Info For Teens
Ask the Experts
When a female has discarge what should it look like and should it have a smell to it or should there be no smell?
Most kinds of vaginal discharge are totally normal. During puberty, the vagina starts to produce a discharge that can be white or clear. It’s called leukorrhea, and it’s your vagina’s self-cleaning feature. When you’re ovulating or turned on, your vagina produces a different discharge that’s slippery and clear. Your cervix also secretes a mucus that changes color and texture at various times in a woman’s cycle. All of these are natural and normal.
All healthy vulvas have a characteristic scent that is not unpleasant. An unpleasantly smelling discharge can be a sign of an infection that should be treated right away. For instance, vaginitis caused by bacterial vaginosis, a very common irritation of the vulva or vagina, is often accompanied by an unpleasant smelling discharge. The discharge from vaginitis caused by a yeast infection is usually thick, white, and odorless, and it’s often accompanied by a thick white coating in and around your vagina.
Unpleasantly smelly discharges are also caused by sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, or trichomoniasis. If you have an abnormal discharge, with or without an unpleasant smell, or if you think it might be the sign of an infection, it’s very important to see a health care provider.