White Sticky Discharge: When to worry?

White Sticky Discharge

Last updated on July 28th, 2018 at 05:01 am

Do you experience clear white sticky discharge during your menstrual cycle and you are worried? Sticky discharge is common in women and is mostly normal.

This guide will explain the possible causes, the three types and color and when your sticky discharge may be due to an infection.


What is vaginal discharge?

Vaginal discharge is a natural way every woman cleans her vagina and prevents infection. It can be of different colors or thickness during your menstrual cycle. Your menstrual cycle is the time difference between 2 of your menstruation. It is usually between 21 and 35 days.

Also, vaginal discharge can have different colors during your menstrual cycle. It may be brownish, pinkish, yellowish, milky white, creamy or the typical white vaginal discharge.

Should I be worried about any of these colors?

No. Most women with yellowish discharge may have an infection, but it could still be normal in others. Also, brownish discharge can be a sign you’re ovulating or pregnancy.

Just like there could be different colors, there are also different texture of your discharge. It could be watery, sticky, creamy or thick depending on the time of your cycle.


Is sticky mucus discharge normal in women?

Yes. Sticky mucus discharge is a normal discharge. During your menstrual cycle, there are hormone changes that occur in your body that affects your vaginal discharge. During your period, when you’re shredding uterine endometrial tissues, estrogen level begins to rise. This is due to the effects of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) on your ovaries.

As your follicle in your ovaries grows, then help boost estrogen production. After your period ends, cervical mucus is creamy and sticky.

Around ovulation, your discharge is watery and egg white discharge. This is your fertile mucus and sexual intercourse during this period can get you pregnant.

After ovulation, which is the rupture and release of an egg from your ovaries, there is an increased level of progesterone. This progesterone will cause sticky mucus which is thick in the later part of your menstrual cycle. Just before your ovulation, your discharge becomes dry or thick white.

Should I be worried about my white sticky discharge?

No. Sticky discharge is not an abnormal discharge. It can occur naturally before and after your ovulation. Sticky discharge after your ovulation can be brownish, bloody or pinkish. This happens due to the effect of ovulation which can cause bleeding during rupture of the follicle.

Should I be worried if my sticky discharge is smelling and with odor?

Yes. Normal sticky discharge does not have any odor, smell or vaginal itching. If your discharge has an odor, then it may be because of an infection.


What are the types and colors of sticky discharge

Sticky discharge can be brown, yellow, green and whitish.

1.  White sticky discharge

This is the most common type experienced by women. It is white in color and does not smell or cause vaginal itching. White sticky discharge is normal, and you should not be worried about it.

Should I get worried if my sticky discharge is excessive?

No. This is normal in women especially during ovulation, when pregnant and while you’re breastfeeding.

2.  Yellow sticky discharge

This is mostly due to infection of the vagina. Common infections that can cause yellow sticky discharge are chlamydia, trichomonas infection, and gonorrhea. If left untreated or poorly treated can become complicated resulting in pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can affect your fallopian tubes resulting in difficulty getting pregnant, pus in your abdomen and tubal pregnancy.

However, it is possible to have a healthy sticky yellow discharge. When you discharge into your panties, it can turn yellow on contact with room air. This is not a problem especially when you do not have any smell, vaginal itching or soreness of your vagina.

Also, yellow discharge due to infection requires treatment. You should inform your doctor about your discharge.

3.  Brown sticky discharge

This is most likely due to ovulation or during pregnancy.

When does ovulation occur? And what does it mean? 

Ovulation is normal in every regular menstrual cycle. It is the release of an egg from your ovary. This egg, which is released into your fallopian tube, is produced due to rupture of the most mature ovarian follicle. This rupture causes slight spotting in women. When this bleeding is mixed with your sticky clear discharge, it comes out your vagina as brownish discharge.

Ovulation usually occurs during the middle of your cycle. If you have a 28-day menstrual cycle, it is likely that ovulation will occur in the middle (that is day 14-16).

Should I be worried about my brown sticky mucus due to ovulation?

No. It resolves in few days and does not have an odor. However, if it continues for days can increasingly become bloody, then it’s abnormal.

Also, brown sticky discharge can be a sign that you are pregnant. After the release of the egg into the fallopian tube, it is fertilized by the sperm to form your baby. After fertilization, the zygote (baby) will need to be implanted into the endometrial lining of the uterus. This process can cause some women to have slight bleeding. If this blood from implantation mixes with your discharge, it forms sticky brown discharge.

Should I be worried?

No. Brown sticky discharge due to ovulation resolves in few days. It usually occurs after ovulation and before your next period. It has no smell or vaginal itching.


When should I worry about my sticky white discharge?

Normal discharge has no odor, smell, vaginal itching or neither does it cause pain during intercourse. However, if you develop any of these symptoms then you should get worried as it’s likely due to an infection

Also, yellow discharge and green sticky discharge with smell and itching are a sign of infection.

Each time you notice that stuff is coming down your vagina, you should ask yourself these questions.

  • Is my discharge white? (It could be yellow, brown and still normal)
  • Is it excessive? (It could be excessive and still normal)
  • Any smell or itching? (If your discharge is itching and white then you could have yeast infection)
  • Do I have low abdomen pain or fever? (This is likely due to pelvic inflammatory disease)

Yeast infection

This is an infection that can affect your vagina. It is caused by Candida albicans, a fungi. If you have yeast, you will notice white cottage cheese looking discharge come down your vagina with pain and vaginal itching. You may notice difficulty while urinating and discomfort during intercourse.

However, it can be treated early with use of over-the-counter antifungal drugs. If you are not sure of your symptoms, let your doctor know.

PID (Pelvic inflammatory disease)

This is an infection caused by gonorrhea, bacterial vaginosis and chlamydia infections. If left untreated can cause problems with getting pregnant in the future.

Learn PID symptoms and treatment


Frequently asked question about white sticky discharge

These are some frequently asked questions we received about sticky discharge. Feel free to ask more question or suggestions below.

Is clear sticky discharge a sign of pregnancy?

Yes. Brown sticky discharge may be a sign of pregnancy if it occurs after ovulation. This usually happens one week while you’re expecting the next period. Other signs and symptoms of pregnancy include abdomen pain, feeling tired and breast changes and pain.

Also, clear sticky discharge that occurs after you have missed your period with pregnancy symptoms may be due to pregnancy. Not sure about your symptoms, then run a pregnancy test.

What causes white sticky discharge before period?

White sticky discharge that occurs before your period is not abnormal. During the early and late part of your menstrual cycle, your discharge is thick white or dry. However, if you’ve missed your expecting period, then clear sticky discharge may be a pregnancy sign.

What causes white sticky discharge after period?

White and clear stick discharge after period is normal discharge and you should not be worried.


Now it’s your turn. Do you feel your sticky discharge is abnormal? Let us know.

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