Normally vaginal discharge appears in the form of cervical mucus, which is produced in six stages, exfoliated endothelial lining and agents of normal microflora. Pathologies develop on the background of any imbalance in these components. We can outline five basic types of anomalous white discharge before period: curdy, cream-like discharge with a fishy smell, foamy, profuse liquid discharge and secrete with admixtures. Only a specialist can define the type of pathology after thorough examination.
Periodicity of white discharge before period
Prior to the start of periods, there is constant production of vaginal mucus, containing exfoliated endothelial cells (“inner epithelium”) and bacteria, representing normal vaginal microflora. The amount of vaginal discharge depends on the stage of cervical mucus production. It is secreted by the glands, located in the thickness of the cervical mucous lining. This process is regulated by the ratio of progesterone and estrogen levels in the blood. These hormones are known to be in charge of the whole menstrual cycle, which covers the following stages:
- “Dry days” occur immediately after a period – there is almost no discharge in this period, since there is practically no estrogen activity. Chances of conception are minimal; therefore, there is no necessity in mucus production as long as its main purpose, after mechanical cleaning and protection of the vagina, is contributing to fertilization. To be more precise – mucus creates favorable conditions for the sperm cells, awaiting for the ovum. It also contributes to their successful encounter.
- In 2-3 days the dry period is followed by white thick discharge, which is also little suitable for comfortable fertilization.
- In another few days, the discharge tends to acquire softer structure – appearing in the form of milky white cream-like mucus.
- The next stage involves profuse liquid discharge.
- The “egg white” stage actually precedes ovulation. This period is marked by nutritive, sticky clear discharge and similar to the preceding two stages it is highly suitable for providing a favorable environment for the encounter of sex cells.
- White discharge before period becomes thicker following the ovum’s emergence from the follicle, in case conception does not take place. Its chemical composition changes under the influence of progesterone, which takes up the dominance in the second half of the cycle.
Pathological milky white vaginal discharge
Appearance of admixtures in vaginal discharge; bad smell and changes in its consistency or intensity of production out of the cycle; as well as irritation of the skin and the mucous membrane of sex organs constitute a distinct symptom of a certain pathology.
Let us study five basic types of deviation from the norm.
- Curdy discharge. This type of white discharge before period occurs in the presence of fungal infection (thrush). Candida fungi are the most common incitant agents of mycosis, locating in various organs and systems. Fungal affection of the vagina assumes curdy discharge with acid, purulent smell, as well as significant swelling and reddening of vaginal mucous membrane.
- Creamy stinky vaginal discharge. Apart from infection, the vagina can be affected by dysbacteriosis. This involves substitution of lactobacteria with pathogenic Gardnerella vaginalis, which also make part of normal microflora, only in a limited number. These pathogenic microorganisms develop in the setting of immune deficiency. In this case, the mucus acquires fishy smell, which also provokes significant irritation in the area of sex organs.
- Foamy discharge. Occurrence of bubbles in profuse liquid discharge is a symptom of trichomoniasis, which is a sexually contracted disease.
- Clear watery discharge. Such an alteration may be provoked by multiple conditions. This type of discharge is never observed in the postmenopausal period, and in some cases it accompanies tubal pathologies (such as cancer, disturbance of ectopic pregnancy). In the last mentioned cases, vaginal discharge is not transparent. It contains blood, while painful sensations may accompany the discharge from the vagina.
- Milky white discharge with various admixtures. This last variant may contain matter (obvious infectious nature) or blood. Appearance of blood in the discharge is characteristic to various diseases: hormonal dysfunction, microtraumas, inflicted during intercourse, sexually transmitted diseases, oncological pathologies of the uterus and the uterine cervix, etc.
Thus, changes of color, consistency or amount of white discharge before period should urge the woman to consult a gynecologist. Since only the specialist can define the nature or the etiology of changes, prescribing adequate therapy.