If you are anything like me, then you have certainly been annoyed by white vaginal discharge and itching at least once in your life. Most of the time, the underlying cause of abnormal discharge is an infection, but this is not always the case. Stress, hormonal changes and even pregnancy may sometimes cause changes in the color, consistency, odor or amount of your discharge. At the time I have first experienced abnormal discharge, I was not even aware that my vagina produced that kind of secretion.
Needless to say, I was grossly appalled while at the same time very scared when I noticed something that resembled uncooked egg white coming out from my vagina a few days before period was supposed to start. I immediately proceeded to eliminate the secretion by cleaning my intimate area with my usual body soap, and made sure to combat the slightly musky odor by spraying deodorant. A few days later, the discharge turned sticky, white, itchy and smelly. Despite the white discharge and cramps I was experiencing, my period came four days later than it was supposed to.
It’s understood that I went to the doctor to see what was causing the itchy white discharge. Here’s what I found out.
1. Vaginal Discharge Is Normal AND Healthy
After my gyn explained to me the actual role of vaginal discharge, I wasn’t feeling as appalled as initially. Apparently, this discharge is produced by glands inside the vagina and cervix, and it helps flush out dead cells and bacteria. In other words, it keeps your vagina healthy and prevents infections. By proceeding to get rid of it, as I did, you are basically creating a breeding ground for bacteria to thrive in, as you’re essentially removing the thing that maintains the vagina’s pH below 4.5.
While some women have more discharge, others don’t – I was part of the first category. Color can range from clear egg white to milky to pale yellow, consistency can be anything from dry and clumpy to watery and slippery, but there’s no odor. Usually, a bad odor indicates the presence of an infection, which is why you should be seeking medical assistance if you notice an unpleasant smell coming from your vagina.
2. There Is More Vaginal Discharge Before Period
Along with cramps, breast tenderness and lower back pain (which are all common premenstrual symptoms) also comes white clear discharge. As your period approaches, your estrogen levels increase, which directly impacts the amount of vaginal discharge. As such, you may be experiencing up to 30 times more discharge during the middle of your menstrual cycle than after period. However, there should be no itch, swelling, redness, bad odor or cramping. The discharge might sometimes soak through your undies, which is still absolutely normal.