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White Discharge Before Period: Physiological Secretions or Abnormal Whites?

Yellow discharge white streaks early pregnancy

White discharge before period, when it’s moderate in amount, lacks unpleasant odor and doesn’t acquire suspicious consistency is normally natural secretion of female reproductive organs. The normal whites consist of epithelial cells and mucus, excreted by particular glands to moisten vagina and protect its internal environment from infection. However, white discharge, especially, if it starts regularly before menstruation, often bothers women and they begin to guess whether it’s a normal physiological process or signs of a disease. Let’s throw more light on this disquieting female issue.

White Discharge Before Period: Normal Whites

Any woman of reproductive age experiences vaginal discharge throughout her monthlies and this is absolutely normal. Vaginal secretions don’t stay the same in different phases of the cycle, they change in consistency, color and amount. These changes have a cyclic character:

  • In the first phase before ovulation woman’s discharge is scant (1-2 ml in 24 hours – 2-3 cm spot on a pantyliner), watery or mucous, of uniform consistency or with tiny (up to 2 mm) clumps, whitish or yellowish, odorless or with a slight sourish scent.
  • During ovulation (1-2 days in the middle of the cycle) the discharge becomes more abundant (up to 4 ml in 24 hours), acquires mucous, stretchy consistency and possibly beige hue.
  • In the second phase after ovulation the amount of discharge decreases, it can get creamy in consistency. A few days prior to menstruation the quantity of discharge increases again. The whites may be transparent, cloudy, whitish or yellowish.

These are considered to be the classic norms, however, the character of the whites often changes under different circumstances.

Non-Pathological Factors, Changing the Character of Normal Whites

  • Intercourse
  • Change of a sexual partner
  • Beginning of sexual life
  • Usage of hormonal contraception
  • Pregnancy
  • After-delivery period
  • Change of hygiene solutions or even underwear

When Your White Discharge Before Menses is a Normal Phenomenon

  • More abundant (4 ml in 24 hours) cloudy, whitish or yellowish discharge before period is normal. The color is explained by desquamated epithelial cells, exiting vagina together with mucus. If there’s no burning/itching sensations or unpleasant odor, there’s nothing to worry about.
  • Beginning of sexual life or change of a sexual partner brings new unknown microflora into the woman’s reproductive tract. During a certain period of time your organism needs to adapt to these changes. As a result, you may get changes of discharge amount, color and consistency. If there’s no discomfort, itching or burning, everything is fine.
  • An intercourse itself causes specific vaginal discharge. A few hours after sex without a condom a woman gets discharge with whitish or yellowish clots. In 6-8 hours after intercourse the character of discharge changes: it becomes white, runny and abundant. If a condom or withdrawal was used, white scant creamy discharge would be excreted.
  • Women, taking birth control pills, may notice a greater quantity of whitish discharge than they had before. When it’s odorless and causes no discomfort, medical attention is not necessary.

White Discharge Before Period: Pathologies

Abnormal whites may be caused by different infections (yeast, bacterial or sexually-transmitted ones.) Typical signs of any inflammatory process in the female reproductive tract include abundant and thick white discharge before menses, foul or fish-like smell, itching and burning sensations. Which conditions are accompanied by white discharge before menstruation?

  • Cervical erosion. Abundant white or mucous discharge with white streaks points at cervical erosion. Frequently women experience also contact bleedings – bright red odorless spotting after the intercourse or gynecological examination. Erosion has to be treated, as it can cause the development of an oncological condition.
  • Yeast infections. The most common yeast infection is Candidiasis or thrush. White discharge, looking like cottage cheese, is the first sign of yeast infections which are associated with weak immunity, caused by any disease, antibiotic treatment, pregnancy or stresses. Thrush is usually accompanied by burning and itching around the entrance of the vagina. The condition is commonly aggravated before and after period.
  • Bacterial vaginosis. A vagina of a healthy woman is inhibited with good bacteria. When the balance between good and pathogenic bacteria is impaired, it’s a “good” trigger for the development of bacterial vaginosis. Characteristic features of the condition include white, grey or yellowish discharge with fish-like smell.
  • Gonorrhea. This disease is caused by sexually transmitted gonococcus. Women complain of mucous whitish discharge with pus admixture, moderate low abdominal pain, itching and burning of the entrance to vagina due to irritation, caused by the excreted whites. Gonorrhea can spread and provoke pelvic inflammatory disease, that’s why timely treatment in this case is crucial.

The exact cause of pathological process in the female reproductive tract is determined by the results of a vaginal swab. An increased amount of leukocytes indicates inflammation.

White discharge before period is no longer a sealed book of mysteries if you have given close attention to the key information in this article. However, it should be mentioned that even if you are great at understanding symptoms of various gynecological conditions, it makes no sense to diagnose yourself and practice self-treatment. On the other hand, women often tend to exaggerate and suspect a whole bouquet of diseases in case of the slightest changes in the way they feel. Both extremes are undesirable. The only important thing is to know what is a norm and what should alarm you. And the rest must be trusted to a doctor.