Ah yes, yet another beauty of being a female - constant discharge.
Discharge, like many other things that occur in our downstairs region, is very normal. there are many reasons as to why discharge occurs and what different types can indicate.
Discharge is considered any fluid that is released from your vagina that isn’t period blood. This can be inclusive of vaginal lubrication, day-old sperm, arousal fluid and cervical fluid. More often than not it is cervical fluid.
Cervical fluid is produced by the cells of your cervix and changes throughout your cycle from dry to wet and from stretchy to sticky (but TMI but that’s what we’re here for hey!)
Understanding your own patterns of what type of discharge you are experiencing can determine certain hormonal changes and events that are happening in your body. This also allows you to determine if the discharge is normal or could be an indication of an infection.
Why we have cervical fluid?
For a pregnancy to happen you need an egg, sperm and fertile cervical fluid - this allows sperm to enter your uterus and reach your egg at ovulation. So at different times of your cycle cervical fluid changes to make it more difficult or easy for sperm to go past your cervix and into your uterus.
Changes in discharge:
We’ve covered what is happening when during your cycle. But this is more specific to the discharge changes you may notice.
- Beginning of your cycle
Levels of estrogen and progesterone are low - and due to estrogen determining cervical fluid production - there isn’t much fluid produced at all during this time. Also you have another pretty major fluid exiting your vagina - blood.
- Days after your period
This is when estrogen is rising so most women will find there is a much lower level of discharge occurring.
- Leading to Ovulation
The cervix produces more fluid as estrogen levels rise. This means discharge baby! The fluid is typically thick and sticky and usually whitish in colour.
Even more cervical fluid is produced! This type of discharge becomes more slippery as the water content rises.
- Literal Phase
During this part of your cycle you will see yet another change in your discharge. This is due to the change in the cervical fluid becoming more fibrous - to reduce sperm passing through. This is when you will see the amount of fluid decrease, but if there is still some it’ll be sticky or just dry.