Vaginal discharge is the body’s way of discarding any infection from the body and protecting vaginal health. Every woman has experienced many types of vaginal discharge before or after their period. The vaginal discharge changes as per the menstrual cycle; if you do not know your menstrual cycle, you may question why you have white discharge before period. Vaginal discharge before your period can be of various types, which we will get to know later and what each of them means but know that each vaginal discharge has a certain meaning and should not be ignored, as it can be harmful to your health.
Each woman throughout her life experiences vaginal discharge but would not know the cause. The vaginal discharge is produced by the cervix, which produces a fluid called cervical mucus. Cervical mucus production changes throughout the menstrual cycle in color, texture, and volume. The cervical mucus is used to know when you have fertile cervical mucus. The white discharge before period is ranging from light spotting to heavy firing.
The cause is dependent on many reasons and you cannot pinpoint any one and be sure of it as every discharge is different in color and its reason is also different. There is also a factor of smell that helps to decide if the discharge before your period is doing any harm to you or not as most women don’t experience vaginal discharge with a bad smell. This vaginal discharge is called leukorrhea it helps to keep the vagina healthy.
For it to be considered leukorrhea it has to fulfill some conditions. They are if you have excess secretion which is visible by constant vulvar moistness or stains on undergarments. It also should not contain pus or have a bad odor. It should also not cause irritation or severe itching on the intimate parts. Now, let us see the various types and causes of vaginal discharge. Also, know why you have white discharge before period.
Types Of Vaginal Discharge
1. White Discharge
It is the most common normal vaginal discharge you experience at the beginning or the end of your menstrual cycle. It mostly occurs due to changes in hormone levels in the body. The white vaginal discharge is mostly thick or sticky and has no strong odor. The white discharge before period is the most common.
2. Watery And Clear Discharge
The watery and clear discharge is normal and it flushes the vaginal infections, bacteria, and dead cells from the body. This type of discharge is due to pregnancy, sexual arousal, or exercise. It helps to provide lubrication and protects vaginal health. This type of discharge is seen with the shedding of the uterus lining.
3. Stretchy And Clear Discharge
This type of discharge mainly appears when you are ovulating for the month. You can track your ovulation depending on the discharge you experience before the period. This discharge is a sign of ovulation, sexual activity, dietary changes, stress, or early pregnancy in some cases.
4. Brown Discharge Or Red Discharge
The brownish discharge is a sign of old blood being in the body for too long and getting oxidized. The color differs from red to light brown to brownish and even black if you have a heavy flow. It mainly occurs due to hormone levels change and it can be a period-related sign. Even if the brown, red, or black discharge may look alarming, it is not always the case.
5. Yellow – Green Discharge
If the discharge is a slight yellow hue color, it may not be a problem but suggest changes in diet or dietary supplements. But, if it is a darker yellow shade or yellowish-green or green, it would indicate that you have bacterial or sexually transmitted infections. You should immediately take professional medical advice if the discharge is clumpy, thick, or has a foul-smelling discharge.
6. Pink Discharge
Pink discharge is normal at the beginning or end of the period as the blood is mixed with the other vaginal fluids which turns it into pink discharge. There can also be other reasons for the pink discharge, like hormonal imbalance, hormonal birth control pills, early pregnancy, or miscarriage. It may be a temporary side effect or part of the menstrual cycle.
7. Gray Discharge
Gray discharge is unhealthy and can cause a common bacterial infection, bacterial vaginosis. Bacterial vaginosis has also other symptoms, which are a strong odor, redness around the vaginal entrance, itching, and irritation. The gray discharge is an uncommon type with an underlying disease.
Stages Of Menstrual Cycle Discharge
You experience vaginal discharge many times before and after the period throughout your menstrual cycle. So let’s see the various stages of menstrual cycle discharge
1. Normal Period Flow
During your period also, discharge is experienced. The discharge is mixed with the menstrual bleeding, so it is hard to distinguish, but from its texture and color, we can differentiate between the blood and discharge. The discharge they see is mostly red, brown, black, or pink. It mostly appears during the start or at the end of the period.
You may experience discharge pre and at the time of ovulation. The discharge before ovulation lasts for 2 – 3 days, and at the time of ovulation, for 1 – 2 days. The discharge is mostly clear, watery, and slippery, which would stain the undergarment. Some women also experience light spotting during the ovulation phase.
3. Luteal Phase
The luteal phase starts when an egg is released and lasts up to the next period. At the start of the stage, the discharge is mostly thick white discharge and then starts to reduce, being little to no discharge for the next week. You may not experience any release before 1 to 2 days of the period.
