Before your period, you may notice that you get a white discharge that is thick and odorless. This is normal and happens due to the usual hormonal changes caused by the menstrual cycle. This discharge helps keep the tissues lubricated and it also indicates what stage you are in regarding your menstrual cycle. Therefore, it’s relevant if you are looking to get pregnant.
However, if you get other symptoms with the white discharge, such as foul smell, discomfort, itchiness, or burning sensation, we recommend you go to a gynecologist so that exams can be done to determine the cause for these alterations as there may be a fungus or bacteria, which will require specific treatment.
1. Menstrual cycle
White discharge is normal in a woman’s menstrual cycle and it happens due to hormonal changes that occur due to an increase in the production of progesterone by the corpus luteum land it is mainly composed of leukocytes. As the amount of progesterone increases in the blood, white discharge is released.
What to do: As it is normal and it’s not linked to any signs or symptoms, it does not require treatment. However, if you wish to get pregnant it’s useful to pay attention to the texture of the discharge and the cervical mucous to find out if you are nearly ovulating. This is known as the Billings Ovulation Method.
2. Bacterial vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis results from a change to the normal balance of the vaginal flora, with the proliferation of bacteria that is naturally present in the area to other regions and the appearance of signs and symptoms. The main bacteria related to vaginosis is Gardnerella vaginalis, which may lead to itchiness and burning in the genital area as well as foul-smelling discharge.
What to do: treatment for bacterial vaginosis is normally done with antibiotics, such as Metronidazole, which should be used according to your gynecologist’s instructions. It’s important for bacterial vaginosis to be identified and treated with medical supervision to avoid the bacteria from proliferating and resulting in complications, such as pelvic inflammatory disease.
Candidiasis is an infection caused by fungi which are naturally present in the woman’s genital region. It is usually related to the development of fungi from the Candida genus, especially from the Candida albicans species. When this happens, other symptoms usually appear with the white discharge, such as itchiness, burning, and redness in the genital area.
What to do: To get rid of the excess of fungi and to alleviate the symptoms, your gynecologist may recommend using antifungal medication, such as, Fluconazole and Miconazole, which can be taken in the form of pills, lotions, or vaginal creams. These must be used according to medical instruction.
White discharge before menstruation can also be a sign of colpitis, which is an inflammation of the vagina and cervix caused by bacteria, fungi, and protozoans. In addition to discharge, you may notice an unpleasant smell, which gets worse after sexual intercourse, swelling in the genital area, and small white spots or red spots in the vaginal mucosa and the cervix, which are identified after the gynecologist’s examination.
What to do: It’s important to go to a gynecologist to be checked, diagnosed and treated. Usually, treatment is done with antimicrobial medication in the form of creams, lotions, or pills.
In some cases, white discharge before menstruation can also indicate pregnancy. When this is the case, the discharge is thicker than usual.
What to do: It’s important to pay attention to other pregnancy signs and symptoms, such as dizziness, headaches, a late period, and cramps. If you have these symptoms, we recommend you do a pregnancy test and visit a gynecologist, who will confirm the pregnancy.