Heavy Discharge: What Causes Increased Discharge?

Heavy discharge

Last updated on July 28th, 2018 at 04:56 am

Are you worried about your heavy discharge? Do you feel your discharge is excessive? These are common questions women ask themselves.

In most women, increased discharge is not a problem. It may because of pregnancy or ovulation. This article will explain the causes of heavy discharge and when to worry about your discharge.


What’s normal about women discharge?

If you’re probably not checking down there to see the color and volume of your discharge, then you should.

Here are some questions you need to ask yourself each time you check your discharge.

Is your discharge excessive? Excessive discharge is not usually a problem when its white in color. If your are pregnant or immediately after sexual intercourse, you could experience increased discharge.

Is your discharge smelly? If no, then its okay. If your discharge is smelly then it is probably due to an infection.

Is your vagina itching with excessive discharge? If you have excessive vaginal discharge with itching, then its because you have yeast. Yeast infection discharge can cause vaginal itching in women especially in diabetics or pregnancy. If you are not sure about your symptoms, then you should inform your doctor.

Do you have vulva soreness? This is also due to an infection down there. Yeast infection can cause vaginal itching with soreness of you vagina.

Do you have fever, lower abdomen pain? Then this is likely due to pelvic inflammatory disease which can affect the genital tracts of women.

What is the color of my discharge? Is it white, brownish or pinkish discharge. White discharge is not usually a problem except there is vaginal itching and smell. Brown or pinkish discharge is also normal in women and can occur because of intercourse, ovulation or if you’re pregnant. It is normal especially when there is no smell at all. Green discharge or yellow discharge is a sign of vaginal infection.


5 Reasons why you have Increased discharge

Excessive discharge most times may not be a sign of infection, here are the possible reasons why your discharge is excessive.


Excessive discharge can be a sign you’re pregnant. During different times in your menstrual cycle, you may experience creamy white discharge, clear watery discharge or thick vaginal discharge.

After your period, your discharge is usually thick white mucus. At the middle of your period, you will experience watery egg white discharge. After ovulation, you discharge becomes thick again. Before few days to when you should menstruate, your may experience a dry vagina due to progesterone depletion.

However, if you continue to see an increased discharge after a missed period, then it may due to pregnancy. Pregnancy discharge is white milky discharge that can be excessive. This is due to effects of hormones produced by your body. Both estrogen and progesterone will stimulate your cervix to increase secretion of clear cervical mucus. This is important to prevent any infection to your baby by forming the mucus plug.

If you are pregnant and worry about excessive discharge, then you shouldn’t. Does it smell? Do you have vaginal itching or pain in your vagina? Do you also have pain while having intercourse?. If your heavy discharge has a mild odor in pregnancy, it could still be normal. However, presence of heavy discharge and vaginal itching, painful urination is likely because of an infection

In addition, if you’ve had unprotected intercourse and you experience excessive discharge just before your period, It could be a pregnancy sign. Always get a pregnancy test done to confirm if you are pregnant.

You are ovulating

Ovulation is the release of ovum from the graafian follicle (most mature follicle in the ovary) to the fallopain tube. During ovulation, some women may complain of excessive clear discharge. This is not a problem except you have vaginal itching or smell down there.

During sexual intercourse?

If you are sexually aroused, the bartholin glands located at the side of your vagina is stimulated. This will increase clear white discharge from the vagina. Secretion from the bartholin gland help to reduce vaginal tear during intercourse.

If you notice a heavy discharge just after having intercourse, then its likely normal. However, presence of smell during or after intercourse with an increased discharge is likely due to an infection.

What should i do if my discharge smells?

After a stressful days

If you notice that excessive white stuff in your vagina after a stressful day, then it may be normal. During a stressful day, there are hormonal changes that occur in your body that cause heavy discharge. Sometimes, it may come out with a smell if it mixes with your sweat.

If you reduce stress, your symptoms will surely improve. Should i be worried? No, except you have smelly persistent discharge with vagina itching.

Vaginal infections

Heavy vaginal discharge can be a sign of an infection in women. If your discharge is smelly, itchy with vulva excoriations then its not normal. Some of the common causes of vaginal infections are:

Yeast infection

Women with yeast infection complain of white cottage cheese like discharge with pain while having intercourse and dysuria. Women taking broad spectrum antibiotics, pregnant women, HIV infected women are at increased risk of having a yeast infection.

However, treatment and cure of yeast is possible. OTC medication like pessaries, creams and oral drugs can cure the infection.

Read more: What yeast infection smell like?

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

This is a vaginal infection that can spread up from your vagina to your abdomen through you cervix, uterus and fallopian tubes. It can be the cause of heavy discharge and it is usually due to chlamydia, gonorrhea, bacterial vaginosis infections. PID can affect your fallopian tubes resulting in tubal pregnancy or infertility in young women.

Symptoms of PID are

  • Pain in the lower part of the abdomen
  • Smelly discharge that can be green or yellow
  • Pain while having intercourse
  • Discomfort while passing urine.


How do you treat an abnormal excessive discharge?

If your discharge is heavy with smell and itching, then you should let your doctor know. Samples of your vagina discharge is collected with a swab and tested for infectious organisms. If you have any infection down there, you will be treated with some drugs.

Yeast infection treatment is by oral fluconazole for non-pregnant women. If you’re pregnant with yeast infection, your doctor may use pessaries or canesten cream which is safe to your baby and pregnancy.

Learn more about yeast infection here.

If your heavy discharge is due to bacterial vaginosis, you will experience a fishy odor at your vagina. This can be treated with use of antibiotics like metronidazole (Flagyl).

Learn more about bacteria vaginosis here

If you vaginal infection is due to PID, the treatment is by use of antibiotics but for a longer duration.

Learn more about PID causes and treatment


Frequently asked questions about Heavy discharge

These are some questions asked by women about their heavy vaginal discharge. If you are still worried or have more questions, let us know.

What causes heavy discharge before period?

If you experience heavy discharge just before your period, then it could be a sign of pregnancy. However, it is possible to still have thick discharge before period without pregnancy.

During your menstrual cycle, progesterone level decreases at 4 to 5 days just before your next period. This causes your vaginal discharge to reduce with dry vagina. If your discharge becomes excessive before your period, then you may be pregnant.

However, It is always important to get a pregnancy test done to rule out the cause of your discharge. Women that experience late period may have excessive discharge due to ovulation before their expected next period.

Is excessive discharge a sign of pregnancy?

If your discharge is becoming excessive, then it may be because you are ovulating or pregnant. Excessive discharge just before your next period may be a sign of pregnancy. If you already missed your period and you are having increased discharge, then you may be pregnant.

What does excessive clear watery discharge mean?

Excessive clear watery discharge may be because your are ovulating or pregnant. If your excessive clear mucus occurs in the middle of you menstrual cycle, it is because you’re ovulating. If it occurs after a missed period, then it could be due to pregnancy.

Is it normal to have a lot of discharge?

Yes. A lot of discharge can come out of your vagina without meaning you have any problems or infection. However, smelly discharge with pain down there is a bad signal.

What is ovulation discharge?

Ovulation discharge is clear watery and egg white discharge you may notice about 14 – 16 days before your next menstruation. It does not smell or cause itching.


Now its your turn. Do you have abnormal excessive discharge and you are worried? share your symptoms and let us know.

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