Troubled with white discharge lately? Well, don’t be worried if you are. White discharge is essential for maintaining good vaginal health. Every woman experiences white discharge irrespective of their age. It can be seen as a healthy discharge from the vagina to keep it lubricated.
White discharge, also known as vaginal discharge, is a fluid released from the cervix and vagina. It helps to eliminate the chances of bacterial infection. It may vary in colour and odour depending on the type of vaginal infection or phase of the menstrual cycle.
It is quite common to experience white discharge just before your period. During the luteal phase of your menstruation cycle, you can find white discharge in the form of white fluid coming out of the vagina. It looks like thick, odourless mucus. Such a discharge of the vagina before the period is mainly due to two kinds of hormones, oestrogen and progesterone.
Here is a detailed guide to the various causes leading to white discharge.
Having white discharge before periods?
Keep your cool if you are having white discharge from your vagina a week before your periods. Let’s know what happens to your body during this phase of your cycle.
The reproductive system of a woman’s body is primarily governed by two hormones. They are known as oestrogen and progesterone. White discharge is entirely dependent on these two hormones in a woman’s body. When oestrogen peaks, the discharge looks like a clear and watery fluid.
Just before the period, your menstrual cycle goes through the luteal phase. During the luteal phase, progesterone peaks in your body. With progesterone dominating your body, your discharge turns into a cloudy or white-coloured mucous which is quite thick.
The thick white discharge is considered to be infertile, while the thin, watery discharge is fertile.
White discharge can be a sign of infection:
Though white discharge is mostly harmless and natural, it can sometimes be due to some medicines or infections. The following reasons can also lead to white discharge.
- Bacterial infection:
Bacterial infection like bacterial vaginosis occurs when your vagina has unusual levels of bacteria. This may occur due to unprotected sex with a new or multiple partners.
Discharge due to bacterial vaginosis has a repugnant odour and looks greyish-white in colour.
- Yeast infection:
When you have white discharge due to yeast infection, it looks like cottage cheese and itches badly. It can also lead to burning sensations in the vagina. This is likely to happen right before you have your period.
- Sexually transmitted diseases:
Sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhoea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis can cause unusual discharge with a fishy odour.
Discharge due to chlamydia and trichomoniasis is white. When it comes to gonorrhoea, the discharge can be yellow or green.
Such unusual discharges are also accompanied by pelvic pain, spot bleeding, pain after intercourse, and pain during urination.
What else can cause white discharge?
It is very common to have huge amounts of white discharge due to the effect of birth control pills and pregnancy.
Oral contraceptives are common forms of birth control. Contraceptives containing oestrogen can affect your hormonal levels, leading to more white discharge. Moreover, pregnancy inhibits the release of high levels of oestrogen in your body. So, when one is pregnant, it is very common to have huge amounts of white discharge daily.
If your white discharge has a weird smell and causes you discomfort, make an appointment with your lady doctor at once. Most cases of unusual white discharge are caused by infections or hormonal changes that need treatment.