Have you been paying attention to your vaginal discharge, the clear, watery, creamy or egg white-like mucus that comes out of your vagina month after month? It actually tells you quite a bit about the stages of your menstrual cycle and the changes in your fertility level. It also alerts you of abnormal conditions that you should be concerned about.
Why Vaginal Discharge?
Vaginal discharge is often triggered by the estrogen level in your body. As you approach ovulation your estrogen level increases, which stimulates the production of fertile mucus. On averge, this process usually starts 6 days before ovulation.
The purpose of the vaginal discharge is simple. It helps create a friendlier environment for the interested suiters (the sperm) to meet with the princess (the egg).
The cervical mucus does this by neutralizing the PH in the vagina (making it more alkaline), and by creating moisture and fluidity so the eager sperm cells can more easily swim through the vaginal canal in order to meet the precious egg princess in the uterus.
Types of Normal Vaginal Discharge
Four types of mucus are produced by specialized glands in the cervix in response to estrogen:
Dry Discharge, the G Type – This type of discharge is dry, pasty and impenetrable, and is associated with a feeling of dryness at the vulva. It's produced at infertile times, i.e. at all times except ovulation.
Let's try to make this clear. Your infertile days are usually a few days after your period and a few days before your next period. That’s why they’re called “dry days.” These are the days when you’re least likely to get pregnant if you engage in unprotected sex.
The purpose of the dry, pasty G Type discharge is to block sperm from entering the uterus. In my mind, the "G" stands for "Gate." It's like a gatekeeper telling the visitors, "Hey, right now we're closed for business. Come back another time."
Creamy Discharge, the L Type – As estrogen levels begin to rise, the cervix produces a more liquid type of vaginal discharge. This causes the vaginal sensation to be more sticky and wet.
You may notice white creamy mucus at the opening of your vagina that feels sticky or tacky between your dry days and your ovulation days. If you have a 28-day cycle, you’ll probably notice the creamy mucus on days 7-11, for example.
Compared to the dry discharge, the creamy discharge is thinner, but still rather dense. The purpose of the creamy L Type discharge is to catch and filter out some of the abnormal or poor-quality sperm cells before they reach the uterus.
In my mind, the "L" stands for "Leader." This is the test to weed out the weak sperm and select only the strongest and most viable sperm cells, who may be lucky enough to unite with the precious egg princess.
Egg white-like Discharge, the S Type – As ovulation approaches, a more stretchy and slippery type of discharge is produced. It's often referred to as an egg white-like mucus. This condition creates a distinctively wet sensation at your vulva, and strings of egg white-like disharge, sometimes mixed with clumps of creamy discharge.
This is a clear sign of ovulation. If you notice clear and slippery egg white-like discharge, you’re probably ovulating. Your ovulation days are usually 12 to 16 days before your next expected period. This is the prime time to engage in unprotected sex if you want to be pregnant, or the “slippery days” if you want to avoid pregnancy.
The purpose of the egg white-like discharge is to create or facilitate pathways for the shortlisted sperm to enter the uterus. In my mind, the "S" stands for "Swim." This is when the eager sperm cells swim vigorously across the canal to get closer to the egg princess.
Lubricating Discharge, the P Type – Finally, as ovulation is imminent, the mucus loses its stretch and becomes extremely lubricating. This produces a slippery sensation in the vulva. The last day that P Type mucus is produced is the most fertile day of the whole cycle, i.e. the day before the egg is released or the day it is released.
The P Type mucus is so named because of its rich potassium content. In my mind, though, I associate the "P" with "Peak." It's the peak of the union of the prince sperm and the princess egg, as the sperm pass through the cervix to the uterus.
There are a few other types of vaginal discharge I'd like to mention. Some of them may be normal. But some of them are abnormal that need to be checked out.
Watery Discharge – Sometimes you may notice clear and watery discharge at different times of your cycle. This is completely normal, and it can be particularly heavy after exercising.
Brown Discharge – Sometimes you may also see brown discharge right after your period. It’s most likely the “cleaning out” of the vagina, and there’s nothing to worry about.
Trying to Conceive or Avoid Unplanned Pregnancy?
Whether you want to get pregnant or try to avoid unplanned pregnancy, you need to pay close attention to these different types of vaginal discharges and know your fertile signs. Here are my recommendations for you:
1. Begin to track your period and note down the types of vaginal discharge you have at various phases of your menstrual cycle. If you do this for 1-2 cycles, I guarantee that you'll have an intimate knowledge about your fertility and ovulation cycle. Our free period tracker also forecasts your ovulation days for you automatically. You can get your free period tracker here.
2. Use ovulation stripes to predict when there is a LH surge, when you are likely to ovulate.
3. If you're concerned about an unwanted pregnancy, read my posts when is it safe to have unprotected sex and 10 tips to avoid unwanted pregnancy without birth control pills.
5. If you're trying to conceive, check out our resource library for tips on how to enhance your fertility.
Types of Abnormal Vaginal Discharge
Excessive Discharge – If you notice excessive vaginal discharge, you may wonder if this is normal. Well, it may be normal in the medical sense, which means that the results of your pelvic exam are likely to come back normal.
However, it could still indicate certain imbalances in your system. The question to ask yourself is whether you experience other symptoms along with the discharge – symptoms such as PMS, irregular periods, irritability, depression, fatigue, loose stools, cold hands and feet, dizziness, backache, frequent urination, or hot flashes for example.
Yellow or Green Discharge – This may indicate an infection, especially if it’s thick or clumpy like cottage cheese or has a foul odor. If the discharge also accompanies pain, itching, discomfort, rash or sore, you should certainly get tested.
Concerned about Abnormal Vaginal Discharge?
If you're wondering if your vaginal discharge is abnormal either due to a hormone imbalance or an infection, here's what I'd recommend:
1.Take a free quiz and find out if your vaginal discharge is normal or not. We'll send you a free report after reviewing your answers.
3. I've done a lot of research and identified 10 most effective home remedies for yeast and other vaginal infections. Many ladies have found them very helpful.
5. Our Step-by-Step Hormone Guide is designed to help you figure out if you have a potential hormone imbalance, what is out of balance, and what you can do about it. Get your Hormone Guide here. It's completely FREE!
Since I began to pay attention to my own vaginal discharge, I’ve learned so much about my monthly cycles. I’m continuously amazed by how much there is to learn about our bodies and ourselves. And the more we learn to read our bodies’ signals, the more prepared and ready we are to take better care of ourselves.
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