Your vaginal discharge cycle can tell you a lot about your fertility and reproductive health. It also alerts you of abnormal conditions that you should be concerned about.
Have you been paying attention to your vaginal discharge, the clear, watery, creamy or egg white-like mucus that comes out of your vagina month after month?
It actually tells you quite a bit about the stages of your menstrual cycle and the changes in your fertility level. It also alerts you of abnormal conditions that you should be concerned about.
The Purpose of Vaginal Discharge
Vaginal discharge is often triggered by the estrogen level in your body. As you approach ovulation your estrogen level increases, which stimulates the production of fertile mucus. On averge, this process usually starts 6 days before ovulation.
The purpose of the vaginal discharge is simple. It helps create a friendlier environment for the interested suiters (the sperm) to meet with the princess (the egg).
The cervical mucus does this by neutralizing the PH in the vagina (making it more alkaline), and by creating moisture and fluidity so the eager sperm cells can more easily swim through the vaginal canal to meet the precious egg princess in the uterus.
Vaginal Discharge Cycle
During a menstrual cycle, the specialized glands in the cervix produce 4 types of vaginal discharge in response to changes in estrogen levels.
For example, you may notice white, pasty discharge after your period, followed by creamy and egg white-like discharge as you approach ovulation. Then the discharge may dry up or disappear all together until the next cycle.
Since the vaginal discharge cycle is more subtle than the menstrual cycle (which is clearly marked by the onset of menstruation), you may need to pay a little attention to notice these changes – at least initially.
But it’s well worth the effort because your discharge cycle can tell you a lot about your fertility and general reproductive health. And this is useful whether you’re trying to conceive or avoid unwanted pregnancy.
Below is a summary of the vaginal discharge chart, followed by an explanation of each type of discharge during a typical menstrual cycle.
Dry Discharge, the G Type
This type of discharge is dry, pasty and impenetrable, and is associated with a feeling of dryness at the vulva. It’s produced at infertile times, i.e. at all times except ovulation.
Dry discharge shows up a few days before and after your period
Let’s try to make this clear. Your infertile days are usually a few days after your period and a few days before your next period. That’s why they’re called “dry days.” These are the days when you’re least likely to get pregnant if you engage in unprotected sex.
The purpose of the dry, pasty G Type discharge is to block sperm from entering the uterus. In my mind, the “G” stands for “Gate.” It’s like a gatekeeper telling the visitors, “Hey, right now we’re closed for business. Come back another time.”
Creamy Discharge, the L Type
As estrogen levels begin to rise, the cervix produces a more liquid type of vaginal discharge. This causes the vaginal sensation to be more sticky and wet.
Creamy discharge appears when you approach ovulation (day 7-11)
You may notice white creamy mucus at the opening of your vagina that feels sticky or tacky between your dry days and your ovulation days. If you have a 28-day cycle, you’ll probably notice the creamy mucus on days 7-11, for example.
Compared to the dry discharge, the creamy discharge is thinner, but still rather dense. The purpose of the creamy L Type discharge is to catch and filter out some of the abnormal or poor-quality sperm cells before they reach the uterus.
In my mind, the “L” stands for “Leader.” This is the test to weed out the weak sperm and select only the strongest and most viable sperm cells, who may be lucky enough to unite with the precious egg princess.
Egg white-like Discharge, the S Type
As ovulation approaches, a more stretchy and slippery type of discharge is produced. It’s often referred to as an egg white-like mucus. This condition creates a distinctively wet sensation at your vulva, and strings of egg white-like discharge, sometimes mixed with clumps of creamy discharge.
Egg white-like discharge is produced when you ovulate (day 12-16)
This is a clear sign of ovulation. If you notice clear and slippery egg white-like discharge, you’re probably ovulating. Your ovulation days are usually 12 to 16 days before your next expected period. This is the prime time to engage in unprotected sex if you want to be pregnant, or the “slippery days” if you want to avoid pregnancy.
