Girls bodies - discharge

Finding any kind of unexpected discharge coming from your vagina or urethra (where you pee from) can be alarming.

It could be natural, but you should get it checked out if it's sore or smelly.

Find out more here.

What is natural vaginal discharge?

It's normal to get some discharge (apart from your period) from your vagina. The only thing that should ever come from your urethra (where you pee from) is pee.

Normal vaginal discharge ranges from clear and runny to quite gloopy.

In the weeks before your very first period comes, you might get a sticky white discharge. This is normal.

Once your periods start, your natural discharge will get thicker and thinner depending on where you are in your monthly cycle.

If you're feeling sexy (sexually aroused), your vagina also produces more lubrication.

You might notice this during the night or in the morning or if you've had a sexy dream.

Is smelly or painful discharge normal?

We're not talking about the body smells you might get after a busy day - we mean fishy or rotten meat pongs.

Several things can cause smelly discharge. They can all be treated and it doesn't automatically mean you've got a sexually transmitted infection.

Yeast infections (also called thrush or candidiasis) cause a whitish discharge that does not smell, usually accompanied by a redness and itchiness around the vagina.

Sometimes, using tampons can cause smelly discharge because of a serious and sometimes deadly problem called toxic shock syndrome.

Where to get help if you're worried

If you're worried about changes in your discharge, speak to your doctor or school nurse.

We know it can be embarrassing going to see someone about problems with your genitals, but doctors and nurses are there to help.

They won't judge you and they're duty bound to keep your problem secret (unless they think someone is harming you).

You can ask to see a female doctor or nurse if you prefer. Take a trusted friend with you if it helps.

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