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Clear Vaginal Discharge: 5 Questions Our Readers Have Asked

Written by Elizabeth Buescher, Gynecologist

Struggling to understand and control your clear vaginal discharge? The good news is that you’re not alone. Every woman starts experiencing clear discharge when she hits puberty and continues to experience it until she reaches menopause. But as healthy and beneficial as it might be, clear watery discharge might seem out of the ordinary for many women, and specifically for those who have never really paid attention to how their vagina works.

While most of the time clear stretchy discharge is a normal occurrence, it can sometimes indicate pregnancy or even the presence of a vaginal infection. Our expert answers some of the most common answers about clear mucus discharge from women just like you!


1. I know this is an embarrassing question, but I don’t feel like talking to someone else about it. Over the last two days I have been experiencing some sort of slimy white discharge from vagina. It’s stretchy, jelly like, but not smelly. Sometimes the discharge comes with blood streaks, which really concerns me. My vagina isn’t itchy, swollen or red, and other than the bloody discharge, I experience no other symptom. What does it mean when you have clear discharge with blood streaks? What can be the cause? Is there something wrong with me?

AllDischarge.com Expert Answers:

One of the first things I would do if I were you is calculating my ovulation days. The blood streaks from the discharge can be due to implantation bleeding, meaning you could be pregnant. It can last anywhere from a few minutes to even days (which seems to be your case), but other than that it doesn’t have other symptoms. Your best bet now would be calculating your ovulation days – implantation spotting usually occurs 6 to 12 days after ovulation, so if the first day you experienced clear discharge with blood coincides with this period in your menstrual cycle, it’s no doubt – you’re pregnant.

At this point, you will want to wait another two or three days before taking a home pregnancy test. If it turns out negative, take a blood test instead, as they are more accurate than home pregnancy tests. If it turns out positive, repeat it, just to be sure that you’re not mistaken. An ultrasound test will also show whether the fertilized egg has attached to the inner lining of the uterus (endometrium).

Keep in mind that if it’s been longer than one or two months after implantation, the bleeding may be caused by a threatened or actual miscarriage. You may miscarry before you even know you’re pregnant, so you should get yourself checked up to see what’s causing the spotting.

An infection is not likely the underlying cause since there are no other symptoms like bad odor, itching or swelling of the vagina. You didn’t mention whether you have engaged in sexual intercourse lately, but I assume you haven’t since you’re not sharing your worries about a potential STD. I recommend that you go ahead and take a pregnancy test first. If it turns out negative even after a blood test, see your physician as soon as possible. Ovarian, uterine and cervical cancer are the most serious and concerning underlying conditions causing gel like discharge with blood, so it’s best to have the issue checked by a professional.

Read also:

Clear Discharge During Pregnancy: Facts Every Pregnant Woman Should Know

5 Hygiene Tips to Address Thick Clear Discharge

Quick Introduction to Clear Mucus Discharge: Is It Normal?

Clear Discharge Before, During and Instead of Period: When Should You Be Concerned?

2. I noticed that there is a lot of white jelly discharge with odor when I have sex with my boyfriend. I haven’t really paid attention to this until I noticed that my vagina was really slippery, as if I have used lubricating gel. The discharge smells musky, and appears to be very runny when on my finger. Can this be due to an STD? What does clear discharge mean? Your help is much appreciated!

AllDischarge.Com Expert Answers:

An increase in the amount of vaginal discharge during sex is absolutely normal. Sexual arousal sends some signals to the brain, which in turn stimulates the production of discharge from Bartholin’s and Skene’s glands (which are located above and respectively below the vaginal opening). This is called lubricating discharge or lube and is usually thin, runny and liquid like to facilitate penetration and make it less painful and more enjoyable for you. This type of discharge may appear whenever you are sexually aroused, even if you’re not going to engage in a sexual act. The amount varies from woman to woman, but as a rule of thumb, the more aroused you are, the more lube will be.

You say that it happens only when you’re having sex, and except for a strong odor (which is normal since there is a lot of discharge), you don’t experience other symptoms. If this is something out of the ordinary and you have never had clear vaginal discharge during sex before, a visit to your gyn is the best idea. She will take a few vaginal swabs to test them for potential infections, and will also do a Pap smear to rule out the possibility of cervical cancer.


3. Last week I noticed that my discharge (which is normally clear and stringy) became yellow and smelly. There is a lot of it, and the amount increases if I have sex, although it seems less thick and dense. I am currently in a monogamous relationship with a wonderful guy, so I’m sure it isn’t an STD. The discharge is itchy and very clumpy. I know it’s gross, but I also tried rubbing it between my fingers, so I could properly describe the symptoms to my gyn. I have an appointment with her next week, but I just can’t stand the itching and bad odor coming from my vagina. Sometimes it’s so noticeable that I need to change my undies two or three times a day. What do you think may be causing these symptoms? They’re literally driving me nuts!

