My vagina won't stop dripping — Help!
Originally Published: February 22, 2002 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: March 1, 2002
I am a thirteen-year-old. I have a problem in my uh "area." See you know the natural lube that comes out of a woman's vagina? Well, it is constantly dripping, and I don't have sex or anything. I always have to wear toilet paper in my underwear. Do I need to get it checked out by a doctor? Or can I treat it my self?
Dear Ew gross,
It can be hard to get answers about private areas issues, and you're brave to go ahead and ask. It's difficult to tell what might be causing you to have natural lube dripping from your vagina, so it makes sense to get checked by a health care provider. A provider can treat you effectively after examining you to diagnose your symptoms. Is there someone who can help you to make an appointment, and maybe accompany you there? If you can't talk with your parents, or another relative, perhaps a school nurse, or a friend's parent, can assist. Unlike some other health situations, self-treatment is not really an option here.
A health care provider is a useful resource. It's hard to do, but you can talk with the provider, clothed, before you are examined, to tell her or him of your concerns. Or, you can write it in a letter for her or him to read before s/he examines you.
The natural lube you're talking about is often "discharge." Just as every woman's genitals look unique, every woman's discharge is unique, in terms of amount, color, and scent. A number of things can cause one's vaginal fluids to change character. A lot of women notice that their natural secretions change over the course of their menstrual cycle. At some times of the month, the natural vaginal lube may be thinner and more watery; at other times of the month, it may become thicker and stickier.
A number of other things can cause changes in vaginal fluids, including:
- yeast infections
- bacterial infections
- sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis
- the birth control pill
- allergies to anything used on the genitals, such as soaps, creams, powders, laundry detergent, fabric softeners, feminine hygiene spray, douches, spermicides
- medical conditions that change the balance of hormones (chemicals) in the blood
One last thought: some young women mistake urine leaking from their bladders for fluid leaking from their vaginas. If it is urine leaking, it could mean a bladder infection, which is pretty common in girls, young women, and women (again, there are medicines to treat bladder infections). Lots of girls and women also notice that they sometimes leak a little urine when they sneeze, cough, or laugh really hard. There's a reason for that expression, "I laughed so hard, I peed my pants!" It's pretty annoying when it happens, but normal. Girls and women have a very short distance between their bladders and the outside world, so pee can easily sneak out when laughter, for example, squeezes a full bladder. Kegel exercises can help, if this is the cause.
By taking your body's health seriously, as you are, you'll change your "ew gross" to "wow, great."