Throughout the menstrual cycle vaginal discharge varies from bloody to mucous. The peak of white jelly like discharge production coincides with ovulation, since cervical mucus, which is contained in it, is necessary for opportune fertilization. Vaginal secrete performs a protective function as well. Appearance of matter, blood, foam and/or unpleasant smell in white mucous discharge testifies to the development of certain diseases and requires consulting a specialist.
Vaginal discharge between periods is usually white and is marked with variable intensity and consistency. The last two features are dependant upon the phase of production of cervical mucus, which is the basic component of vaginal secrete. Apart from mucus, it comprises exfoliated endothelial cells (internal lining of the vagina) and bacteria, which provide for normal vaginal micro flora.
Profuse white discharge is one of the stages of cervical mucus production
We can outline six basic stages of mucus production:
- «Rest» of mucous glands – «dry days»;
- Thick sticky discharge;
- Cream like mucus;
- White jelly like mucus, which resembles an egg white;
- Thick discharge before the period.
Increase of the discharge and its thinning down in phases 2-5 are regulated by the growth of estrogen level in the organism. Since its peak falls at ovulation, it leads to the greatest amount of clear jelly like discharge. The last phase is regulated by progesterone. Its influence determines average intensity and less “sticky” structure of premenstrual discharge.
What is white mucous discharge required for?
The main purpose of cervical mucus is contributing to opportune fertilization. Observing intensive secretion of white sticky discharge, which has no specific smell, one can assume emergence of the ovum from the follicle. Keeping track of the volume and texture of vaginal discharge lies at the root of the birth control method.
Determining the peak of discharge through the maintenance of a special record book, you will be able to calculate the approximate day of ovulation and abstain from intercourse, to avoid undesired pregnancy. This method has no more than 70% of accuracy, which, however can be increased if apart from monitoring cervical mucus the woman also keeps a diagram of basal temperature.
Besides, white vaginal discharge is vital for the regenerative function of the organism, since it carries out necrotic cells of the mucous lining. It performs a protective function as well. The last objective is obtained by means of two important factors. The first one is, that lactobacilli, that are contained in the secrete, provide for the maintenance of a low level of рН(≤ 4,0), i.e., they create an acid environment. Pathological microorganisms cannot survive and proliferate in such conditions.
The second factor is that outwards direction of cervical mucus flow creates a mechanical obstacle for the travel of bacteria into the reproductive organs, which are situates higher in the organism, since even infectious agents, that manage to overcome the “acid barrier”, are simply washed away from the uterine cavity.
Can white creamy discharge be pathological?
The answer is “yes”. Even if the discharge looks the same as it used to, but acquires unpleasant smell, then it is most probably the case with bacterial vaginosis – dysbacteriosis. The following changes in vaginal mucous discharge are certainly unfavorable for health:
- Curdy consistency with acid putrid smell (candidiasis);
- Foaminess (trichomoniasis);
- Extremely profuse and watery discharge (can have many various causes, including oncological pathology of adnexa. It can also be warning of interruption of tubal pregnancy);
- Blood or matter admixtures, as well as genital discomfort – itching, burning, etc. (sexually transmitted infections, cervical diseases, etc.)
All the above mentioned types of vaginal secretes point to various diseases, which can be diagnosed only by a gynecologist. You should immediately see your doctor in case you observe one of the pathological variants of vaginal secrete instead of white semi-transparent discharge with no smell.