When you are about to start your period, you may likely experience a ton of discharge coming out of your vagina. This happens as a result of increased estrogen levels, which occur due to the hormonal changes that take place in your body during and after ovulation. Although unpleasant, vaginal discharge is an important part of the vagina’s self-cleansing system and a great indicator of whether your reproductive system is healthy and viable or not.
Even hormonal imbalances caused by lifestyle changes or medications can cause the amount of discharge to double as your period approaches. This guide covers the must-knows about clear discharge before period: causes, color, consistency, odor and amount.
Clear Discharge Before Period: A Pregnancy Sign or Just Another PMS?
Many women tend to mistakenly associate clear gooey discharge with pregnancy – and while this is oftentimes true, it isn’t always the case. When your hit ovulation and the egg is released, your discharge naturally turns clear and stretchy. It’s very fertile, meaning you can easily get pregnant if you engage in unprotected sex during this time. The amount of discharge tends to be up to 30 times heavier during ovulation as compared to the rest of your menstrual cycle and can sometimes soak through your underpants.
As your period approaches, the discharge will gradually turn thick and chunky, and the amount will decrease too. Your period will likely start about 12 to 14 days after ovulation. Keep in mind that clear mucus discharge before period should bear no bad odor – while a slightly musky smell is normal, a fishy, sour smelling one isn’t. Essentially, clear white discharge is a premenstrual symptom only as long as it occurs during the middle of your menstrual cycle.
If your period is supposed to start in a few days only and your discharge is still clear, watery and sticky, you may be pregnant. Think back: have you engaged in unprotected sex about 10 to 15 days ago, when you were likely ovulating? If so, go ahead and take a home pregnancy test to see whether you are pregnant or not.
Clear Discharge Instead of Period: Can I Be Pregnant?
A lot of women report vaginal discharge and missed periods. If this is your case too, the chances are that you are pregnant. Is there more discharge than usually? Does it soak through your underwear?
Clear slimy discharge occurs due to your body stepping up estrogen levels in early pregnancy. This doesn’t happen only as a result of hormonal changes, but also as a response from your body against bacteria and potential infections. By increasing the amount of vaginal discharge, your body creates a barrier against organisms that might travel to the uterus and cause infections. Moreover, it also helps keep your vagina clean and maintain its very acidic pH as well.
When a number of hormones increases, you have no period but clear discharge instead. However, some women have the discharge along with period, which is still quite common and doesn’t affect their pregnancy. Some have late periods throughout their entire pregnancy and still give birth to healthy babies.
If you are pregnant, you should also experience a number of other symptoms including breast tenderness, frequent urination, constipation, and morning sickness (nausea, sometimes vomiting). The best way to find out if you are pregnant is taking either a home pregnancy test or a blood test to see if there is the hCG hormone in your bloodstream.
The amount of discharge increases dramatically over the course of your pregnancy, so it’s good to be prepared for this. You will be dealing with lots of mucus on your underwear, a tacky sensation of the vulva, and a consistent feeling of wetness down there. You can address this by using sanitary pads, which won’t alter the vagina’s pH or cause infections. Don’t be overly diligent about your personal hygiene just because you feel sticky down below. Use plain tap water to keep yourself fresh, and stay away from all sorts of hygiene products at all costs. Avoid douching, wear cotton underpants, and always wipe from front to back to avoid getting any fecal matter in contact with your vagina.
Clear Discharge After Period: Normal or Not?
In many instances, women experience clear stretchy discharge after period, more specifically after sex. This is normal, and you can expect to have lots of discharge for several hours after intercourse has been concluded. As long as there is no odor and the discharge is clear or whitish, there is likely nothing to be concerned about.
Another occurrence of clear discharge is after urination. When you pee, you literally “push” the urine from the bladder, which also causes the vaginal discharge to come out. This can make your vulva feel slippery when you wipe. The discharge might continue to come out after you have wiped, although there should be very little.
You can expect to have little discharge during sex even after hysterectomy, so don’t panic. As long as there is no blood, bad odor, itching, swelling, redness or pain, you should be fine. However, if you notice a large amount of discharge during the first sexual intercourse after hysterectomy, talk to your doctor and have yourself checked to make sure that there’s nothing wrong. Keep in mind that abnormal discharge is usually whitish, gray, green or yellow and very rarely clear, so chances are you’re perfectly healthy.
Note that, even after miscarriage, you will continue to have clear discharge throughout your menstrual cycle. If there is any discharge after menopause, you should seek immediate attention, as it’s probably caused by something quite serious, such as cervical, uterine or ovarian cancer. Remember that hormonal medication is usually the most common cause of hormone imbalances and implicitly clear discharge, so if you have a history of increased vaginal mucus after taking hormonal drugs, bring this to your doctor’s attention.
You may occasionally have missed periods, so unless this occurs as a result of an infection or a serious underlying condition, there is nothing to be concerned about. You will still have clear white discharge after your period was supposed to stop, and hopefully your menstrual cycle will get back to normal the following month.