What is vaginal discharge?

Most girls have vaginal discharge for a year or more before they have their first period, and will keep getting discharge between periods once those have started. Vaginal discharges are a liquid produced by the mucous membranes in your vagina and the glands in your cervix (which is at the top of the vagina, where it meets the womb). Normal discharges are transparent, and white or yellowish. They can also be brown, before your period gets going properly. They smell slightly acidic, but you have to get really close to be able to smell them at all. No one standing next to you will be able to smell that you have a discharge. The discharges make sure that your vagina stays moist and healthy and are nothing to worry about, so long as they look normal and only smell slightly acidic. You may like to wear Libresse liners if you are worried about staining your underwear in between periods.

If you notice that the discharges are starting to look green, or they’re lumpy or smell odd, or causing incredible and embarrassing itching, it might be a sign of a yeast infection (often called thrush). You can develop a yeast infection if your jeans are too tight, if you wear panties made from synthetic materials, you always wear nylon tights, or if your panties are too tight. That’s because these create a heat build up, which encourages the yeast to multiply. Be kind to your body and alternate with airy cotton panties and trousers that aren’t as tight as a second skin, so that your intimate area has the chance to breathe. It’s also a very good idea to sleep without panties, so that your vagina and the mucous membranes get some air at night. If you suspect that you have a yeast infection, you can ask your doctor to check that’s the problem and they can prescribe medication that quickly gets rid of it, or you can buy treatment at a pharmacy, though it’s best to get a proper diagnosis from a doctor first. Remember - a yeast infection is not a sexually transmitted disease, and it’s not catching.

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