Is White Discharge a Sign of Period Coming?
Discharge throughout your menstrual cycle is totally normal and healthy and usually not a cause for concern. It happens to everyone throughout their lifetimes, from before puberty to during menopause. Here’s the information you need to know about this common problem.
Discharge Throughout Your Menstrual Cycle: Random?
While it may seem totally random, there are times in your cycle when discharge is more common. This is due to the fluctuation of progesterone and estrogen throughout your cycle.
The white vaginal discharge you see before your period is called leukorrhea. It’s basically fluid that’s filled with cells that are being shed from your vagina. It can even appear yellow at times, and isn’t a cause for concern.
The average person loses around 4 ml of white or clear vaginal discharge every day. It’s a normal way for your vagina to keep itself clean.
Normal During the Luteal Phase
Before your period starts is called the Luteal phase (after the egg is released) of the menstrual cycle. Progesterone is at its peak during this time, and the result is a milky discharge.
At other times during your cycle, estrogen dominates and discharge is often more clear, and watery.
Is it a Sign of Period Coming?
Yes! The luteal phase is the last one in your menstrual cycle before menstruating. So, if you’re seeing some white discharge at this time, your period may be coming soon.
Discharge Around Ovulation
An increased amount of clear, stretchy and watery discharge is very normal right around ovulation (the middle of your cycle). The sticky nature of it can help assist with getting pregnant, if that’s what you want!
Keeping track of this can also a great way to track your fertility. Have sex as soon as you notice it.
There can be up to 30x the normal amount of discharge for a couple of days, and it’s a very normal thing and nothing to worry about.
Is Thick White Discharge a Sign my Period is Coming?
Should I See a Doctor about Vaginal Discharge?
There are a number or reasons why you may have discharge. As you can see from the above example, white discharge before your period is nothing to be concerned about. Many people also experience some discharge around the time that they’re ovulating.
However, there are a number of reasons when discharge isn’t good and you should probably seek the help of a medical professional! Here are a few of them:
- STIs (see below)
- Vaginal infections
- Discharge all the time
- Smelly discharge
- Discharge accompanied by pain or burning
- Rash or sores
- Unusual colour of discharge (green, dark yellow and sometimes brown)
***Brown discharge is sometimes related to spotting, or old blood leaving your body after your period is done and may not necessarily be a big problem.
For more details, you can read our Ultimate Guide to Vaginal Discharge.
How to Deal With Vaginal Discharge?
If you’re wondering how to deal with vaginal discharge, you can check out these reusable cloth pantyliners, our top recommended method:
As you can see, some white discharge before period is entirely normal. Some amount of it around ovulation is as well. And in fact, many people experience some amount of discharge throughout their entire menstrual cycle.
This kind of vaginal discharge doesn’t require treatment. When it does is if there are excessive amounts of it (you need pantyliners every single day), it’s an odd colour, has a bad odor, or is accompanied by itching, burning, etc.
The cause of vaginal discharge that’s not normal is often an STI. In this case, you’ll usually require antibiotics to clear it up.
However, there are other causes for discharge, including hormonal imbalance, yeast infection, BV, etc. Check in with your doctor for a proper diagnosis and the treatment options available to you. It’s impossible to diagnose this kind of thing over the Internet, and home remedies for this kind of thing can often do more harm than good.
Learn More about Reasons for Discharge
While white vaginal discharge before your period is quite normal, there are some other reasons for it besides a spike in progesterone. They include:
#1: Normal Reproductive Functioning
As already mentioned, there are times throughout your menstrual cycle when you may experience white, or clear vaginal discharge as a result of increased progesterone and estrogen. It’s most common right before, and right after menstruation, as well as during ovulation.
Some people use the cervical mucus method (excess vaginal discharge around ovulation) to help them become pregnant. It’s during this time that you’re the most fertile.
As long as your vaginal discharge is clear or white, not accompanied by itching or burning and it doesn’t smell bad, you probably don’t have anything to worry about.
