You must be aware that your menstrual cycle is characterized by rise and fall in the levels of certain hormones. These hormones are responsible for regulating your menstrual cycle. During your cycle, your reproductive organs are continuously at work, first producing viable egg, then creating a conducive environment for the sperm to fertilize egg, and finally, either preparing the body for pregnancy or ejecting the unfertilized egg out of the body. These activities trigger the cervix to produce mucus which is discharged from the vagina from time to time.
What are the Causes
The cervical mucus clears the uterine lining and gets rid of old cells and other debris from the uterus from time to time. Thus, it is responsible for keeping your vagina clean and healthy. Its consistency and color undergoes a lot of change throughout your menstrual cycle. Mostly, it is clear or milky white with a thin consistency. However, as your ovulation day approaches, it becomes thick and sticky, the same texture and consistency as an egg white. This cervical mucus is also referred to as fertile mucus, as it assists the sperm to swim forward and reach the egg. This is your body's mechanism to ensure that you have maximum chances of conception. Post ovulation, the mucus starts thinning out and its quantity also begins to diminish. Right before your period, the mucus becomes watery and clear.
This is usually the normal activity of cervical mucus in your body. However, the color, consistency, and amount may vary for every woman. It is also possible to get reddish, brown, or yellow discharge before or after your period. This is nothing but old blood which your body is trying to expel by mixing it with mucus. Brown discharge may also come from bleeding polyps inside the uterus. Polyps are a group of cells inside uterus that are mostly benign in nature. A brown or pinkish discharge before your period may indicate a possible conception. This is implantation bleeding which results from the burrowing action of a fertilized egg inside the uterine wall. The embryo begins its development inside the uterus.
While the above cases of variation are perfectly normal, there are some other instances which may warrant attention. If you find your cervical mucus changes its consistency to that of a cottage cheese or emits a foul odor, it could be an indication of a possible yeast infection. Yeast infections are also accompanied by itching, burning, and pain in vagina. Another type of infection that can affect the nature of discharge you get is bacterial infection. In this case, the discharge becomes thick, yellowish-green, and frothy. These infections can be treated by a course of antibiotics. The infections are likely to be recurrent in women with compromised immune systems and/or lack of hygiene practice in intimate area.
Clear watery discharge before menstrual period is perfectly normal and should not become a cause for concern. However, if you also experience pain, itching, burning along with the discharge, then you might want to report your condition to a doctor. Also make sure that the discharge does not result from incontinence. In that case, you may want to see a urologist for a possible bladder infection.
Thus, you should not get anxious over it. Just make sure you can tell the difference between what is normal discharge and what is not. Any abnormal instance must be reported to your gynecologist.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.