If you’re a young woman going through puberty, there can be so many confusing things about your body. When do girls really stop growing in height, why are my boobs always sore right before my period-- these may be some of the pressing questions running through your mind. As you get older, understanding the importance of vaginal health and functions becomes increasingly important. With this progression of age comes more changes in your body and you may begin to notice discharge and spotting. When you’re a virgin this can be new and alarming but fret not, we’re here to help make things easy for you to understand.
Breaking Down Discharge
Despite common misconceptions, vaginal discharge is not only completely normal, it’s a sign that your vagina is doing the job it was meant for. Discharge comes in a variety of colors and consistencies and often changes depending on where you’re at in your cycle. You might experience very light discharge some weeks and then a much more noticeable amount right around the time of ovulation or prior to the start of your period. Women will also experience slight discharge when they become sexually aroused in order to lubricate the vagina in preparation for intercourse. Typically discharge presents as a clear, white, or pale yellow color and tends to be either sticky or dry. Normal discharge usually has a faint yet not unpleasant odor or can have no odor at all.
What’s Considered Abnormal?
Every woman is different, but there are signs that indicate something may be off. One of these is a change in the color of your discharge. Discharge that is green, grey, or brown in color can signal a potential infection. In addition, discharge that emits a foul smell that’s fishy can also point to an imbalance in your reproductive system. It’s also important to pay attention to the consistency of your discharge as unusually thick or foamy discharge is considered abnormal as well. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s best to make an appointment to see your physician who can determine treatment options if an issue is detected.
What About Bleeding?
Experiencing bleeding between your periods (known as breakthrough bleeding or spotting) can be both annoying and questionable but is typically not a cause for concern. It can occur randomly for no apparent reason or can be caused by hormonal shifts, injury due to penetrative sex, or the use of emergency contraceptives. Younger women whose cycles are not yet regulated may experience spotting between periods frequently. As always, if you’re concerned about constant spotting between periods, make an appointment with your physician.
Recognizing the normal healthy functions of the vagina and distinguishing them from abnormalities helps to maintain feminine health. Our bodies are magnificent and awesome , so it’s important to take as much care of ourselves as we can.