Last updated on July 26th, 2018 at 06:02 pm
Question: What causes white discharge instead of period? Is it pregnancy? Should I take a pregnancy test?
Provided you’ve started having sexual intercourse; you are at risk of getting pregnant and also contracting sexually transmitted infections.
The truth is, after unprotected sex, you can get pregnant. And if you do, your period will stop coming, and you will also notice increased clear whitish discharge from your vagina.
White discharge from your vagina instead for period can cause women to panic, especially if you are not planning for pregnancy.
For women that are expecting a baby, a whitish vaginal discharge instead of your period is an early sign that you could be pregnant.
Here’s an email from Thelma (one of my readers)
Hi Dr. Dunn
I’m 23 years old and had sexual intercourse with my boyfriend on the 22nd of June (which is about a week after my period)
I’m expecting my period, and suddenly I get this clear white discharge instead of my menstrual period.
I’m worried because I had a pregnancy test and its negative. Are there other reasons my period could be delayed apart from pregnancy?
Just like Thelma, if your period gets delayed even by a day, it could cause you to worry. The thoughts of pregnancy come first especially if you’ve had unprotected sex with your partner.
During pregnancy, your vaginal discharge becomes excessive, milky or watery, and your body produces lot more hormones that stop the regular menstrual period from showing up.
Another reason your period could be delayed is late ovulation. Other causes of white menstruation instead of period are stress, Postinor pills, birth control medications, thyroid dysfunction and ovarian cyst.
This article explains
- Causes of whitish vaginal discharge instead of period
- Signs that show you are pregnant
- Why you have white discharge instead of period negative pregnancy test
- When to take a pregnancy test
What causes clear white discharge instead of period?
If you get clear white discharge when you are supposed to have period, Here are possible reasons
Pregnancy (watch video)
To get pregnant, you’ve had intercourse with your boyfriend without the use of a condom. If you’ve used a condom and it breaks, you are still at risk of getting pregnant.
During pregnancy, different hormones will prevent your period from coming when due. Estrogen and progesterone levels are low in one or two days before the start of your menstrual period.
However, if you become pregnant, these hormones work to shift your period until after pregnancy, and also, make changes to your vaginal discharge.
An abundant creamy white discharge instead of period occur because estrogen hormone causes your cervix to increase the production of mucus from your vagina.
If this happens, you will notice a whitish mucus from your vagina that is clear or milky and a delayed period.
The truth is, your period can be delayed for days by other reasons apart from pregnancy. So, if you’ve still not experienced pregnancy symptoms (discussed later in this article), then it could be due to hormone imbalance.
It’s possible you’ve had a hard week with so much of stress, or you’ve recently started vigorous exercise to lose weight fast. If this happens, your period could be delayed due to unbalanced hormones.
Apart from a missed period and a clear discharge, there are other pregnancy symptoms you should check for.
When you get pregnant, feeling exhausted and fatigue will suddenly be a new friend. You will notice you get weak easily. This usually happens because of a fall in blood pressure and sugar levels in early pregnancy.
While you are about to miss your period, a heavy discharge and breast pain a few days from the start of menstruation may signify you are pregnant.
Breast changes are common during your menstrual cycle, and if you get pregnant, you will experience dramatic changes to your boobs as they become larger than normal.
If you’ve already missed your period, you will begin to feel itching nipples and notice a darkened skin around your nipples (called the areola).
Other early symptoms of pregnancy you may or may not have experienced are slight brown spotting before your missed period (implantation bleeding), Headache, abdominal cramps, constipation, frequent urination, vomiting and mood swings.
What to do?
If you’ve not had sexual intercourse that puts you at risk of pregnancy, you should be patient for a few days because it’s normal that your menstrual cycle hormone may fluctuate from time to time, resulting in a delayed period.
However, if you’ve had sexual intercourse, and missed your period with excessive vaginal discharge, it’s important you take a pregnancy test right away. If you are positive, talk to your doctor.
What causes white discharge instead of period negative pregnancy test?
The fact that you’ve missed your period for days and have an increased vaginal discharge does not always mean its pregnancy. If you’ve missed your period, and tested negative to a pregnancy test, it could be something else apart from pregnancy.
Causes of whitish vaginal discharge with a negative pregnancy test are
1. Delayed ovulation
Ovulation occurs in your body from time to time. In most women, ovulation will take place around a weeks after your period has stopped.
If an “ovulation egg” is not fertilized, your body will observe changes too and start preparing for your next menstrual period.
Sometimes, a woman’s body hormones may fluctuate resulting in variations in the timing of ovulation. If ovulation becomes delayed, it simply indicates your next menstrual period will also be delayed for a few days.
Reasons for delayed ovulation are excessive body exercise, hormone imbalance, polycystic ovarian syndrome, acute illness, chronic illness, and too much body stress.
2. Wrong testing technique
A whitish discharge but no period and a negative pregnancy test are common in women who also do not take a pregnancy test as recommended.
To prevent this, take your test in the morning with your first bladder urine and then follow instructions on your kit.
Other causes of white discharge but no period
- Perimenopause (common in women aged 40 – 50 years)
- Premature menopause (due to ovarian follicle abnormality)
- Hypothalamic dysfunction that could result from eating problems, long-distance travel, physical stress of your body, many nights without adequate sleep and relaxation, emotional problems, hypertension, and diabetes.
What causes white discharge instead of period on birth control pills?
If you are on birth control medications, a whitish discharge but no period will come as a surprise.
Here’s an email I received from one of my readers
I need to know if I’m pregnant or not.
I’m on birth control pill and I am not planning on getting pregnant. I was supposed to start my period yesterday, but when I wipe I notice I have so much clear white discharge.
Is it possible I could be pregnant on the pill?
A birth control pill prevents pregnancy, but nothing is 100 percent perfect. Also, it’s unlikely you will get pregnant if you’ve consistently taken your pills routinely at the same time every day.
Depending on the type of birth control pill you’re on, your period will be delayed for a long time, and it’s okay if you have white discharge too.
It’s important you notify your health care provider and ask relevant questions (including side effects) about your medications.