secretions in the vagina. This discharge helps to
keep the vagina healthy.
Normal vaginal fluids vary in texture from thin and slightly sticky
to thick and gooey. They vary in color from clear to white or off-white.
The amount of discharge can also 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 a slight odor and should never cause
itching or burning. Symptoms like itching, a strong odor, or a change
in color (such as 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 like tight jeans
and pantyhose that don't let your skin breathe. It is also important
to keep your body clean by bathing on a regular basis - although
keeping clean doesn't typically require the use of feminine sprays