Have a 10 yr old bonus-daughter, have concerns about discharge in her panties?

Tiffani - posted on 08/20/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )

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I have a 10 yr old step-daughter and for the past 8-10 months I have been concerned with a discharge in her panties. Her panties are often discolored, brownish and have a foul odor. I have spoke to her Dad and to her bio-Mom. The bio-mom says it is fine, she just isn't wiping herself after using the restroom. I think it is more then that; when I take her clothes out of the laundry basket the odor is horrible and smells like a dirty adult woman. We (her Dad and I ) took her to the doctor along with a pair of worn panties, of course he didn't do any type of exam or even a urine sample because he didn't think she would be able to give a "clean" urine sample. He thought maybe she had a UTI and put her on antibiotics and it seemed to get better but the problem is not completely gone. I believe part of the problem is she doesn't always change her panties at her bio-moms home so that makes them extra dirty. I have spoke to my step-daughter about the importance of keeping herself clean, everyday and wiping well, changing her panties, etc. The problem is still present and my husband is tired of me saying anything (he thinks that since we took her to the doctor it should be fine and the bio-mom isn't concerned so I MUST just be picking on the child). Please help and give me some suggestions - is this normal for this age? She hasn't started her period and is just begining to get underarm hair, a few zits and I believe the very early stages of breast development.
Thanks!

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Lisa - posted on 08/20/2010

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Laura is totally right. It's normal. I remember going through that. And how embarrassing it was. I had no idea what was going on. But both my daughters have the same situation. I get my youngest one, age 11, to wear girl panty liners. She understands that it's a normal thing before puberty. Plus, it gets her use to wearing them before her cyles start. Mind ya, she doesn't wear them all the time. Just when she feels she needs them. A part of growing up, makes her that much closer to teenhood, so I'm happy that she has been learning things from her health class regarding hygiene, as well as getting any answers she needs from me. Being calm is the best bet and providing hygiene products shows them that you care.
And having their own products makes it all that more special for them at this time.

Starr - posted on 11/16/2012

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I had a talk with my daughter when I first started noticing these things. I explained the usage of panty liners in these situations. I also bought wet wipes, not the baby ones but the ones in the TP isle and keep them in basket on top of each toilet in the home and explained how they can help keep you feeling extra clean.

Tiffani - posted on 08/23/2010

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Thank you Laura and Lisa, your comments make me feel better to know it is normal. I don't remember exaclty how my body functioned at those ages so it's hard to know. I have allowed her to pick her own shampoo, body wash, etc and she is interested and excited about it for that moment and that is about it. I will continue to encourage her, possibly set up a reward of some kind as well as focus on good hygiene. Thanks again!

Laura - posted on 08/20/2010

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The last part of what you said IS part of what is going on--your step-daughter is in the beginning stages of puberty! Vaginal discharge, often a yellowish color, begins a year or two before girls start their period. Being ten is not too young for this to start happening--my own daughter began having the discharge at about 10-11 years of age. This is a perfectly normal stage of development for young girls!

That being said, you are right about getting her to use good hygiene practices. Not wiping properly can lead to UTI's, which is what your doctor seemed to assume. Along with the underarm hair and other signs of puberty, body odor will be a growing issue! Have you and her parents had the "talk" with her yet? I'm not speaking of sex, per se (though that aspect can't hurt either), but rather a discussion about puberty and the changes her body will begin going through. Hygiene is an important part of that discussion. I would check back with your doctor about providing you with some information on this. Or your local hospital and/or health department may also have some resources for you.

Finally, I would shift the focus away from the discharge and dirty undies to encouraging her to use good hygiene practices in general. Perhaps take her out shopping and get her some hygiene products (shampoo, body wash, etc) of her choice just for her to use. You can also try an incentive-type plan where if she takes care of her hygiene (you can tell her what you expect) for a certain time period (3 days, week, etc) then she will have earned a "reward". Hope this helps and good luck!

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Amber - posted on 11/15/2012

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Thanks just what I needed. Have a ten year old girl starting the early stages.

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