AllDischarge.com Expert Answers:

Both STDs and yeast infection may cause pretty similar symptoms, which are very much like those you’ve described: yellow discharge with bad smell, itching, probably swelling and redness of the vulva too. Yeast infection is not necessarily sexually transmitted, but can be contracted if you engage in unprotected sex. If your partner has had sex with another woman recently, he might have contracted the infection, and spread it to you. Another possibility is that you have done something that might have interfered with the balance of good bacteria and Candida bodies in your gut. Have you taken antibiotics recently? Have you douched or used feminine hygiene products for washing down below? Have you started eating more sugary foods?

If you have done any of these, then this may be the most probable cause of yeast infection. Luckily, it can be easily treated with both over-the-counter and prescription drugs, but I recommend that you seek medical assistance first. Your doctor will take a sample of your discharge and have it analyzed to see what’s causing yellow discharge and itching. There’s a good chance that you may have bacterial vaginosis instead of yeast infection, so self-treating with over-the-counter medication without seeing a healthcare provider first is not advised.

During the treatment, you will want to stay away from any sort of hygiene products. Use just plain tap water to keep yourself clean, fresh and avoid bad odors. Scented soaps and deodorants will mess with your vagina’s pH and cause irritation, thus worsening the problem. Also, avoid tampons and panty liners. If there is too much discharge, you may use sanitary pads instead, as they do not interfere with the vagina’s bacterial flora. Wear specifically loose cotton underpants, wipe from front to back, and do not engage in sexual intercourse until the infection clears completely.


4. I am eight months and two weeks pregnant, and yesterday I noticed a pink, bloody stain on my underwear. This has never happened to me before during pregnancy, and I’m afraid that my baby might be a risk. Later that day, I noticed some pink-streaked clear discharge on the toilet paper. I have no itching, swelling or pain. Everything seems normal, but I know that blood during pregnancy is NOT normal. What do you think I should do now? I’m really scared.

AllDischarge.com Expert Answers:

I understand that you’re afraid of losing your baby. That’s why I suggest seeing your doctor as soon as possible. Just because you’re eight months pregnant and expect your baby in about two weeks, this doesn’t mean that he can’t come earlier. Tell your gyn/obs about your symptoms, and take an ultrasound test to make sure that there is heartbeat.

I suspect that the pinkish discharge you’ve got is the mucus plug that has been blocking your cervix during pregnancy, a phenomenon known as “show” or “bloody show.” The mucus plug, also known as cervical plug or cervical mucus plug, is made up from antimicrobial peptides and immunoglobulins, and it has a protective role, preventing bacteria and germs from traveling to your uterus. The mucus plug comes out as a result of the cervix dilating and softening. The blood streaks are caused by blood being released into the cervix, and its presence in the discharge shouldn’t be a reason of concern. The plug may come out gradually as increased discharge, or all at a time, gushing out of your vagina. Some women don’t feel anything when this happens, but they eventually discover it after noticing pink, bloody stains on their underwear or toilet paper.

However, loss of the mucus plug by no means implies that labour or delivery is close. It might take hours, days or even weeks until you go into labour. Talk to your gyn about this and make sure to get ready for birth. You may have several shows before you eventually go into labour. Rest in bed and utilize special breathing techniques to stay calm.


5. I am a 17 year old teenager who has never had sex before. I’ve got my first period at the age of 14, but never dealt with any sort of vaginal discharge before. Last month I noticed that there was a lot of it around the vaginal opening, my undies were completely soaked, and there was a slightly musky (not unpleasant) smell coming from down below. Knowing that I have never experienced something similar, I freaked out. Can this be a yeast infection? The discharge kind of goes away on its own a few days my period is supposed to start. Please advise!

AllDischarge.com Expert Answers:

After reading your message I can tell you that there’s nothing wrong with you. You were probably ovulating when you noticed the increase in clear vaginal discharge, which is a very normal occurrence among women. When ovulation is imminent, your discharge turns from white and clumpy to egg white, jelly-like, becoming watery and runny the day before the ovum is released or the day it’s released. This indicates that you are very fertile, so you can get easily pregnant if you engage in unprotected sex during this time.

The increase in discharge happens as a result of your body’s stepped-up levels of estrogen. The release of the ovum (egg) from a ruptured follicle leads to a myriad of hormonal changes in your body, increasing estrogen levels at a great deal. After ovulation, the discharge gradually gets thicker until your period eventually starts. This is not something to be concerned about. Since you do not have any kind of symptoms that may indicate an infection (such as white and clumpy consistency, bad odor from vagina, itching, swelling and redness of the vulva, burning during urination or pelvic pain), you should be fine.

To make sure that there’s nothing wrong down there, see a gynecologist as soon as possible. If the excessive amount of discharge is very bothersome, I recommend that you do a few small changes to your hygiene routine. First, ditch any feminine hygiene products, no matter how appealingly they’re advertised. They contain harsh chemicals that can irritate the skin, resulting in abnormal discharge and a potential yeast infection. Wear cotton panties to allow your skin to breathe and ventilate air. Do not use tampons or panty liners, as they can mess with your vagina’s bacterial flora and remove good bacteria, thus upsetting the balance. To avoid wetting your clothes, change your underwear as frequently as needed, and consider asking your gyn about where you can find some quality sanitary pads. Drink more water and avoid sugary foods as much as possible.