For many young girls, getting your first period can be a frightening experience filled with embarrassing questions. One of the most common questions young women have concerns the vaginal discharge that can suddenly appear before they get their first period.
Vaginal Discharge Before Your First Period
Before starting their first period, many young girls many notice several changes taking place in their bodies. These can include,
- Breasts begin to start developing.
- Hair will start growing underneath the arms and in a girl’s pubic area.
- Girls often experience an awkward growth spurt.
- A girl’s body also will begin to develop curves, especially in the hips.
- Some girls may experience outbreaks of acne on the face and back.
- Vaginal discharge may appear or become thicker.
Many girls may begin to notice a change in their discharge or experience it for the first time. In most cases this is a completely normal.
Understanding Vaginal Discharge
Vaginal discharge occurs when the small glands in the lining of the cervix and vagina begin to secrete a mucus like substance. All women who are experiencing the different stages of the menstrual cycle will have some amount of discharge, and it can also vary from month to month. Vaginal discharge normally begins anywhere from a year to six months before the start of the first period and will continue until menopause.
The amount of vaginal discharge will vary between women, and each woman also has a different idea of what a normal amount is for her. One way to tell if your discharge may be too heavy is if you are having to change a panty liner several times a day.
If you are experiencing this, a health care professional should be consulted. Hormonal changes can also affect the amount of vaginal discharge, including hormones found in birth control pills and even the natural changes that occur in the body during the week before starting your period.
A woman’s vaginal discharge can be thin and clear or slight thicker and creamy colored. Some women even have a discharge that is slightly yellow in color, all of this is normal especially closer to the start of a monthly period. If any of the following changes do occur with her vaginal discharge, they should be immediately discussed with a health care provider.
- A sudden increase in the amount of discharge.
- If a fishy or unpleasant odor develops.
- Noticing a change in the color of the vaginal discharge to either a red, green, or brown.
If you notice any of those changes in your vaginal discharge, it could be a sign of vaginitis or a sexually transmitted disease.
Normal Vaginal Discharge
It can be confusing for young girls when they first start their periods, and there may be concerns over whether their vaginal discharge is normal. While it will differ between women, there are some common factors that women can look for to tell if their discharge is normal.
Vaginal discharge can vary in color from clear to a thicker slightly yellow color, and it can also range in consistency. For some women it is normal to have vaginal discharge that is almost sticky or even gooey. The amount of the discharge normally becomes heavier the closer a girl gets to her period, and this is caused by the egg moving from the ovaries into the fallopian tubes.
*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.
A slight odor is normal from the discharge, but it shouldn’t be strong or pungent. Vaginal discharge that burns or itches, is never normal and a health care provider should be consulted immediately.
In some cases the moisture from the vaginal discharge can cause skin irritations, and this can be easily corrected by simply wearing loose fitting cotton panties during the times the secretions are heavier.
Puberty and a girl’s first period are a natural part of growing up and becoming a woman. While all of the changes that are occurring can be overwhelming, they do not have to be frightening. One of the changes all women will experience is vaginal discharge, and it is a normal and healthy part of puberty and your monthly menstrual cycle.
The discharge helps to keep the vagina healthy, and can help to increase sexual desire and pleasure as she continues to grow into a healthy woman.