When it comes to vaginal discharge, women can expect to see different variations in hue, odor and consistency throughout their menstrual cycle. Most of the time, the discharge is clear and stretchy, resembling uncooked egg whites, while sometimes it is white and thick, with a consistency that’s very similar to lotions. Usually, vaginal discharge indicates the time in your menstrual cycle, and whether or not you are fertile at the time you experience the mucus.
What does it mean when you have egg white discharge, and is it a matter of concern? Definitely not – read on to find out more about it.
First, What Does Normal Vaginal Discharge Look Like?
Vaginal discharge is a fluid produced by the glands inside your vagina and cervix, which helps flush out dead cells and bacteria, and maintains the vagina clean. Vaginal discharge is typically thin, watery, and can be clear, whitish or even pale yellow. This usually depends on the time in your menstrual cycle. Dry white discharge is common before and after period, and it has a chunky, clumpy consistency, making it impossible for sperm cells to enter the uterus. As the ovulation approaches, you will start experiencing creamy discharge, which is significantly thinner than dry discharge, but still very dense. Its role is catching and filtering out the abnormal or poor-quality sperm cells before they reach the uterus to ensure that only the strongest and most viable ones will unite with your precious egg.
Egg white discharge follows creamy discharge, and occurs during ovulation. This type of vaginal mucus tends to be stretchy and slippery, and can make your vulva feel wet and sticky. Due to its much thinner consistency, egg white discharge allows sperm cells to travel vigorously to the uterus and unite with your egg. As such, egg white discharge is the most fertile type of discharge, so you are very likely to get pregnant if you engage in unprotected sex while you have it.
The peak of fertility is reached the day before the egg is released, or the day it’s released. At this point during your menstrual cycle, the discharge is watery, very slippery, thus creating the perfect conditions for sperm cells to travel to and unite with your egg.
White Mucus Vaginal Discharge at Other Times of the Menstrual Cycle
Many women experience white mucus discharge at other times of their menstrual cycle except for ovulation. Engaging in physical activity usually results in more white watery discharge, which may or may not soak through your underwear and even through your pants. When this happens, you should change your underwear as soon as possible to prevent infections. It’s advised to wear only cotton underpants, as they allow your skin to breathe and keep air circulating.
Another common occurrence of watery white vaginal discharge is during sexual intercourse. However, this discharge is intended for lubricating the vaginal opening and moistening the labia in order to make the penetration more pleasurable for the woman. Lubricating discharge usually comes from Bertholin’s and Skene’s glands, which are located below and respectively above the vaginal opening. It is usually clear, sometimes watery, and very slippery. The more aroused you are, the more lubricating discharge will be.
White mucus vaginal discharge may also occur in case of a vaginal infection – e.g. yeast infection, STDs (sexually transmitted diseases), bacterial vaginosis. However, infection-related discharge is usually whitish, yellow or green, and bears a strong, fishy odor. Moreover, consistency tends to be much denser than egg whites, sometimes similar to lotions or creams. Additional symptoms, such as itching and swelling of the labia, burning at urination, and pelvic pain may accompany the discharge.
What To Do If You Have Egg White Discharge?
Keep in mind that your vagina produces up to 30 times more discharge during ovulation, so don’t panic if your underpants are dripping wet or if your vulva feels very wet and slippery. The best way to figure out whether the discharge is normal is calculating your ovulating period. Normally, ovulation occurs between 12 and 14 days before your period starts. Calculate when your next period should start, then count 14 days back and see whether you are now ovulating.
If you are not ovulating, take note of any abnormal (unpleasant) odor coming from down below, or if there is any discomfort such as itching or burning. If any of these symptoms occur, you may have an infection. It’s good to see your doctor and have a few vaginal swabs taken for analysis. If any infection is detected, follow your doctor’s instructions as to how to take the treatment.
Remember that even small lifestyle changes can impact your vaginal discharge, but a visit to your GP should reveal what’s causing your mucus to be abnormal.