Throughout your menstrual cycle, your vaginal discharge will change in appearance. This is because of hormones and physiological processes that are designed to prepare your body for conception. Before ovulation, your body is preparing for conception to happen. If the egg is not fertilized during this time, then it is dissolved and the body prepares for menstruation to happen.
During each month, the consistency and amount of vaginal secretions can change. If you suddenly develop a type of vaginal secretion that you are not used to, it can be a worrisome event. You may be afraid that you have an infection or some type of disease. In many cases, these changes are perfectly normal. Clear, stretchy vaginal discharge is often a perfectly normal experience and is probably not anything that you need to worry about.
Clear, Stretchy Vaginal Discharge: What Is It?
Most vaginal discharge will contain a certain amount of mucus. During most of the month, this mucus will not be particularly abundant and it may look slightly cloudy. It is rare for mucus to be completely clear because it carries a number of other fluids out of the body. Your vaginal discharge will most likely contain lymphatic transudates, skin cells, microorganisms and other secretions caused by the sebaceous and sweat glads.
Every woman who is at childbearing age will experience some type of vaginal discharge. This discharge is used by the body as a self-cleansing system, so it is just a sign that everything is going fine with your reproductive system. Unless it changes color, scent or quantity drastically, you probably do not have anything to worry about.
Changes in Vaginal Discharge
If you use a pad, it may look like the secretions have a yellow-ish hue. Do not be alarmed because this is perfectly normal. Your vaginal discharge will also change around ovulation. For most women, this will be between day 12 and day 16 of the menstrual cycle. At this time, the discharge will typically become clear, stretchy and thin. It will look similar in consistency to a raw egg white.
At ovulation, your discharge will most likely be more abundant than normal. The clear, stretchy vaginal discharge known as egg white discharge will last for a maximum of three days. It is not a sign that anything is wrong with your body. Instead, it shows that you are approaching your peak fertility levels and can conceive a child if you have sex during this time.
If you do want to conceive, you can use cervical mucus to track when you are most fertile. You can also count the days of the month to figure out an approximate time when you ovulate or use over-the-counter ovulation predictor tests. While your vaginal discharge is fairly minimal and clear at the start of the month, it will suddenly become stretchy and abundant near ovulation. This change is done by your body to make it easier for sperm to reach the egg.
Can Clear, Stretchy Vaginal Discharge Happen at Other Times?
While it is most common during ovulation, there are other times when this type of discharge is quite normal. Before, during or right after sex, it is normal to experience this type of discharge. It should never cause any type of itching, irritation or discomfort. If the discharge has a foul scent or causes itching, it could be a sign that you have a vaginal infection. If so, it is important to go to your doctor to have tests run to see if your body is healthy.
After ovulation has occurred, do not be surprised if the amount and consistency of your discharge changes. At this time period, discharge will typically have a cream-like appearance and may decline in quantity. You may have more discharge about two or three days before your menstruation starts. As long as the discharge smells and looks normal, you are perfectly healthy.
It is also possible to experience clear, stretchy vaginal discharge during pregnancy. While this can happen at any time, it is most common during the first trimester and right before labor begins. This type of discharge occurs because of the hormones released by the body during pregnancy. As your hormonal levels change, it can cause the discharge to change as well. Right before labor, the stretchy discharge may be released because of the mucus plug. For some women, this can be a sign that labor is about to appear. While you may have some blood mixed into the discharge, it is important to go to your doctor to make sure that what you are experiencing is a normal sign of labor.
Other than ovulation and pregnancy, your discharge could change for a few other reasons. A new sex partner, changing weather or hormonal therapy can all cause changes in your vaginal discharge. Basically anything that can cause your hormones to change can cause your vaginal discharge to change as well.
When Should I Be Worried?
While clear, stretchy vaginal discharge is generally not a reason to be concerned, there are some things that you should watch out for. As a rule, you should go to the doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms during any type of discharge:
– Exceptionally abundant discharge that continues for every day for weeks
– You feel pain or discomfort around your vaginal area
– You feel dizzy or lightheaded
– Blood or brown-colored clots are mixed in with the discharge
– Your discharge has a foul or unusual odor
– You have a high temperature
– The discharge turns gray, green, white or yellow in color
Sexually transmitted diseases and other vaginal infections can cause changes in your vaginal discharge. Because of the side effects of these diseases, it is important that you seek medical care if you think that you could have an infection. It is also important to have regular gynecological exams to make sure that your reproductive system is healthy. In addition, using protection during sexual intercourse can help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and other infections.