Dear Suzie, my child has had vaginal discharge for 8 months now she is 12 years old and i would really like to know if she has an infection she hasnt had her period is she due her period?
Yes, she very well may be just about to have her first period – she is right slap bang in the age range as girls can have their first periods anytime between 9 and 17. If this discharge is a creamy white, has no unpleasant smell when fresh and gives her no discomfort, it’s more than likely to be “The Whites” – a perfectly normal discharge that tends to appear around 6 months before a first period.
If the discharge itches and irritates and looks cheesy and is smelly, then she may have thrush or yeast infection. Taking antibiotics can trigger thrush as can being run down. So can being in the early stages of developing diabetes, which can emerge at this age, so it may be important to be sure this is the whites and not something else. If she isn’t uncomfortable, if it isn’t smelly, if she hasn’t lost eight and isn’t feeling extra thirsty, tired or sick it’s most likely nothing to be worried about.
If she’s alarmed or has any unpleasant symptoms apart from the discharge, do ask her if she’d like to have a chat with her doctor and support her in seeing someone. But if it’s just a white stain on her kickers, I wouldn’t be worried about it.
The FPA have some excellent leaflets about puberty and periods. And Have You Started yet? by Ruth Thompson or Girls Only! All About Periods and Growing Up by Victoria Parker can inform and reassure both of you.
It’s both a scary and exciting time for a Mum and a child – support each other in enjoying her development, not fearing it. Good luck!