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?
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