Looking for birth control?
What is vaginal discharge?
Vaginal discharge is an umbrella term referring to non-menstrual fluids that leave the vagina. These include arousal fluid, vaginal lubrication, and cervical fluid. Cervical fluid, also known as cervical mucus, is a major component of vaginal discharge and can help you gain insight into your menstrual cycle and overall health.
Discharge changes throughout the menstrual cycle
Cervical fluid changes in texture, volume, and color in response to hormonal changes throughout the menstrual cycle. At different times in a cycle, changes in cervical fluid aim to prevent or facilitate sperm from reaching the upper parts of the uterus.
During menstruation and in the days after your period, you will likely not notice much discharge. As estrogen levels rise, the amount of discharge will increase in the days leading up to ovulation. During this time, cervical mucus can be sticky and tacky in consistency, then become more creamy and lotion-like. The color of your discharge will range from a cloudy white to a slightly yellowish tone, especially if the discharge has dried.
During ovulation, you may notice a higher amount of discharge than in other phases of your cycle. Cervical fluid will become more watery in texture and increase in volume. The texture can resemble a raw egg white, and feel wet, slippery, and stretchy.
Finally, during the luteal phase, cervical fluid will decrease in volume and become a dry, tacky consistency.
You’re not alone
Signs of abnormal discharge
Tracking and understanding your discharge can help you spot any abnormalities. This free women’s health app allows you to track your periods, symptoms and discharge so that you can stay on top of any changes in your body. Unusual discharge can be a sign of an infection, or an underlying health condition that is affecting your menstrual cycle. Here are some signs of abnormal discharge:
- Unusually thick, clumpy, texture.
- Gray, green, yellow, or brown discharge.
- An unusual increase in volume.
- Metallic, “fishy”, or unusual smell.
If you notice any abnormalities in your cervical fluid, make sure to reach out to a healthcare professional as soon as possible to identify any underlying issues. You can book a teleconsultation with an Ease physician at any time––we offer judgment-free, discreet care and treatment for your sexual health. We’ll help you identify the issue, and send any medication right to your doorstep.