Is My Discharge Normal? Cervical mucus is something that every menstruating woman experiences. Although you might not have paid particular attention to it, it is a natural part of a woman’s menstrual cycle as well as a significant health predictor and Leukorrhea is no different.
You will find variations in vaginal discharge over time when the body passes through a normal menstrual cycle. These shifts will reveal a lot about your fertility, reproductive prospects, and general health.
Understanding and recognizing differences in discharge can help you monitor not only your menstrual cycle but also take control of your reproductive health.
What is the difference between leukorrhea and normal discharge?
What is Leukorrhea?
Leukorrhea is the scientific name for the natural vaginal discharge that occurs as your hormones change dramatically throughout your menstrual cycle. If you keep track of your cycle, you will find that this natural vaginal discharge occurs simultaneously per cycle – usually during ovulation.
This form of discharge is crucial for your reproductive health. It keeps the vaginal pH acidic to prevent microbes from developing and preserve a stable vaginal flora to prevent yeast and bacterial infections.
What does Leukorrhea look like?
Normal Leukorrhea appears milky-white or off-white. That said, it can be clear as well, but it should never be grey, bright yellow, or green. If you observe the discharge of any abnormal color, it might indicate significant health issues, and you should consult your physician.
What does Leukorrhea feel like?
Typically, Leukorrhea is thin and stretchy compared to other vaginal discharges that might be thicker and stickier. That said, if you experience a vaginal discharge that is thicker, tackier than Leukorrhea, there is nothing to worry about. The vaginal discharge can change significantly in texture and appearance throughout the cycle. However, consult your physician immediately if you experience a discharge of any abnormal color or consist of clumps or is especially watery.
What does Leukorrhea smell like?
Leukorrhea is typically odorless or might have a very mild odor. It is not abnormal for your vagina to have a bit of a smell. Still, if it is intense or fishy or foul, it might indicate a bacterial infection called bacterial vaginosis.
What Does Leukorrhea Mean For Pregnancy?
It is tempting to get your hopes up because Leukorrhea is also considered an early pregnancy symptom if you are trying to conceive. The truth is that a discharge by itself is not an affirmative sign of pregnancy, so it’s important to keep informed when it comes to interpreting what your body is telling you.
Leukorrhea in itself is not an early sign of pregnancy. That said, vaginal discharge changes in color, texture, and consistency throughout your menstrual cycle. Knowing these changes can help you to learn more about your reproductive health, including whether you are pregnant or not.
Some women might see a dramatic change in vaginal discharge during the first two weeks of their pregnancies, including an increased mucus production and changing the color of the mucus to clear. Although such a discharge can happen during early pregnancy, it is not a definitive symptom of pregnancy. Besides, the discharge during the early part of your pregnancy can even be thicker than your pre-pregnancy discharges.
Many reasons are responsible for a change in Leukorrhea, and hence, any change can’t be definitively considered a sign of pregnancy. You can always verify whether you have fallen pregnant or not by taking Fertility2Family’s home pregnancy tests as soon as your 14 day past ovulation period is over. If the discharge is unusual in terms of colour or odour, make sure to visit your OBGYN as soon as possible.
How Early Do You Get Leukorrhea in Pregnancy?
Let’s make one thing very clear, not every woman will experience Leukorrhea during the early phases of her pregnancy. Some women might see an increase in the volume of the discharge and a change in the color and texture.
If these changes result from you being pregnant, there will be other signs as well, such as an elevation of Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your body. As the embryo can produce hCG immediately, you might see hCG-associated symptoms quite early during your pregnancy. However, as with Leukorrhea, these symptoms might not be experienced by every pregnant woman.
As you move along with your pregnancy, your discharge will continue to become thicker. There might be streaks of pink in your discharge near the end of your pregnancy. You might also see a large discharge called mucus plug right around when you start to experience labour. You should convey the finding to your healthcare provider; it might be time for getting ready to welcome the baby.
Leukorrhea can get annoying whether you are pregnant or experiencing normal vaginal discharge. A feeling of dampness in your panties can be uncomfortable and even embarrassing. However, as Leukorrhea is perfectly normal, there is no way of getting rid of it. Rather, you will have to learn to manage it better. Here are some simple ways to manage Leukorrhea.
