It’s normal to have some amount of watery discharge, and as unpleasant as it may be, this fluid helps maintain your vagina clean, healthy and keep infections at bay. The changes in color, consistency and amount that occur throughout your menstrual cycle may seem scary, especially if you have never paid attention to how your discharge looks.
The presence of watery vaginal discharge can make you more aware of yourself, increase the feeling of discomfort and lead to attempts of eradicating it through consistent cleaning and use of certain hygiene products. But as a normal part of your vagina’s self-cleansing mechanism, watery discharge can go a long way towards staying healthy down there. Here are 4 stories from women who have gone through the exact same thing as you do now – see what our expert has to say about it.
1. I am a 23-year-old woman and over the past few months, I noticed that there is some sort of white discharge from vagina. It’s milky white, thin (I’d say watery!) and has no odor. It happens mostly when my period is a few days away. It doesn’t look normal to me, although nothing seems unusual. There is no itching, swelling or discomfort – just a vague feeling of wetness since there’s lots of it! I haven’t engaged in any sexual activity during the last 6 months, so I’m pretty sure it’s not an STD. Plus, the last time I had sex was with my ex boyfriend, with whom I’d been for over 3 years at that time. What causes this discharge? Can it be a sign of cervical or uterine cancer?
AllDischarge.com Expert Answers:
I understand your concerns regarding this apparently unusual mucus discharge, but after reading your message, I am pretty sure that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you. But before saying that you’re perfectly healthy, we should go a little more in-depth about the possible causes of watery discharge from vagina.
Most of the time, vaginal discharge is normal and doesn’t indicate the presence of an infection. You say that you’re experiencing it a few days before your period is due to come, which sounds normal. Many women experience an increase in vaginal discharge during this time of their menstrual cycle. It occurs due to the increased levels of hormones (particularly estrogen) in your body, and usually starts around the time when you’re ovulating. The mucus can be anywhere from clear to milky white, and consistency is usually thin or watery, as you’ve described it yourself. But there are no additional symptoms such as itching or bad smell, which seems to be your case as well.
We need to exclude the possibility of an STD or pregnancy since the last time you’ve had sex was more than 6 months ago. However, don’t forget that STDs aren’t contracted only sexually. You can get yeast infection, Chlamydia, gonorrhea and trichomoniasis if your genitals come into contact with infected clothing (like when you sample a pair of bikini or a swimming suit) or towels, or if you touch an infected surface (like when you use a public restroom). Have you done any of these recently?
Think back – have you been overly diligent about your hygiene over the last few days or weeks? Hygiene products can be harsh on the skin, causing irritations and abnormal discharge. The symptoms you describe are quite similar to bacterial vaginosis, and this infection commonly results from excessive cleaning your intimate area or using hygiene products.
Your best bet would be seeing a doctor and having a few vaginal swabs taken for analysis, something I usually recommend for every woman who experiences changes in her vaginal discharge. If there is an infection, your doctor will prescribe appropriate medications to assist you in treating it. This can also be an opportunity to learn more about your body and how your vagina works!
2. I have been dealing with this problem for a few years already but have been too embarrassed to bring it up to my gyn. Over the last two years and a half, I noticed an increase in the amount of watery discharge my vagina produces. I know it’s normal to have this sort of mucus, and I’ve even talked to my doctor about it, but there has never been so much of it until two years ago. My discharge used to be whitish, pretty creamy and lotion like, becoming clear and thin around ovulation. But now it’s watery, runny, and pretty smelly. Not a bad smell tough – it’s musky but not strong or anything. Last night, for example, I came out of the shower and sneezed, only to find watery vaginal discharge trickling down my legs. I felt so scared and embarrassed! I haven’t talked to my husband about it, but I think he kind of noticed it when we had sex. Could you please advise me? What causes watery discharge?
AllDischarge.com Expert Answers:
The amount of vaginal discharge varies from woman to woman – some barely have any discharge (and when they do, it’s usually thick and clumpy), while some need to change several panty liners a day to control the excessive amounts, just like you.
Many of the patients who come to me for a gynecological examination report large amounts of discharge gushing out from their vagina when sneezing or coughing. This is more common than you think, and it’s a reason of concern. This is caused mostly by very high levels of estrogen in the body – have you taken any hormonal medication or birth control pills recently? Have you traveled or made any changes to your lifestyle? If you answered yes to any of these questions, I suggest that you see your doctor and have a few blood samples taken to see whether your stepped-up estrogen levels are the culprit.
Another possibility would be pregnancy. Have you experienced breast tenderness or swelling, frequent urination, fatigue or food aversions/cravings recently? Pregnancy oftentimes entails a lot of pregnancy changes, resulting in excessive amount of watery vaginal discharge, also known as “white flow” or “leucorrhea.” Calculate the date when your next period is supposed to arrive, count 12-14 days back and try to recall when you’ve have sex last time. If it was 12-14 days before your period, you may be pregnant. Wait at least 10 days from the supposed conception before taking a home pregnancy test or blood test.