The purpose of the egg white-like discharge is to create or facilitate pathways for the shortlisted sperm to enter the uterus. In my mind, the “S” stands for “Swim.” This is when the eager sperm cells swim vigorously across the canal to get closer to the egg princess.
Lubricating Discharge, the P Type
Finally, as ovulation is imminent, the mucus loses its stretch and becomes extremely lubricating. This produces a slippery sensation in the vulva.
Lubricating discharge indicates your peak fertility (last day of ovulation)
The last day that P Type mucus is produced is the most fertile day of the whole cycle, i.e. the day before the egg is released or the day it is released.
The P Type mucus is so named because of its rich potassium content. In my mind, though, I associate the “P” with “Peak.” It’s the peak of the union of the prince sperm and the princess egg, as the sperm pass through the cervix to the uterus.
Vaginal Discharge and Ovulation
From the above discussion, you can see that vaginal discharge is closely related to ovulation. This makes sense because ovulation is the most important sign post for your fertility.
So whether you want to get pregnant or to avoid it, you need to know when you ovulate. And the different types of discharge can give you a clue on where you are in your fertile cycle. You can then use this knowledge to do some “smart family planning.”
Normal Versus Abnormal Discharge
There are a few other types of vaginal discharge I’d like to mention. Some of them may be normal. But some of them are abnormal that need to be checked out.
Normal Vaginal Discharge
Sometimes you may notice clear and watery discharge at different times of your cycle. This is completely normal, and it can be particularly heavy after exercising.
Sometimes you may also see brown discharge right after your period. It’s most likely the “cleaning out” of the vagina, and there’s nothing to worry about.
Abnormal Vaginal Discharge
If you notice excessive vaginal discharge, you may wonder if this is normal. Well, it may be normal in the medical sense, which means that the results of your pelvic exam are likely to come back normal.
However, it could still indicate a hormonal imbalance (e.g., estrogen dominance) since vaginal discharge is closely related to estrogen levels. Check to see if you have signs of estrogen dominance.
Cottage Cheese-like, Yellow or Green Discharge
This may indicate an infection, especially if it’s thick or clumpy like cottage cheese or has a foul odor. If the discharge also accompanies pain, itching, discomfort, rash or sore, you should certainly get tested.
Why Care About Your Vaginal Discharge
There are three main reasons why you should care about your vaginal discharge: 1) You’re trying to conceive; 2) You want to avoid pregnancy; 3) You’re concerned about a possible vaginal infection.
Wanting to Conceive
If you’re trying to conceive, you need to know when you ovulate. And observing your vaginal discharge is an easy and effective way to help you identify the days of your peak fertility – and increase your chances of getting pregnant. Here are some tips for your consideration:
1. Chart your ovulation by observing the different types of vaginal discharge.
2. Use an Ovulation Test Kit to help identify your peak fertility window.
3. Check out our resource library for tips on how to enhance your fertility.
Trying to Avoid Unplanned Pregnancy
On the other hand, having an intimate knowledge about your vaginal discharge can also help you avoid unplanned pregnancy. Here are my recommendations for you:
1. Learn when it is safe to have unprotected sex.
3. If you suspect that you may be pregnant, read signs of early pregnancy.
Concerned about Abnormal Vaginal Discharge
If you’re wondering if your vaginal discharge is abnormal either due to a hormone imbalance or an infection, here’s what I’d recommend:
1. Learn the 8 most common types of vaginal infections to get yourself educated on this matter.
2. Understand the leading causes of vaginal infections so you can avoid or reduce your exposure to them.
3. Check out the 10 most effective home remedies for yeast and other vaginal infections based on my extensive research. Many ladies have found them very helpful.
Since I began to pay attention to my own vaginal discharge, I’ve learned so much about my monthly cycles. I’m continuously amazed by how much there is to learn about our bodies and ourselves. And the more we learn to read our bodies’ signals, the more prepared and ready we are to take better care of ourselves.
I encourage you to start a whole new relationship with your menstrual cycle. Let it become a source of knowledge, creativity and wisdom, instead of a cause of shame, pain and suffering.
Grab my Free Period Guide to begin your journey to healing, health and wholeness…