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Vaginal discharge is totally normal. Some women experience it every day, while others experience it less frequently. Did you know that your vagina has the power of self-cleansing? Vaginal discharge plays an important role in keeping the vagina healthy. Yes, that’s true.
Normal vaginal discharge is usually clear or milky and may have a subtle scent that is not unpleasant or foul smelling. It’s also important to know that vaginal discharge changes over the course of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Therefore, some women complain of experiencing white discharge before their periods.
HealthShots got in touch with Dr Pratima Thamke, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Kharghar, Mumbai, to understand whether this may be a cause for worry. She says the white discharge that is spotted before menstruation is known as leukorrhea. It contains fluid and cells that are shed from the vagina. The white discharge can be seen owing to various reasons.
White discharge before the periods is common, and not at all worrisome. It is also known as egg white mucus as it appears to be thin, stretchy, and slippery in texture. This discharge is also odourless, and a majority of women notice it.
“This is seen when the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina gets disturbed. The cause is unknown, but it’s associated with smoking, douching, and having multiple sexual partners. Discharge from bacterial vaginosis can be seen before menstruation,” says Dr Thamke.
Yeast infections are also a common occurrence, and can be seen before the period. Discharge seen due to a yeast infection is thick and white. So, this can also be a cause of the white vaginal discharge.
One may notice white discharge about 5 days before the onset of periods.
White, cloudy, or sticky discharge can be seen throughout menstruation. However, it may vary from one woman to another. So, if you find anything wrong with the discharge, then consult the doctor on an immediate basis.
The amount can vary, as can odour and colour (which can range from clear to a milky white-ish), depending on the time left for your periods. For example, there will be more discharge when you’re ovulating, breastfeeding, or sexually aroused.
If the discharge is accompanied by pain, burning, or discomfort around the vagina, rash or sores, foul vaginal odour, redness, or swelling then it can be problematic for you.
So ladies, don’t freak out over white vaginal discharge before periods, but do keep an eye for anything unusual.