How Much Vaginal Discharge Is Really Normal?

By Emily Pisacreta

Someone asked us:

How much vaginal discharge is normal at 16? I am a virgin; I don’t take any BCP or hormones. No itch, no pain, no smell. Thank you.

So the answer to your question may feel like a bit of a letdown, but the truth is that when it comes to discharge (and lots of other body stuff), different is normal. What’s normal for you may not be normal for someone else. Some people have lots of discharge, some people have very little. There’s no “right” amount — at 16 or any age.

It’s also normal for the amount of vaginal discharge you have to vary from day to day, depending on where you are in your monthly cycle. Some days, it might seem like you don’t have any, while other days your underwear might be wet with discharge all day. Other days, you’ll be somewhere in between.

So when should you worry about your discharge? Healthy discharge tends to be clear or white (or slightly yellow when it dries). It can have a mild odor and can vary in thickness throughout your menstrual cycle. If your discharge is bloody (and it’s not your period), foamy, itchy, yellow, or yellow-green in color, or has a very strong odor, it can be a sign of an STD or other infection (like bacterial vaginosis or a yeast infection). A doctor or nurse will be able to tell whether your discharge is caused by an infection or not.

And remember: Oral sex and genital skin-to-skin contact can pass STDs, so even if you haven’t had vaginal sex, you can still get an STD. Learning about safer sex can help you avoid an infection and keep your discharge a-okay.

Next: Can I Take Someone Else's Birth Control Pills?

More from Sex & Relationships

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that sexting can be great for your relationship. Whether you’ve been in a relationship for a while or you’re just ...
Heartbreak doesn’t just hurt, it often feels impossible. So many questions come along with the pain: How can I move on? How do I get through this? Will it ...
In the best-case scenario, you go on a first date with someone, and you hit it off. The chemistry is off the charts, and you're never at a loss for what to...
Amber Rose doesn't do "off days." "I always feel confident," she tells us. "I never allow myself to not feel confident. I wake up and say, I’m going out ...
Sexting was never my thing, and I sure as hell never thought I would even consider cybersex. I knew myself — or at least, I thought I did. I’ll get too ...
Historically, women in West Africa have not had a voice. Men decide if their wife or wives can use birth control or have access to money; fathers decide if...
Foreplay often doesn't get enough credit — not to mention time or attention. In one study of heterosexual couples published in the Journal of Sexual ...
(Paid Content) You don't need a degree in common sense to know getting involved with a coworker is a bad idea. Yet, we probably all know someone who has, ...
Aside from encountering creeps and starting conversations that just don't go anywhere, one major problem online daters face is catfishing. According to a...
A version of this story originally appeared on Shape. When it comes to female pleasure, there's enough misinformation out there to fill a book. One of ...
This article was originally published on December 18, 2015. According to stereotypes, men are the sexually voracious cheaters and women are the ...
We're great fans of accessorizing in the bedroom. Au naturel stimulation is wonderful, but sex toys can do things that people just can't. The sex toy ...
Even as the sex toy market continues to expand, there remain a few vital "firsts" for the industry to tackle. This week, with the arrival of the Buck-Off...
The Halloween-costume-planning frenzy is officially in full swing, and we still have so many questions. Is our costume idea clever without being obscure? ...