Between schoolwork, family responsibilities, and finding time for friends, dealing with a changing body can be so stressful. It can feel like everything is out of your control – but there are things you can take charge of!
The better you understand how your body works, the better you can take good care of it andthe more you know, the more you could narrow that down by taking clues from your body.
During puberty, as your body becomes sexually mature, big changes occur. Your breasts will start to develop and pubic will hair start growing. You may get pimples, and be really moody at times (ugh!). Your body will start to produce vaginal discharge and you’ll get your first period.
Vaginal discharge is perfectly normal. You see, your body produces it to cleanse and moisten your vagina – and it’s a good thing it does! If the vaginal lining stayed dry, you would be susceptible to vaginal infections (ew!). Normal discharge is clear, smooth, or creamy and has a very slight odor.
Sometimes if it gets on your underwear and is exposed to air, it may turn a little crusty, but don’t worry – this is normal, too. You’ll probably produce more discharge in the middle of your menstrual cycle, a couple weeks after your period. This is when you’re ovulating (when your ovary releases an egg).
Your first menstruation will usually be at around 11 or 12, but it can happen any time between 8 and 16. Don’t worry if you get your period later or earlier than your friends get theirs – any time in that age range is perfectly normal.
A menstrual cycle is the time between the first day of one period and the first day of your next period. A cycle usually takes about a month (the average is 28 days but can be longer or shorter). What comes out during your period is the uterine lining, blood and tissue that build up during the fertile phase of your cycle each month. Your period flow can be light, heavy, or anywhere in between. Menstrual blood can even be different colors, like pink or a darker red, at different times in the period. It can be very heavy the first day or two and then decrease later.
Periods usually last between three and five days, but can be shorter or longer, too. It is also normal if your periods are not the same number of days each month, especially during the first few years you have it.
You may feel insecure about embarrassing odors because of vaginal discharge or menstruation, but a good intimate hygiene routine can help you to feel fresh and confident. Because of our special reproductive anatomy, girls have special hygiene needs. Any girl may experience odor, vaginal discharge, itching, or dryness sometimes. And you know, those skinny jeans and tight underwear may look sexy, but they also prevent air circulation, which can create chafing or irritation.
It’s important to use a product that’s specifically designed for intimate care. An intimate wash gel like Lactacyd gently cleans and refreshes your intimate zone. It contains very mild ingredients, is soap-free, and is enriched with lactic acid.
Lactic acid is produced naturally by the vagina to keep the vagina healthy by preventing the growth of harmful bacteria. It also helps maintain a healthy pH balance, providing a defense against irritations, itching, soreness, and infection. Unlike most soaps and shower gels, Lactacyd has a balanced pH, which respects the natural balance of your intimate zone.
Wash your intimate zone at least once a day. You don’t need to wash internally because the vagina cleans itself, so only wash the external parts.