Most women complain about different kinds of discharges during, before or after their menstrual cycle. In general, too, many women produce a small amount of thick or thin mucous-like discharge each day. The discharge is odorless and the color varies from white to clear brown. Around one tablespoon of such discharge, a day is normal.
Different type of discharge is a result of hormonal changes or imbalance. White discharge is common in almost every female. White discharge that is seen during or around period is called ‘Leukorrhea”. This discharge is full of cells and fluids shed from the female’s vagina.
At times, it may also look yellowish in color. It is due to a specific reason. It generally occurs as a phase during the menstrual cycle called Luteal Phase. This is the phase in which the hormone ‘progesterone’ is released the most in the body and is the dominant hormone in the body.
In such a case where the estrogen is on the peak in the female’s body, the discharge is clear and watery in texture. The white discharge also helps to track fertility time and potential.
Clear and stretchy discharge marks fertility. Such a discharge happens when the eggs are released from the fallopian tubes. On the other hand, the thick, white discharge indicates infertile cervical muscles. This discharge is generally seen between ovulation and the beginning of the period. The female is not fertile in this stage.
What causes White Discharge in females?
Normal Female Reproductive System
The female has white discharge generally before periods. This indicates the infertility period and the onset of the menstrual cycle. The discharge during this phase is the egg white mucus and milky or creamy in texture. This discharge is thin and stretchy in texture and is odorless.
The white discharge before the period can also be a sign of pregnancy. It is difficult to differentiate between the white discharge in case of pregnancy or onset of periods. But actually, the discharge during pregnancy is thicker and creamier than the normal times.
Birth Control pills have an effect on the hormonal levels of the body. They can increase or change the hormonal levels. Females generally taking birth control have this normal side effect.
Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) or Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI)
Certain STDs and STIs cause heavy vaginal discharge. In the case of Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, trichomonas, etch, the female is more likely to experience yellowish, pus-like discharge. Such diseases are generally accompanied by other discharges that are greenish or yellowish in color and give a fishy smell. The vagina remains itchy and irritated in case a female has any such disease.
The discharge in case of yeast infection is thick and white, resembling cottage cheese in appearance. The yeast infection leaves the vaginal area irritated with a burning sensation.
This infection occurs due to an imbalance of the natural bacteria present inside the vagina. The accurate cause behind this imbalance is yet unknown but is linked to smoking or excessive douching that irritates the vaginal area. Having multiple sexual partners can also cause this disorder. The female has a fishy-smelling, grayish white-colored discharge in case of bacterial vaginosis.
What to expect during Periods?
Vaginal dryness is common three to four days after the menstrual cycle ends. After that, cloudy, white discharge is common for another three to five days. This is the phase where the egg starts to develop and is developing. The phase is referred to as Follicular phase. At the time of ovulation, clear, white discharge is common.
Time to visit a Gynecologist
There may be certain stages where the discharge is abnormal. The female is suggested to visit the gynecologist to the soonest in such a case. It can be a vaginal infection or even any serious disease linked to the intimate parts or the reproductive system. There should be no delay made if it gets uncomfortable during such phases. Visit the gynecologist if you are experiencing the following symptoms:
- Rashes or soreness around the vulva or vaginal region
- Frothy white discharge
- Pain or cramps in or around the vaginal region
- Burning sensation in and around the vagina
- Foul-smelling discharge
- Redness on the vulva or vaginal region
- Swelling inside or around the vagina; the vulva may also be affected by this