Vaginal, Uterine and Ovary Changes:
Vaginal fluid: When puberty starts, the vagina starts to make more vaginal fluid. This normal body process helps the body keep the vagina clean and healthy. Vaginal fluid can be clear or whitish; slippery, sticky or a bit creamy. The amount and consistency changes slightly throughout the month. It’s important to talk to a health care provider if someone notices significant changes in color, smell, amount or texture because that can be the sign of a problem. When a person is having a sexual feelings, vaginal fluid increases.
Ovulation: People are born with all the eggs they’ll ever have stored in the ovaries. During puberty, hormones trigger the ovaries to mature a few of the eggs. While this is happening, the lining of the uterus builds up with blood and tissue. Once mature, the ovaries release one or more mature eggs into the fallopian tube. This is called ovulation.
Menstruation: If the released egg is fertilized by a sperm, the fertilized egg travels to the uterus and implants into the built up lining, creating a pregnancy. If the egg isn’t fertilized, it dissolves in the fallopian tube and the uterine lining sheds and comes out the vagina. This is called having a period, or menstruation. From the first day of one period to the first day of the next is usually around 20-40 days. Each period lasts about 3-7 days. Increased vaginal discharge, breast changes and pubic hair growth mean someone is getting close to having their first period, so it’s a good idea to have a pad handy.
Having a period is a normal part of growing up. Most people feel and act the same when they have their period as when they don’t have their period. People can exercise, shower/bathe, and go to school when they have their period. If they use a tampon or menstrual cup instead of a pad, they can swim during their period.