Thick White Discharge: Different Types & What to Expect?
Did you had any idea that a thick white discharge is normal for any woman? This type of discharges is most of the times produced by the cervix and vaginal walls. They actually keep the vagina moist and prevent infections. From time to time, their color, texture or amount of fluid might change due to various reasons.
Although such discharges can be something normal for any woman, it can just as well be related to an infection depending on what other symptoms may accompany the discharge. Some women can have daily discharges, while other women may only experience them every now and then. Generally, they are more abundant at a fertile age (between the first period and menopause) due to the increased level of estrogen during this period.
Such a discharge has the following characteristics:
- It`s colorless, white, whitish-yellowish or brownish after;
- It has a fluid texture, elastic and thinner or thicker;
- Low or moderate quantity;
- Normal odor (not unpleasant) or absent.
There are many physiological situations (normal) in which this type of discharge can change its appearance, but still remain in the parameters described above:
- Periods of stress;
- Sexual excitation;
- Medication (birth control pills);
Table of Contents
What Is a Thick White Discharge?
A thick white discharge is a lubricating fluid produced by the vagina. The vagina doesn`t have glands, so it will have to rely on other methods for lubrication. The transport of plasma through the vaginal walls is considered the main source for such a discharge along with the mucus secreted by the Bartholin glands located immediately inferior to the right and left of the introitus.
Generally, if a discharge is thick and creamy, the sperm`s movement is somehow restricted, which means it isn`t fertile. If you rub it between your fingers, it feels like lotion or soft cheese. At first it has a white color, but then it turns into yellow.
Thick White Discharge: Guidelines!
In most cases, a white discharge shouldn`t be a reason for concern. Women can experience such discharges during their pregnancy or their period.
- White Discharge after Sex – Although in some cases this shouldn`t worry you, in other situations this can be rather alarming. Such a discharge can be related to a vaginal lubrication, the ejaculation of the male or cervical mucosa. Either way, you could contact a doctor if the discharge persists.
- Thick White Discharge Pregnant – If other pregnancy symptoms are experienced, a thick creamy discharge can also very well mean that you are dealing with a pregnancy discharge. If your menstrual cycle is late, maybe it`s best to also take a pregnancy test.
- White Discharge before Period – If such a discharge appears just before your period, this isn`t really a reason to worry. Before ovulation, the vagina starts to produce up to 30 times more mucous than after the ovulation has finished. When your period ends, you might notice some thick discharge, and again, a perfectly normal thing for which there isn`t any reason to worry if the discharge isn`t accompanied by itching or burning.
- Thick White Discharge with Odor – While it`s often considered a taboo, a thick white discharge with odor is most definitely something that sometimes a lot of women have to face. Still, a thick white clumpy discharge can be the result of your own actions, so this is a matter to which you may need to offer some attention. Most of the times, the odor of the vagina can be influenced by certain parasites which are transmitted sexually, such as Trichomonas vaginalis, or by bacteria that grows abnormally in the interior of the vagina. These infections, which may result in abnormal discharges with bad odor, are frequent at women who use in excess products for intimate care, such as soaps and shower gels, which change the natural pH-ul from inside the vagina and can unbalance the level of good bacteria.
- Thick White Discharge no Odor – A discharge which is without odor is something normal and some women may produce more than other ones. The consistency and amount may vary depending on diet, physical exercise, hormones, medication, illness, diet or even water intake. Such discharges are usually experienced when a period starts or ends, or during ovulation; but if this isn`t the case, you shouldn`t use any tampons. However, you could wear some panty liners if you are bothered somehow by these discharges.
- Thick White Clumpy Discharge – Even though sometimes it`s something perfectly normal, this type of discharge can just as well be a sign of infection, especially if it has a texture somehow similar to cottage cheese.
- Milky White Discharge before Period – Most discharges that appear before and during periods are clear and watery. So, if you experience a milky white odorless discharge, you shouldn`t panic as this is quite normal. However, if the discharge is accompanied by a bad odor, this is most likely a reason for a pathological infection.
