The White discharge are natural discharges produced by the vagina. Among women, these losses punctuate the different phases of the menstrual cycle from puberty to menopause. During your cycle, their quantity, texture and color may change. White discharge allows you to know more about the state of health of your vagina, your menstrual cycle (period of ovulation, beginning or end of menstruation) or the progress of a pregnancy.
White Discharge, What is it?
White losses also called vaginal discharge or leucorrhea are natural vaginal secretions produced by the vagina and uterus.The increased discharge is one of the discomforts that many women experience during the first trimester of pregnancy. White discharge also accompanies the onset of menstruation. They may change color slightly and thicken to become more abundant a few days before the onset of menstruation. In most cases, this is a normal phenomenon, a sign that your body and vagina are healthy. Some women fear a vaginal infection but most of the time, these secretions are completely harmless.
Characteristics of Vaginal Discharge
These white vaginal discharges are completely normal natural secretions. They are mostly made up of a mucus-like substance containing cells in your body. This liquid keeps the vaginal tissues moist and removes impurities. It is a natural phenomenon that simply allows the vagina to self-cleanse. Discharges can vary in thickness throughout your menstrual cycle but generally tend to be slimy and/or sticky. The amount of leucorrhoea produced by each woman will change depending on her menstrual cycle and her age. Some women will naturally tend to secrete a small amount of leucorrhoea while others will produce more. Although their colors may vary depending on your cycle, they are usually odorless and whitish or light yellow in color. A bad smell, itching, burning sensation or color change may indicate an infection or other problem that warrants further evaluation that should lead you to see a doctor.
Causes of White Discharge During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, leucorrhoea may become more noticeable even with excellent intimate hygiene. These vaginal discharges are simply greater due to an increase in hormones (estrogen) which increases the flow blood to the pelvic region. The increased blood flow and pregnancy hormones stimulate the mucous membranes of the vagina, leading to increased discharge. This extra white vaginal discharge during pregnancy helps to remove dead cells of the vaginal walls, to protect against infection and maintain a good balance vaginal flora. These vaginal discharges make it possible to keep the vagina clean and to prevent infections, a particularly important function during pregnancy. After childbirth and the postpartum period, the leucorrhoea then returns to a more usual level.
Although secretions can vary from woman to woman, there are several times during the menstrual cycle when your discharge can change in appearance:
- A few days before menstruation the white discharge may thicken, turn yellowish and be more abundant.
- During the period of ovulation, losses are more transparent, more fluid and tend to be more abundant.
- During pregnancy, discharge looks the same as usual but tends to be very heavy.
How to Reduce the Discomfort of White Discharge?
Again, white discharge is not necessarily a sign of a problem. Even if they are embarrassing, you cannot prevent vaginal discharge. Changing your underwear more frequently or just taking a shower can help you feel cleaner. Avoid using tampons to absorb these secretions. To stay comfortable, you can wear panty liners or sanitary napkins (unscented when you're pregnant). However, we strongly recommend that you use menstrual panties ou heavy period briefs especially for the comfort they bring but also for their absorption capacity in case of heavy vaginal secretions. Wearing breathable cotton underwear can also help prevent chafing or odor. To avoid disturbing the balance of your vaginal flora, prefer intimate soaps with neutral PH. Remember that the vagina is self-cleaning. No internal cleansing is therefore necessary since the leucorrhea already does all the work for you.
To summarize :
- Avoid disturbing your vaginal flora
- Wear sanitary protection or an menstrual panties
- Watch the appearance of your white losses