Causes Of White Discharge Before Period
The vaginal discharge can be due to various reasons, which may not have any unlying issues and can be considered a normal discharge. Still, it can be considered an abnormal discharge after a certain time. The white discharge before the period is the most common type, but there may also be other symptoms like infections or bacteria. The causes of vaginal discharge are
1. Bacterial Vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis is a common bacterial infection caused by bacteria in the body. It is a vaginal inflammation that upsets the natural balance of the body. It affects women of all ages due to bacterial imbalances. The symptoms of bacterial vaginosis are vaginal itching, burning during urination, foul or strong fishy smell, or thin white, gray, or green discharge.
2. Yeast Infections
Yeast infection is a fungal infection that causes discharge or irritation in the vagina. It is not a sexually transmitted infection, but there can be an increased risk of having it after the first sexual activity. The other yeast infection symptoms are vaginal rash, vaginal soreness or pain, more discharge like cottage cheese, Itching in the vagina, and a burning sensation while urinating or having intercourse.
3. Sexually Transmitted Infection
Sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, and chlamydia are most likely to cause changes to the normal discharge. Chlamydia and trichomoniasis are mostly white but can also be yellow or green; they cause pain in the pelvis, bleeding between periods, or pain while urinating. Trichomoniasis irritates the vagina and causes pain while urinating; also, the discharge has a fishy smell. STIs are mostly caused by having multiple sexual partners.
4. Normal Reproductive Function
The white discharge before the period is quite common as it indicates the beginning and end of a menstrual cycle. The white discharge before period can be clear, stretchy, thick white discharge, or sticky discharge as it usually indicates ovulation; the white discharge is experienced throughout your menstrual cycle. The white or creamy discharge is nothing serious but can be classified on the odor the discharge produces.
5. Birth Control Pill
The birth control pill can affect the menstrual period as they result in more discharge and the hormonal changes are prominent in the estrogen levels, which causes the release. The birth control pill helps control pregnancy but has side effects like the discharge caused throughout the menstrual cycle.
6. Hormonal Changes
The egg white discharge, an odorless mucus, is nothing to worry about. The white discharge before the period can be due to changes in the hormonal level throughout the menstrual cycle. The hormonal level changes cause implantation bleeding after a menstrual cycle is over for the remaining blood. The sex hormone involved causes changes in hormone levels which is completely normal but can be otherwise if you neglect other symptoms.
The perimenopause stage is the phase before menopause where your period will stop, so you experience irregular periods and different types of discharge. The discharge can be clear, watery, sticky, and white, with no odor. The medical associations say that most women experience a brownish tint which is either thick or clumpy.
Effects Of Vaginal Discharge Changes
The white discharge before period is nothing to be worried about, but if it increases even after the period. The amount discharged is more with a strong foul and fishy odor. It is to be checked immediately as there may be other underlying causes, as we have seen above, so when there is a change in discharge, check for other symptoms as well.
The white discharge before your period normally occurs when your menstrual cycle is in the luteal phase, which is why, when released and lasts until the next period. The white discharge is a way of the uterine lining shedding the unwanted cervical mucous, which can be clear or like cottage cheese.
The white discharge can be seen as a danger if there is an unpleasant smell, a change in the color of the discharge, a sudden change in discharge level, a change in the form of the discharge, and other symptoms like pelvic pain, itching or burning sensation in the vaginal area, pain while urinating, fever and abdominal cramping.
The white discharge before period is nothing serious but just a way for the body to keep the vagina safe and clean before the period. The cervical mucus method is also used to know when your body is fertile to try for pregnancy, but it also helps to protect from unprotected sex. The white discharge is also a cause of vaginal infection or vaginal bacteria, so be careful of the discharge before your period.
The white discharge before period can be considered a normal reproductive function. Still, we should not just focus not on white discharge but on its amount, color, color texture and know the types of various discharges, the stages of the menstrual cycle discharge, their causes, and their effects.
The discharge types are the various colors of the discharge experienced by women throughout their life. The color helps to know the cause of the underlying condition. The causes of vaginal discharge are bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, sexually transmitted infection, normal reproductive function, birth control pills, and hormonal changes.
The brown, red and black discharge is the old blood being removed from the body. The pink, yellow or green discharge is mostly due to the cause of another underlying disease. The texture of the discharge can also be clear, watery, stretchy, and thick. The white discharge before the period is not serious and should also look at the other symptoms.
So, you should be aware of all the other symptoms you experience along with the white discharge before your period as pelvic pain, irritation or itching around the vaginal area, or pain while urinating or having sex with a sexual partner. Yeast infections are also a common cause of the increase in white discharge.