Before their periods, it is common for women to experience different types of discharges. One of these forms of discharges is the white discharge. This usually starts at the beginning and end of the menstrual cycle and is usually marked by a clear, elastic and watery liquid. Women may experience white discharge for various reasons. The kind of discharge that is seen during the end of a menstruation cycle is usually darker and thicker. It is also common for women to experience a dark discharge after they have conceived.
When the discharge is normal
The cause of discharge can be determined by its symptoms, types and color. For instance, when you suffer from a white discharge that comes with itching around the vagina, it is an indication of a yeast infection. The white discharge is normal and common among women and it should not be a cause for concern as long as it isn’t accompanied by odor or itching. The discharge is usually white and thick before or after your periods. During the menstrual cycle, the quantity, consistency and color of this discharge will usually change. The white discharge is usually produced by the cervix and vagina glands and this ensures that these areas remain healthy and without any bacteria.
Discharge as a result of infections
White discharge can be caused by various types of infections. This may cause the discharge to change and be accompanied by an odor depending on type of infection. Some types of infections can be transmitted sexually. Common infections that cause the white discharge include:
- Yeast infection: It is worth noting that yeast infections aren’t sexually transmitted. These are usually common in areas that are warm and moist. Yeast infections can be as a result of conditions affecting the immune systems and these include pregnancy, stress, certain illnesses and medications. It is common for women taking the birth control pills to suffer from yeast infections. The white discharge that is caused by yeast infection is usually thick and looks like cottage cheese.
- Bacterial Vaginosis( BV). This type of infection is very common. However, it is not yet clear what causes the bad and good bacterial imbalance. When BV is the cause of the discharge, it may be white, yellowish or gray and may be accompanied by a fish-like odor. This smell will be more apparent after engaging in sexual intercourse. This type of infection can increase the risk of contracting HIV. BV may also cause complications during pregnancy.
- This is an STD that is marked by a yellow and cloudy discharge. Some other major symptoms of gonorrhea include bleeding between the periods as well as urinary incontinence. The infection requires urgent treatment to prevent its spread. If not treated, it can also lead to pelvic inflammatory condition.
- This is an STI that is marked by an odor that is similar to that of rotten eggs.
- This is a bacterial infection of the vagina that is marked by a gray, green or yellow discharge that is accompanied by a fishy smell.
When you should be concerned
It is possible to confuse the normal secretions with the abnormal discharges and you may think that you have an infection during a normal discharge. You can determine that the discharge is as a result of an infection if it is accompanied by a smell, burning, itching or even severe pain that may feel like cramps. When the discharge is bloody and you are going through the menstruation cycle, then it could be an indication that something is terribly wrong and you need to consult a doctor immediately.
Other types of discharges
There are various types of discharges that women can experience during their menstrual cycle. This is due to the hormones that are running throughout the body during the ovulation. When there is a stretchy and clear discharge, it is an indication of fertile mucus and this is the start of ovulation. The brown discharge is usually noted at the end of the menstruation cycle. Not only is this type of discharge normal but it helps the body to clean the vagina. It is common for women to experience a clear and watery discharge after an exercise regimen. Spotting blood may happen in the middle of your menstruation period or during the early stages of your pregnancy.
It is important for women to understand the different types of discharges. The white discharge and the spotting discharge are the only types of secretions that occur during , before or even after the menstruation cycle. Therefore, incase, of any other type of discharge, you will need to contact a medical practitioner.
Discharge and pregnancy
Vaginal discharge as sign of fertility and ovulation
Vaginal discharges are usually a sign of ovulation. The cervical mucus can have a rubbery texture and it can stretch between the fingers and this is termed as the egg-white cervical mucus. The fertile cervical mucus is usually thick and sticky and this allows it to hold the semen and enable the sperms to travel to the egg.
Around 3 days after ovulation has occurred, the embryo will begin to implant at the uterus lining. There are women who report seeing red, pinkish or brownish mucus after a short time. The discharge is caused by implantation bleeding as the uterus’s inner lining adjust to the early embryo’s implantation.
Discharge during pregnancy
When the white discharge is thick or milky, it could be a sign of secretions that occur during the early stages of a pregnancy. The discharge can be slightly milky or clear and only in very rare cases can the secretions as a result of pregnancy be yellow or red.. The discharge as a result of a pregnancy will usually be experienced during the time when you would have noted your menstruation cycle and is usually among the first signs of pregnancy.
What you need to know
The discharge as a result of pregnancy, also known as Leukorrhea is almost similar to the vaginal discharge that is experienced during the menstrual cycle but heavier. While the presence of this discharge is never pleasant, this is normal through the entire pregnancy as it ensures that the birth canal is not affected by infections and cause the vagina to have a healthy bacteria balance. The discharge may also be pink or brown and this is what is termed as vagina spotting and this is also quite normal during pregnancy. Some women choose to wear panty liners or pads to handle the discharge when it makes them feel uncomfortable. Avoid using wipes and washes that are supposed to prevent odor and maintain the vagina clean as this may alter the genital track pH or cause irritation.