#2: Hormonal Birth Control
This can lead to an increase in vaginal discharge because they impact the reproductive hormones.
This can also happen when coming off of birth control. Your body will take some time to adapt back to normal and you might have irregular periods, as well as more, or less vaginal discharge than normal.
If you experience vaginal discharge right before you’d normally get your period, you may be pregnant. It’s usually thicker and creamier than normal discharge your may at this time of the month.
You may also experience yellow discharge. Learn more here: Yellow discharge and Pregnancy.
Some common sexually transmitted infections can result in discharge. It can be various colours, but some normal ones are yellow, or green if you have an infection.
#5: Yeast Infection
If it looks like cottage cheese, you may have a yeast infection. It could also cause itching and burning.
#6: Bacterial Vaginosis
If your discharge has a fishy smell, then you might have BV. Discharge will be grayish white, and it very common for this.
Excessive amounts of stress over a long period of time can do all sorts of things to the reproductive hormones that are responsible for controlling vaginal discharge.
#8: Sexual Arousal and Sexual Intercourse
It’s normal when you’re sexually aroused to have an increase in lubrication and discharge. This is how your body prepares itself for penetrative sex.
And, if you’ve had penetrative sex without a condom and your partner has ejaculated inside of you, you may notice some clear discharge for the hours after sex. This is the semen coming out of you and is totally normal.
During the years before menopause, hormones are in flux. This usually leads to a decrease in vaginal discharge and lubrication, but just about anything can happen during this time, so more discharge isn’t unheard of.
White Discharge Before my Period: Is this Normal?
I have White Discharge that’s Chunky
If you have white discharge that’s clumpy, and kind of has the consistency of cottage cheese, then you may have a yeast infection.
Along with this, you’ll probably notice some itching, burning during urination or sex, and a vaginal rash. It usually doesn’t have a smell to it.
Although you can self-treat yeast infections with over the counter anti-fungals, it’s recommended that you check in with your doctor for a proper diagnosis, at least for the first time.
You can learn more it here: Everything you Need to Know about Yeast Infections.
I Have Smelly White Discharge
If you have a thin, grey discharge that also smells bad, you may have bacterial vaginosis (BV). It’s an overgrowth of the bacteria in your vagina. The most distinct thing about it is the fishy smell that accompanies it.
BV does require proper diagnosis and treatment by a doctor. The results are usually much better than with the various home remedies you might consider.
Find out more here: Bacterial Vaginosis FAQ’s.
More Signs that your Period is Coming
Increased discharge before a period is certainly a thing! An increase in progesterone can cause an increased amount of vaginal discharge and it’s one of the ways that people know their period is coming.
But, what are some of the other signs that your period is coming? Let’s find out:
Some people experience symptoms from a day or two to one week before their period starts such as cramping, bloating, irritability, nausea, food cravings, etc. For most people, it’s pretty mild and known as PMS.
However, some people have such severe PMS that it starts to interfere with their work, school or relationships. It’s officially known as PMDD.
#2: Menstrual Cramps
Many people experience cramps before, and during their period. It can happen up to a week before and usually peaks on the first or second day of menstruation. It’s basically your uterus contracting in order to shed the lining that it not needed because you didn’t get pregnant.
#3: Acne and Breakouts
Changing hormone levels can activate oil production which can cause you to break out right before your period.
#4: Breast Swelling and Tenderness
Right before their period, some people notice some changes to their breasts, namely swelling and tenderness. It’s uncertain as to what the exact cause is, but it’s thought that hormones play a role.
#5: More Frequent Headaches
Another sign that you may be getting your period soon is if you have a headache. Changing estrogen levels are thought to be largely responsible for this. If you’re susceptible to migraines, you may notice that they often happen around this time.
#6: Fatigue and Trouble Sleeping
There isn’t really a scientific explanation for this, but many people feel pretty terrible right before their period.