The last probable cause of watery discharge is ovulation. The amount of mucus increases up to 30 times when you ovulate, so it’s not uncommon to have gushes of water trickling on your legs every now and then. I recommend that you avoid using any hygiene products to wash down below – plain tap water is better since it won’t mess up with your vagina’s pH or remove good bacteria. Also, don’t use any panty liners or tampons – they change the vagina’s environment and lead to infection. Lastly, wear loose cotton underpants, preferably knickers – thongs may look good on you, but they are way too tight and don’t allow your skin to breathe.
3. Yesterday way the last day of my period, and I’ve been experiencing some sort of brownish discharge ever since. It’s egg white like, brown, and heavy – if I don’t wear a panty liner, I stain my underwear. I’m not sure if this has ever happened to me before, but I don’t think so. I am currently on medication for dismenorrhea. I take Duphaston and Piroxicam. Other than that, my lifestyle is pretty normal – I exercise every few days, try to eat as healthy as possible (I rarely eat chocolate), and drink only decaffeinated coffee. What is this brownish discharge?
AllDischarge.com Expert Answers:
Brown discharge after period is a very common occurrence in both sexually active and inactive women. During the last days of your period and even one or two days after it stops, you may experience brown or pink discharge, which happens due to your vagina expelling blood remnants along with your normal discharge. This is very beneficial, as it helps flushes out dead cells and bacteria, and keeps your vagina clean. Your discharge should have an odor that’s quite similar to how your period smells.
Hormonal medication is usually responsible for increased amounts of discharge and doesn’t necessarily impact its color – at least, not to the point of becoming brown. So Duphaston and Piroxicam are very unlikely to be the culprit.
It’s a good idea to see your doctor and have a few vaginal swabs taken. A Pap smear would be great – unfortunately, cervical cancer may be causing your mucus to be bloody, so additional investigations can help more than you can imagine. If everything is fine, you should see your discharge gradually becoming clear or whitish in one or two days.
4. I have been experiencing a lot of yellow fishy vaginal discharge during the last ten days or so. I’m normally cautious when I have sex and always use protection (condoms). The discharge is pretty thin and watery, but has a very bad smell. It makes me so aware of myself that I’m way too embarrassed to wear thin clothing or skirts/dresses. If I don’t wear a panty liner or tampon, the smell becomes very noticeable! It even happened that one or two people asked “What’s this smell?” I could have died! What do you think this discharge can be? It’s so frustrating that it drives me nuts!
AllDischarge.com Expert Answers:
Your symptoms sound very much like a vaginal infection, probably yeast infection or trichomoniasis. I wish you had mentioned whether or not you experience other symptoms such as itching so I can provide a more accurate diagnosis of the underlying issue. Normal vaginal discharge shouldn’t have any smell anyway, but you say that yours has a really bad odor. As a plus, the color is yellow, and the amount if watery discharge is higher than usual.
Yeast infection causes abnormal discharge that is whitish in color and has a cottage cheese consistency, so it’s very unlikely that it’s the culprit. Another possibility would be bacterial vaginosis, which causes white to yellow discharge with bad smell, but not necessarily itching, swelling or redness of the vagina or vulva. These aren’t considered sexually transmitted diseases, but may contracted during intercourse with an infected partner. You will know if it’s bacterial vaginosis by taking note of the smell, which tends to become very strong after intercourse.
If you have recently engaged in sexual activity with an infected partner, you could have contracted gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, Chlamydia or Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which usually cause yellow or greenish discharge from vagina with a bad odor. Other symptoms include itching, swelling, redness, burning during urination, painful intercourse, spotting between periods and pelvic pain. If you experience any of these symptoms, make sure to contact your doctor and have a few tests taken to see what’s causing abnormal discharge.
A few things I suggest that you do are replacing tampons and panty liners with sanitary pads, sticking with loose cotton underpants, cleaning your genital area with plain tap water, and avoiding sexual contact with multiple partners.
Vaginal Discharge Checklist
Have you recently noticed watery discharge from vagina and want to see if there’s anything wrong down there? We’ve put together the following checklist to help you identify the cause and seek appropriate treatment.
1. Have you recently engaged in any sort of sexual activity?
- Have you used protection (condoms)?
- Have you noticed the condom breaking during intercourse?
2. Have you taken antibiotics lately?
- Has your doctor prescribed you a probiotic supplement?
3. Have you taken any hormonal medication for dismenorrhea, birth control or other condition?
4. Have you been using feminine hygiene products to clean your genital area?
- Have you douched?
- Have you used scented soaps, deodorants or perfumes?
- Do you use scented toilet paper?
- Do you clean your genital area very frequently?
5. What kind of underpants do you wear on a day-to-day basis?
- Are they tight?
6. Have you recently gone to the pool or taken swimming lessons?
- Have you samples bikinis or swimming suits in the store?
- Have you used a public restroom?
- Have you used the same towel as anybody else?
7. Do you wipe correctly, from front to back?
- Do you wash your hands before and after using the toilet?
8. Do you experience any pregnancy symptoms such as breast tenderness, frequent urination or fatigue?
- Have you noticed any sort of spotting?
9. What time in your menstrual cycle have you first noticed the abnormal discharge?
- Was it before, during or after ovulation?
- Was it before or after period?
10. Have you recently introduced a foreign object inside of the vagina?
- Have you removed it by now?
11. Have you been eating poorly lately?
- Have you eaten sugary foods?
- Have you eaten yoghurt or other dairy products?