When you have a lot of vaginal discharge, wearing pantyliners will make you feel drier and more relaxed. It’s important to stay dry in that region to avoid vaginal infections and yeast infections (which might adversely impact your fertility). Simply rotate the liner every three to five hours to prevent bacteria and moisture from collecting.
- Period Underwear
Period underwear is a reusable and sustainable leak-proof product that completely replaces the need for disposable panty liners, tampons, pads and incontinence products. They work by moisture-wicking away from the skin and allowing you to feel comfortable and dry.
- Taking showers
Excessive vaginal discharge and menstrual infections can be avoided by using proper vaginal hygiene. It’s best to stay away from something that could alter your vaginal pH.
Douching, using scented feminine sprays or washes, and swimming for too long are not the best practices for keeping your vagina healthy. The best option is to shower rather than a bath and softly scrub the vulva (the upper portion of the vagina) with warm water and unscented soap.
- Cotton Panties
To stop unexplained vaginal discharge and parasites, it’s important to avoid trapped moisture near the vagina. Panties made of synthetic materials do not resist moisture well, allowing discharge to build up. On the other hand, Cotton underwear retains more moisture from leakage and keeps the vaginal area clean and dry. Wearing 100 per cent cotton panties will also help avoid odors.
What If It’s Something Else?
Not all vaginal discharge is Leukorrhea. Vaginal discharge may also be caused by other factors, such as vaginal infections. Read on to find out what modifications to watch for, as well as how to distinguish Leukorrhea from other forms of discharge.
Types of discharge
It’s possible that Leukorrhea doesn’t cause vaginal discharge if it has other characteristics. Typical Leukorrhea is thin in consistency, milky white or off-white, and odorless. Other forms of vaginal discharge include the following:
- Stretchy and clear: A stretchy, clear discharge and resembles uncooked egg whites is perfectly normal. You might experience such a type of discharge during ovulation.
- Thick and clumpy: A clumpy discharge, almost like cottage cheese, might indicate yeast or bacterial infections.
- Grey and watery: If a fishy, foul smell accompanies such a discharge, it might indicate bacterial vaginosis.
- Frothy and yellow or green: A vaginal infection called trichomoniasis often results in such a discharge.
- Bloody and brown: If you experience such a discharge between your periods, it might indicate sexually transmitted infections or, in some cases, cervical cancer. Seek medical attention immediately if you observe these types of discharges.’
When should you see a doctor?
How do you decide whether you should see a doctor if Leukorrhea is a natural part of your cycle?
Firstly, understand what is ‘normal’ goes a long way. If you know what normal vaginal discharges mean, you can spot any abnormalities sooner. Learning how to check your cervical mucus and charting it every month will help you understand what is normal for your own body.
Second, remember that most variations in vaginal discharge are harmless and are caused by natural hormone variability. However, there are a few things to look out for that indicate it’s time to see the doctor:
- Burning pain and itching
- Redness or swelling in your vulva
- Clumpy discharge that smells fishy
- Unexpected bleeding between periods
- Yellow, green, or grey colored discharges
An infection may be detected by abnormal vaginal discharge. Early detection of diseases may aid in diagnosing and treating a condition before it becomes more acute.
Pregnant women should pay particular attention to their cervical mucus, which may indicate various health issues during pregnancy.
If you are not full-term and have a consistent discharge or switch to a dense jelly-like substance (mucus plug), see the doctor immediately because it may be a symptom of early labour.
If you’re pregnant and have a big, bright red discharge of more than an ounce (25 grams or 2 – 3 tampons worth), you can still call your doctor right away. This may be a symptom of a problem, such as a placenta previa or placental abruption.
Keep in mind the vaginal discharge is a normal aspect of the menstrual cycle. Gaining a greater understanding of your body and natural you will allow you to be more mindful of your cycle and detect these changes sooner.
If you have any concerns about improving your cervical mucus, seek professional advice from your healthcare provider.
About the Author
Since 2009, Fertility2Family has been assisting families worldwide by delivering high-quality pregnancy tests and ovulation predictor kits. After experiencing firsthand the emotional toll and ongoing costs of trying to conceive, Fertility2Family was born. My wife and I wanted to start offering reliable and easy-to-use pregnancy and ovulation tests that families could buy in the comfort of their own homes.