#7: Constipation or Diarrhea
If your period is coming, digestion can sometimes fall to the extremes. What happens just depends on your body, but it’s usually the same thing each month.
#8: Bloating and Gassiness
Water retention is a frequent sign that your period is coming. It’s related to hormones, but you can also try to curb it by cutting back or salt, and upping your intake of fruits and veggies.
#9: Anxiety and Depression
With changing hormones levels, comes an increase in things like anxiety and depression. These spells usually only last a day or two though.
Many people experience an increase in hunger before their period starts. Food cravings fall into this category as well. Are you going to finish that?
#11: Increased Sex Drive
Another sign that your period may be close at hand is if you suddenly want to get it on a whole lot more. What’s the cause? Same as all the other things: changing hormone levels.
9 Ways to Tell if your Period is Coming
How to Manage Thick White Discharge Before Period
Okay, so you have some vaginal discharge right before your period and you may want to know how to deal with it. The good news is that white discharge before your period is quite normal and usually nothing to worry about.
Beyond that, you have a few options for dealing with vaginal discharge in style.
Most people use disposable pantyliners to help them deal with their discharge issues. They’re effective, easy to dispose of (just throw in the trash) and you can just keep a spare one in your backpack or purse to change out on the road.
However, many of the leading pantyliner and pad brands contain trace amounts of toxic chemicals in them. They come from the bleach used during manufacturing, as well as from pesticides used to grow the cotton. In most countries, manufacturers aren’t required to disclose this to consumers.
That’s why we recommend going organic. You can avoid toxic chemicals and have a safer, healthier discharge experience!
Check out some our top picks for organic panty liners here:
Reusable Cloth Pantyliners
The next option you may want to consider for your discharge issues are reusable pantyliners. They’re quite similar to disposable except that they stay in place with snaps on the wings instead of a sticky backing on them.
Most people find them very comfortable, and you’ll also notice that they are far cheaper than disposables over the medium to long-term.
If your discharge issues requires you to change out your pantiliner only every few hours, this could be a great option for you.
You can check out some of the best reusable cloth pantyliners here:
Best Cloth Pantyliners
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|Dutchess Cloth Pantyliners||Simfamily Panty Liners||Hesta Organic Pantyliner|
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The last option that you may want to consider to help you deal with discharge before your period are period panties. There are two basic styles: ones with absorbent padding, and those with just a leakproof layer in them. For discharge, either kind could work well for you.
You can check out some of the best menstrual underwear options here:
The Best Period Panties
|Best Overall Menstrual Underwear||Most Affordable||Organic Period Panties||Most Comfortable|
|Modibodi||Yoyi Fashion||Hesta Organic||Anigan Period Panties|
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What is the Cervical Mucus Method?
Many people experience an increase in vaginal discharge right around the time of ovulation. This happens around the middle of your menstrual cycle.
Besides cervical mucus, it’s also known as fertile mucus. It’s often a bit stretchier than discharge at other times of your menstrual cycle.
Why is this important? If you’re trying to become pregnant, it can be one way to know when your most fertile days of your menstrual cycle are. When you start to notice this happening about half-way through your cycle, it’s time to have sex! Continue for the next few days and you may increase your chances of becoming pregnant.
On the other hand, if you’re trying to avoid pregnancy, you may think that avoiding sex during this time may be all you need to do. This is not a great idea because the fertile mucus method has a massive failure rate due to how subjective it is.
Check in with your doctor for more effective birth control methods, including birth control pills, IUD, condoms, etc.
What about Yellow Discharge Before my Period?
Okay, so instead of white discharge before your period, some people may have yellow discharge. There are a number of reasons why you may experience this. They include the following:
Your Period is Coming
Many people have an increase in white discharge before their period starts. However, for some people, it can be more yellowish than white. It’s not a cause for concern unless it smells bad, or had a chunky texture to it.
If your hormones are a bit out of whack, you may notice some yellow-brown discharge right before, or after your period. This is most common in people approaching menopause.
