Every healthy woman gets her monthly periods due to the process of ovulation. Hormone changes inside trigger the ovaries to release eggs which happen 12-16 days after the menstrual cycle. Eggs are always present in the ovaries and the day of ovulation is nearing, one egg is ready and fully grown. At the same time, the uterus prepares itself by forming a thick lining of endometrial tissue to accommodate the egg, in case it gets fertilized by a sperm. Estrogen is released in volumes which in turn produces luteinizing hormone or LH. This in turn triggers ovulation process. Once the egg does not get fertilized, the uterine wall sheds off its lining which is nothing but vaginal bleeding or monthly periods.
Getting thick white discharge from the vagina in between the periods is quite normal. White discharge is nothing but the mucus secreted from the vaginal walls to keep it soft and clean. Now and then white thick mucus gets released from the vagina indicating that your vagina is kept clean.
The texture of white discharge may vary depending on the ovulation process and other chain reactions occurring in the uterus. Vaginal discharge can be of creamy white or clear white or watery white or milky white discharge.
Causes Of White Discharge
Several factors can cause white discharge from the vagina before period and some of them are listed below :
- Pregnancy – If you are looking forward to get conceived and you have just missed your period but getting white discharge, may be you are pregnant. Milky white discharge can be a sign of pregnancy. It indicates that your body is preparing the uterus or womb for the growing baby secreting hormones and thickening its wall. It is normal to get white discharge throughout the pregnancy but ensure that there is no foul odor or itching with vaginal discharge.
- Approaching Period – Getting white vaginal discharge is a sign that you are shortly going to get your monthly period. This can occur when there is sudden reduction of estrogen hormone. White discharge is a symptom for the period which would commence shortly. In addition to white discharge many women can have PMS pre-menstrual syndrome like tenderness of breast, weight gain and fatigue.
- The Vagina – Vagina is very much like your mouth. It is always kept moist and soft by secretion of hormones. Little of moisture is always present in the vagina to facilitate having sex. Cervical mucus is generated for cleansing the vagina and protecting it from parasites.
When You Should Worry ?
There is nothing to worry if you get clear white or milk white vaginal discharge.
If you have any of the following signs, you need to check with your gynecologist promptly :-
- Greenish yellow discharge
- Brown colored vaginal discharge
- Cottage cheese like thick white discharge
- Vaginal discharge with foul smell
- Persistent itching in and around the vagina
All the above signs are indicative of infection and should be treated with medications without any delay.
Abnormal Vaginal Discharge Can Be Caused By The Following Factors :
- Candida infection or Candidiasis is a kind of yeast affecting the vagina causing white cottage cheese like discharge and vaginal pain and burning sensation. Fungal infection can cause curd like discharge with bad smell.
- Vaginosis is a kind of bacterial infection that produces fish or meat smelling vaginal discharge with itching and pain.
- Chlamydia infection or trichomoniasis can also affect the vagina causing abnormal vaginal discharge.
Types Of Vaginal Discharge and Its Significance
Cervix or vagina secretes mucus to keep the vagina clean, moist and protected.
- Thick White Discharge – Followed by dry days after the period, thick white discharge occurs preparing the womb for fertilization
- Soft White Discharge – In this stage milky white like discharge occurs for few days.
- Liquid Discharge – Watery liquid like discharge occurs in the next stage for couple of days.
- Egg White Colored Secretion – This stage is exactly before ovulation. This forms a slippery white discharge making the environment suitable for fertilization. Roughly 10-15 days after period, ovulation occurs and from this day onwards egg has the chance of getting fertilized for 6 days. This is the time during which sexual intercourse can lead to pregnancy. Thick white discharge occurs during this period and estrogen secretion is at its peak.
A Word Of Caution :
If there is any change in the volume or texture or smell of vaginal discharge it can be an infection. If you are in the stage of getting pregnant you can consult your doctor if you observe any change in regular vaginal discharge. Any kind of infection should be treated with medication promptly to prevent complication. Avoid having sex with strangers and always follow “safe sex” methodology to prevent infections.