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I have this clear white stuff in my underwear?!

 
What is it, and why do I have it every day? Is it supposed to itch or smell?

This clear, white stuff is “a very normal part of puberty. It signals the uterus that it needs to get ready for changes that are about to occur,” say Dr. Carol Upright, Stanford Conn. gynecologist. It’s sort of a warning signal that your first period will probably start within the year.

Quite simply, vaginal secretions or discharge clean any bacteria in the vagina. So, even after you get your period, the discharge continues and may be heavier at certain times of the month. Wear a panty liner if it bothers you.

Your vagina can also be a little itchy sometimes, thanks to new hair growth, discharge buildup, or even a yeast infection. Yeast is usually present in the vagina but can multiply due to hormonal or Ph-balance changes in the vagina, and that can get itchy. If you have a yeast infection, you might notice a fishy odor and clumpy white discharge. When you notice any unusual smell or irritation, see your doc.

To prevent infections, Dr. Upright suggests washing thoroughly with mild, perfume-free bath soap and wearing clean cotton underwear. Stay away from nylon panties, which can cause odor and trap sweat, leading to itching or infection.

POSTED ON 2/4/2010 11:39:00 AM

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