How Many Days Before a Period Do You Get Discharge

How Many Days Before a Period Do You Get Discharge

How Many Days Before a Period Do You Get Discharge?

Vaginal discharge during menstruation and normal vaginal health is normal. However, changes in discharge can indicate a problem.

The menstrual cycle prepares a woman’s body for pregnancy. Ovulation occurs when an egg is released from the ovaries. Hormonal changes also prepare the uterus for pregnancy.

Vaginal discharge is not limited to the period phase of the menstrual cycle.

The average menstrual cycle is 28 days, but it can range from 21 to 35 days. The cycle begins on the first day of the period.

The menstrual cycle consists of four phases:

  • Menses, which lasts one to five days and involves uterine lining shedding
  • Follicular phase, when estrogen levels rise, causing the uterine lining to thicken
  • Ovulation, which occurs around day 14 and leads to increased vaginal discharge
  • Luteal phase, when the egg travels to the uterus and prepares for menses

Signs of vaginal discharge

A certain amount of fluid flowing out of the vagina during the menstrual cycle is normal. This clear or milky discharge, known as cervical mucus, helps keep the vagina clean.

Vaginal discharge varies throughout the menstrual cycle and indicates different stages of fertility. During ovulation, cervical mucus resembles egg whites and promotes sperm reaching the egg.

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Types of discharge associated with different phases of the menstrual cycle include:

  • Thick, white discharge, indicating the beginning or end of the cycle
  • Clear, stretchy discharge, indicating ovulation
  • Clear, watery discharge, occurring at other times
  • Brown discharge, which may occur after a period as the vagina clears itself
  • Yellow or green discharge, which may indicate infection


Causes of vaginal discharge

Vaginal discharge is normal for both menstruation and vaginal health. It is usually milky and odorless. Changes in discharge can be a sign of infection or an imbalance in vaginal bacteria.

Spotting or light bleeding between periods may also indicate a health issue.

Changes in vaginal discharge can be caused by:

  • Using feminine hygiene sprays
  • Using certain types of soaps
  • Taking antibiotics
  • Douching

When to see a doctor for vaginal discharge

Any changes in vaginal discharge — color, smell, or volume — should be evaluated by a doctor. Contact your healthcare provider if you experience the following:

  • Sudden cessation of your period
  • Severe pain during your period
  • Spotting or bleeding between periods
  • Increased frequency or heaviness of bleeding

Diagnosis for vaginal discharge

A doctor will perform an examination to determine the cause of your symptoms. This may include a pelvic exam to look for discharge or swelling.

Possible diagnoses include yeast infection, trichomoniasis, or bacterial vaginosis.

Treatments for vaginal discharge

Bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis are treated with antibiotics. Yeast infections can be treated with over-the-counter antifungal creams. Lifestyle changes can also help prevent abnormal vaginal discharge.

  • Wipe from front to back after using the bathroom
  • Wear breathable cotton underpants and avoid tight clothing
  • Avoid hot tubs
  • Do not douche
  • Avoid feminine hygiene sprays
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What does yellow discharge mean?

The vagina is a part of the female reproductive system, connecting the uterus with the exterior. Vaginal discharge is fluid secreted by the uterus, cervix, and vagina. It may be normal or abnormal. Normal discharge maintains vaginal health and protects against infection.

Normal vaginal fluid can range in color and texture, depending on the menstrual cycle stage and other factors. Yellow discharge can indicate vaginitis or other conditions. Consult a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.


American Academy of Family Physicians: "Vaginal Discharge."

Cleveland Clinic: "Normal Menstruation."

Harvard Medical School: "Vaginal Discharge."

Mayo Clinic: "Menstrual cycle: What’s normal, what’s not."

Mayo Clinic: "Vaginitis."

Medscape Medical Reference

Sutter Health: "Vaginal Discharge."


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