Last updated on July 26th, 2018 at 05:48 pm
Question: What causes thick or watery white discharge week before period?
Just a few days to your period, it’s normal that you are observing minor changes in your body. Women usually get different symptoms when expecting their menstrual period, and in some women, it could affect the way they look like, their breast, and also their vaginal discharge.
In fact, a watery or thick vaginal discharge one week from your next period could be an early pregnancy sign.
The truth is, white discharge from your vagina is healthy in most cases and occurs naturally as your body helps in removing dirt and death cells from your vagina.
Here’s an email I received from Ace (one of my readers)
Hi Dr. Dunn
I had surgery for endometriosis two months ago because I did experience very severe cramps in my lower abdomen and back. After surgery, I felt okay as I don’t feel so much pain anymore.
I am worried about a fluid-like discharge from my vagina that is white and watery. I’m about 1 week before my period starts. Is this a sign of endometriosis or am I pregnant?
Your vaginal discharge volume and texture are easy ways to detect if you are pregnant. If you’ve had an unprotected sexual intercourse and then notice a watery vaginal discharge a week before the period starts, it could be an early pregnancy sign.
Generally, a thick non-smelly discharge is common after ovulation and occurs because of physiologic elevation of progesterone hormone.
As you approach your menstrual period, there is a sudden fall in progesterone that results in vaginal dryness or very little vaginal discharge.
Other reasons for white discharge before period are delayed ovulation, sexual intercourse, yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis infection, and sexual stimulation.
This article explains the reasons you have milky or creamy white discharge week before period, signs that show you are pregnant, and when to worry about your discharge.
What causes women to have vaginal discharge?
Your vagina, like other parts of your body, has a natural protective mechanism that helps keep it clean, while also fighting against bacterial infections.
Cervical glands help in the production of whitish fluid that moves down your vagina and removes dead cells. A normal vaginal pH is acidic (About 3.5 – 4.5), which means it’s difficult for bacteria organism to cause infections.
Provided your vaginal discharge is whitish, non-smelly, and without any irritation in your vulva and lower abdomen, you do not need to worry about an infection.
What causes white discharge week before period?
Whether vaginal discharge is watery, thick, creamy or egg white, if you notice an excessive whitish discharge before your period, here are possible reasons
1. Your period is approaching
One easy way to learn when you are close to your next period is your vaginal discharge. If you’ve been observant, you will have noticed changes to the way your vaginal discharge looks like and feel like.
Sometimes, your discharge becomes thick and cream-like, other times, you will notice your discharge is watery.
When you are expecting menstruation in a few days time, a thick white discharge before period starts is not uncommon.
Other ways to know it’s your period coming are facial acne, breast pain after ovulation, body weakness, mild or severe cramps a week before period, headache, lower back pain, sleepless nights and abdominal bloating.
A thick discharge a week before period is not abnormal and occurs because of “dominant progesterone hormone”.
If you are expecting a baby or worried about being pregnant, your vaginal discharge can be an early sign.
Before the start of menstruation, if you experience a clear watery discharge before period, it’s possible you are pregnant.
During pregnancy, progesterone and estrogen levels become elevated, and because of this, it’s normal that you have so much discharge than normal.
Apart from excessive white discharge, if you are pregnant, you will also experience breast pain, body weakness, mild vaginal brown spotting, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and mood change.
What to do?
It’s important you understand what’s normal for you. A minor change in your body hormones may cause changes in your vaginal discharge.
Having said that, if you are experiencing pregnancy symptoms before your period, you can take a pregnancy test, and if positive, talk to your doctor.
It’s also possible that you will have a negative pregnancy test. This can happen if pregnancy hormones are still low to be detected and if the test were carried out very early.
If you still suspect pregnancy, wait till a week after missed period and check again.
3. You are experiencing a delayed ovulation
During your menstrual cycle, estrogen and progesterone will cause changes to your body, ovaries, and uterine endometrium.
Ovulation, which occurs when a mature follicle breaks open and pushes an egg to your fallopian tube, can cause you to experience a white stretchy egg-like discharge before the start of your period. This occurs because estrogen hormone surge that occurs around ovulation.
Most times, especially in women that have a 28-day menstrual cycle, ovulation happens around day 14 – 16 of your menstrual cycle.
However, an acute illness, weight loss, strenuous exercise may cause hormone imbalance and delay ovulation from occurring when due.
Signs of late ovulation are white watery egg like discharge before period, mild abdominal cramps, lower back pain, fatigue, and breast pain.
4. During and after sexual intercourse
If you are sexually active, you will notice a wet feeling during and after intercourse. This occurs due to increase fluid into your vagina that helps ease friction, tear, and pain.
A white discharge from your vagina after sexual intercourse is nothing abnormal and occurs because of increased Bartholin gland secretions.
Talk to your doctor if vaginal discharge is smelly, offensive, yellowish, greenish, and if you experience severe pain while having intercourse.
When to worry about your vaginal discharge
If you experience any of this type of whitish vaginal discharge, talk to your doctor immediately.
Itching and thick clumpy discharge occur because of a yeast infection. Yeast infection, caused by Candida albicans, results from immunosuppression, steroid use, vaginal douching and women taking birth control pills.
Symptoms of yeast infection are vulva redness, itching, pain while urinating, painful sexual intercourse, and vaginal soreness.
2. White smelly discharge
If your vaginal discharge has an offensive odor and smells like fish, it’s likely you have a bacterial vaginosis infection.