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When girls hit puberty, they start noticing different changes happening to their body. From increasing height to pubic hair and breasts – there’s a lot that happens. Most of the times, these developments don’t call for a visit to a doctor as they are all part of puberty. But there are times when you need to be concerned. For instance, a change in colour of vaginal discharge.
Health Shots consulted Dr Sangeeta Gomes, consultant – obstetrician and gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Sarjapur, Bengaluru, to explain the changes in vaginal discharge among teenage girls.
What is vaginal discharge?
Most teen girls must have noticed white vaginal discharge around the time of their first period. It is actually natural secretion that is released from the vagina and cervix, shared Dr Gomes. The vaginal discharge comes in a variety of colours, ranging from clear to somewhere between clear and off-white. It cleans and lubricates the vagina, and aids in the battle against vaginal infections and germs, as well as keeping the vagina moist and healthy.
Colour of healthy vaginal discharge
White might sound simple and plain, but when it comes to a healthy vaginal discharge, normally the colour must range from clear to milky white. The colour can slightly change during the menstrual cycle. A healthy vaginal discharge is odourless and its texture ranges from watery and sticky to thick and pasty. The expert noted that it’s completely normal for a teenage girl to have a vaginal discharge during puberty. Every teenager’s body is different, and their discharge behaves differently.
When should teenagers be worried about vaginal discharge?
The colour of the vaginal discharge plays an important role here. If it changes from the normal range of clear to milky white, to yellow, grey, green, or brown as well as certain textures, such as thick, chunky discharge, might indicate health problems like a yeast infection, said Dr Gomes. Emergence of odour in the discharge is something else that one should be on the lookout for. Accompanying symptoms such as itchiness or a sensation of burning around the vaginal is also not considered healthy.
Causes of changes in vaginal discharge
Like we see changes in our body, vaginal discharge also goes through changes. They could happen due to infections arising from yeast, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, and even sexually transmitted infections. It is best to consult a healthcare professional when you see changes in your vaginal discharge to know what the cause behind it.
Girls who have not had periods can also have vaginal discharge
It’s really normal! The doctor says a vaginal discharge can occur in pre-teens as well who haven’t had their first period yet and, that it varies for everyone.