- White Discharge Treatment – If you have a white watery discharge and it turns into a creamy discharge, you may have Candidiasis and might need treatment. You`ll need to use some vaginal creams and suppositories which you may take them from the pharmacy without a medical prescription. This treatment can be done home if you experience light symptoms, you have Candidiasis for the first time, you aren`t pregnant and you aren`t concerned with other STDs.
- Thick White Sticky Discharge – A pasty, sticky discharge is considered the least fertile and it feels like glue. Sperm cannot usually swim through it very too easily. This discharge is usually rather whitish and it can turn into yellow. If it comes without any other symptoms, the discharge is harmless. However, if it comes with bad fish odor, blood or itching, you may want to get in touch with your gynecologist.
- White Discharge Itching – Again, if you experience a white discharge accompanied by itching, swelling or redness of the vulva, pain when urinating or burning, you may experience a yeast infection or Candidiasis. These symptoms will disappear completely with a proper treatment.
How Normal Is to Have Such a Discharge?
As a general rule, you should remember that the difference between normal and abnormal vaginal discharges is made by the symptoms that come with the discharge. If there`s no itching, burning, bad odor, swelling, soreness, redness or anything like that, then you probably have nothing to worry about. However, if you may experience one or some of these symptoms, you could ask yourself the following questions and try to narrow down the reason for which your discharge may have appeared:
- Have you taken any antibiotics?
- Did you have unprotected sexual contact?
- Have you experienced problems with your sleeping?
- Have you been experiencing stress?
- Does your discharge appear before or after your menstrual cycle?
- Did you have any changes in your diet?
- Do you wipe yourself properly, from front to back?
- Have you used any scented soaps or other similar hygiene items?
If you answer to all the above questions with “Yes”, then you most likely have a vaginal infection and you should seek help from a doctor right away.
Remember, a thick white discharge doesn`t always mean that something has gone wrong with your body. If you don`t experience any other symptoms, then you are probably fine and you don`t have anything to worry about.
Why Do Women Discharge?
Most vaginal discharges are normal and they actually represent the way the vagina takes care of itself. Most of them appear a few months before the first period due to hormonal activity and continue during the entire life until menopause, when they become more abundant. These discharges contain substances produced by the cervix and vagina as well as bacteria and dead cells detached from the vagina`s walls. Their aspect and consistency change during the menstrual cycle.
Keep in mind that normal vaginal discharges may vary from one woman to another. What should concern you are the changes in their color, odor or consistency. If they may be accompanied by itching, irritation or pain, then it`s clear that something isn`t right.
White discharge in excess and with a strong odor may be experienced during pregnancy, breastfeeding or when being sexually excited. However, sometimes such discharges are perfectly normal. They may become dangerous when they are accompanied by itching or burning in the vagina`s area. This may offer you signs that you have some kind of infection or hidden diseases.
Abnormal vaginal discharges can also be the result of improper hygiene or, on the contrary, unnecessary vaginal washing and scented products which may disrupt the balance of the vaginal flora.
White Milky Discharge
Among the most frequent reasons for which women visit a gynecologist is the change in color or consistency of their discharge. When a woman experiences a white milky discharge, this can be for any number of reasons.
- Ovulation – Your hormones can play a very important role when you ovulate because the progesterone levels are high and this could lead to a creamy discharge.
- Stress – These days with all the chaos of modern days, stress can also lead to hormonal imbalances which in turn can result in a milky white discharge.
- Pregnancy – In certain situations, a pregnancy can also lead to a milky discharge with a mild musky odor. This is mainly because of hormonal changes related to the pregnancy.
- STDs & Other Infections – STDs can lead to various types of discharges, milky ones included. It`s best if you manage to get your tests done on a regular basis when it comes to such diseases.
Most times, a thick white discharge is absolutely normal. But if you notice any change in its color or consistency, you should contact your gynecologist as soon as possible. You may have an infection that you don`t know about and you may need to treat it fast.