It is an Awkward Topic

Published: December 01, 2013
Dear TeenHealthFX,
I am a 17 year old girl who is NOT sexually active. For the last few days, I've felt very nauseous, especially after eating or drinking anything. Also, I have been experiencing abdominal cramp-like pains that I would normally experience around the time of my period, only I'm about 3 weeks away from my next one, and these pains seem to be more persistent and painful. I've had clear, watery like discharge for a day or two now, this is unusual for me, there is a lot of it and it has a strong, abnormal smell. There is definitely no chance of pregnancy or an STI as I have never had sex before. I've had a few breakouts of pimples lately too, but I don't really think that has anything to do with everything else; I've got my end of year exams at the moment and think it could be because of school stress and stuff. I'm really confused, this has has never happened before! I want to get help but don't want to tell my doctor about the vaginal discharge, it's an awkward topic to bring up and I'd feel uncomfortable talking about it. PLEASE HELP ME!!

Dear It is an Awkward Topic,

TeenHealthFX realizes that this is an uncomfortable topic for you, but what you have to recognize is that it is not uncomfortable for your doctor. He/she is going to look at this as a symptom that needs to be addressed. Most doctors can sense when a patient feels uncomfortable and do her/his best to put the person at ease.  If you think you will have a hard time getting the words out, then write down your symptoms and hand them to the doctor. It is so important that you give the doctor all the relevant information so that she/he can make an accurate diagnosis and determine a course of treatment if needed. Your doctor may ask some follow up questions but all you have to do is just answer them directly.

Once you know what the problem is and what to do, you will feel so much better. If you think it would help, bring a friend along for support. All they really need to know is that you have a doctor’s appointment and didn’t want to go alone.

If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health in Morristown 973-971-6475 or the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health in Summit at 908-522-5757 for an appointment. Outside this area contact your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood

Signed: TeenHealthFX