Sign of Infection
Yellow discharge can sometimes be a sign of infection, especially if it smells bad, or has a green tinge to it. It’s often caused by the STI Trichomoniasis.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
PID is often caused by untreated STIs. Besides yellow or green discharge with a strong odour, you may have pain, spotting, high fever, etc. Unusual discharge may be an early warning sign that something is potentially wrong.
Other Reasons for Yellow Discharge
There are lots of other reasons why you may experience yellow discharge before your period, or throughout your menstrual cycle. Please check in with your doctor to make sure it’s nothing serious.
How to Prevent Problems with Vaginal Discharge
There are a number of things you can do to help prevent problems with vaginal discharge. Just a few of them include the following:
#1: Let it Breathe
Use cotton underwear because it’s far more breathable than the other alternatives. Change out your underwear after working out (better yet, take a shower).
Consider going commando at night under your PJ’s to air things out.
#2: Wipe from Front to Back
After going to the bathroom, be sure to wipe from front to back instead of the other way around. This will prevent fecal matter from getting into the area around your vagina.
#3: Avoid Douching, Vaginal Soaps, etc.
Things like douches and vaginal soaps can throw off the delicate pH balance of your vagina. Avoid them! If you want to clean up after sex, or while on your period, just spray that are with regular old water.
#4: Switch from Tampons to a Menstrual Cup
Many people don’t know this, but some of the leading tampon brands contain trace amounts of toxic chemicals in them. This can cause some serious irritation for some people.
#5: Use a Condom
STIs can lead to serious vaginal discharge issues. Sex with new partners can also lead to irritation, and other problems. Consider using a condom whenver you have sex, especially with casual, or new partners.
#6: Use Antibiotics only When Necessary
Antibiotics do a pretty good job at killing harmful bacteria. They also do a great job at killing all the good ones too, including those in your vagina.
It’s for this reason that you should use antibiotics only when necessary, not just for the average common cold. And remember, if you do take them, be sure to finish the entire course of treatment.
#7: Practice Good Hygiene
For good vaginal health, be sure to take regular showers. Spray off the around your vagina with water, but don’t use soap which can throw off the pH balance and lead to an increase in things like yeast infections or BV.
Towel dry the area well after.
#8: Consider Laundry Detergent and Fabric Softener
If you find yourself getting lots of vaginal infections, you could try switching to a green laundry detergent and eliminating all the extra stuff such as fabric softener or dryer sheets entirely.
You can check out our personal favourite below:
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#9: Avoid Hot Tubs
Hot tubs are a breeding ground for bacteria, including those that can cause vaginal discharge issues. If you’re susceptible to vaginal infections, or discharge problems, hot tubs are best avoided. And if you do indulge, be sure to take a shower immediately after getting out.
#10: Use Organic Tampons
If you decide to stick with tampons instead of switching to a menstrual cup, you may want to consider going organic. Many of the leading brands of tampons contain trace amounts of toxic chemicals in them that can be very irritating. check out this chart below with some of our top picks:
I’ve Never Had my Period, but I have White Discharge
If you’re a young person who hasn’t started your period yet, it’s still possible to have some white discharge. In general, you may experience some small amounts of vaginal discharge 6-12 months before you get your first period.
Along with some vaginal discharge, you may begin to develop breasts, or hair (underarms, pubic, etc.) and go through a growth spurt. When these things happen, it’s a sign that your period will soon follow.
As long as it’s clear, yellow, or white, thin and doesn’t smell bad, it’s nothing to worry about and just a normal part of growing up. However, if it’s smelly, an odd colour, or has some chunks in it, it may be a result of poor hygiene, and object left in the vagina, infection, or something else. Please see your doctor for help with this.
You can learn more here: What Age Does Discharge Start?
White Discharge Before Period: Have your Say?
In your experience, is white discharge a sign of your period coming? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts. And don’t forget to share this on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
Last update on 2019-02-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API