I’m around the age 16 and 17. I’m not sexually active, I have had sex once, but even before I had sex I’ve always had a discharge problem, it happens randomly and it’s so embarrassing! It gets all over my underwear, it’s white ish, clear, but it does have an small to it, not fishy, nor is it a disgusting smell but it’s a smell. A strong smell. I try so hard for no one to notice. And when I started birth control it kinda slowed down not as much but my mom just toke me off it and it’s happening again. Is something wrong with me? Should I go get check out?

You can relax. What you just described doesn’t sound like a discharge problem at all. It’s normal and healthy to have clear or white discharge (that may be slightly yellow when it dries) that has a certain smell, even a strong smell. Some days you may have more of it than others.

The time to worry about your discharge is if it starts to have a bad, fishy kind of odor, or if the color or texture changes a lot. Yellow or green discharge can be a sign of an infection, like an STD or bacterial vaginosis, and very thick white discharge could mean you have a yeast infection.

Don’t worry too much about other people noticing the way your vulva smells. Generally other people won’t be able to smell it at all unless they get very close to your vulva, like when you’re having sex, and in that case most people like the way their partners’ vulvas smell.

If you feel really uncomfortable when you have a lot of discharge, try using panty liners to keep it from staining your underwear. But since you liked being on birth control and you’ve had sex before, you might want to try talking to your mom about starting it up again. Check out some tips for talking to your parents about sex and birth control questions.

-Emily at Planned Parenthood