Vaginal discharge, at times is a normal thing and a way for your vagina to keep itself clean and free from infection. It’s normal for it to begin six months to a year before getting your first period and continue on until menopause.
It’s not normal if it’s an unusual colour (not white, clear, or yellow), smells bad, is clumpy, or accompanied by pain, itching or burning.
What about clear, watery vaginal discharge? Keep on reading to find out the most common causes of clear discharge, as well as when to see a doctor or other health care provider and finally, how to manage it well.
There are a number of reasons why you might be having clear, watery vaginal discharge. Some of the most common ones to be aware of include the following:
When you’re ovulating, you might notice that you have clear, stretchy discharge. It’s known as cervical mucus or fertile mucus.
This happens because of a peak in estrogen levels. However, it may be less watery than the discharge you have at other times of your menstrual cycle.
This clear discharge around ovulation helps to prevent your vagina and cervix from bacteria and other harmful things. It also serves to make pregnancy easier by providing a stretchy, watery environment for sperm to swim through.
It’s quite common to have an increase in the amount of vaginal discharge during pregnancy as a result of skyrocketing estrogen. If you’re trying to conceive, clear discharge can be a good sign!
Clear discharge at the beginning of a pregnancy is usually normal, but can also be a sign of infection. Contact your doctor or health care provider if:
Besides just the beginning of pregnancy, increased amounts of discharge is very normal throughout your pregnancy.
If it’s more than just a little bit of discharge, it’s possible that your water has broken and the baby is coming!
When you’re aroused, your vagina becomes lubricated as a way to get ready for penetration. This may result in an increase in discharge following sex.
In addition, if your partner ejaculated inside of you, the clear/white discharge may actually be semen.
Vaginal atrophy is a normal condition for women who’ve gone through menopause. It’s basically a thinning of the walls of the vagina, and can result in an increase in clear, watery discharge.
Hormonal birth control prevents pregnancy by raising estrogen levels. One result of this is an increase in vaginal discharge.
It’s usually nothing to worry about as long as it’s clear or white and doesn’t smell bad.
Or, you may have just stopped birth control and your body is adjusting back to normal. This is usually a time of fluctuating hormones, and the result may be an irregular period, and things like excessive vaginal discharge.
If you have white discharge that’s chunky, you likely have a yeast infection. It’s basically an overgrowth of yeast in your vagina and is often very itchy. You may also experience burning.
They are best treated by your doctor, so book a quick appointment!
You can learn more about this here: Everything you Need to Know about Yeast Infections.
White-grey vaginal discharge is often caused by bacterial vaginosis (BV). It’s an overgrowth, but in this case it’s bacteria.
BV is usually not itchy, but it’ll almost always smell fishy. This condition is also best treated by your doctor.
Around six months to a year before someone gets their first period, they may start to produce vaginal discharge. This is a normal thing and is caused by changing hormones.
Along with vaginal discharge, things like breast buds, pubic hair, growth spurts are a sign that the first menstruation is approaching.
As long as it’s not an usual colour (brown, or green for example), doesn’t smell bad, or cause itching and burning, it’s not usually a cause for concern.
Before you get your period, you may notice and increase in the amount of discharge. It’s usually white or cloudy and a result of the spike in progesterone during the Luteal phase of your menstrual cycle.
You can track your cycle to help understand what’s going on with things like PMS and discharge.
After a period, you may notice that your discharge is brown. This is due to old blood that has taken a long time to leave your uterus.
If you experience clear vaginal discharge around the time of your period, but you don’t get your period, it could be a sign that something is wrong, or that you may be pregnant.
Some of the things that could cause this besides pregnancy include the following:
As already mentioned, it’s quite normal to have some clear discharge throughout your menstrual cycle. However, if you have this, instead of your period, check in with your doctor to make sure everything is okay and to get a pregnancy test if you’re sexually active.
Some people may have clear, watery discharge as well as what seems like menstrual cramps. Is this normal, or a cause for concern?
We’ve already mentioned that you may an increase in discharge before your period due to an increase in progesterone.
It’s also not uncommon that some people experience menstrual cramps 1-3 days before their period. They then peak 24 hours after your period starts, and subside a day or two after that.
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