But a change in color or smell may be a sign of an infection. If you notice that your discharge has taken on an unpleasant smell and a different color, you should make an appointment with your doctor.
By ‘egg white discharge’ we mean vaginal discharge that is similar in texture and consistency to egg whites. Before ovulation, this discharge is often clear, stretchy, and thin. After ovulation, both the consistency and the color of the discharge changes, generally becoming white or light yellow and fairly thick.
Women who are pregnant tend to experience changes in their vaginal discharge as well, which is a result of hormonal changes in the body.
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The changes in color and consistency are because vaginal discharge — or mucus — contains water and a complex mix of viscoelastic properties. These properties experience structural changes depending on the situation.
So, what does it mean when you have egg white vaginal discharge? It could suggest a few different things:
- You are pregnant: during early pregnancy, it’s normal to have an egg white discharge. This discharge is called leucorrhea and tends to be thin with a milk-like color and a mild smell.
- You are on your monthly menstrual cycle: before ovulation, many women experience an egg white discharge. This type of vaginal discharge is referred to as egg white cervical mucus (EWCM) and is released by the cervix. The mucus is generally clear and stretchy, resembling a raw egg white.
- You are sexually aroused: it’s normal to secrete an egg white-like discharge when you’re sexually stimulated.
If you notice that your vaginal discharge has an egg white-like consistency and is clear and odorless, this is normal. It’s your body’s response to changes in your hormone levels.
If the discharge is a different color and smells off, this may be a sign of an infection. Yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, and sexually transmitted infections can all cause abnormal changes in your vaginal discharge. If you’re noticing this, it’s best to make an appointment with your doctor.
Egg white discharge and your menstrual cycle
During the different stages of your menstrual cycle, your vaginal discharge changes in both consistency and amount. Before ovulation, the discharge is usually thin, clear, and slippery. You may also notice an increase in the amount of discharge that your body is producing, which is a result of increased levels of the estrogen hormone.
After ovulation, the hormone progesterone is dominant. The consistency of the discharge becomes thick and sticky, and the color changes from clear to white. Your body will also produce less of it.
Egg white discharge after menopause
After menopause, some women notice a decrease in the amount of vaginal discharge. This is often due to a decrease in estrogen levels, and it can cause the vagina to become thin and drier. The thinning and drying of the vaginal walls is called atrophic vaginitis and should be treated early to prevent any further symptoms or complications.
Symptoms of atrophic vaginitis include:
- Vaginal dryness
- Vaginal itchiness
- Vaginal burning, pain, and soreness
- Pain or discomfort during intercourse
- Urinary incontinence
- Painful urination
- White discharge
- Bleeding after sexual intercourse
Some women experience all of the symptoms, while others experience only one or two. It’s best to see your doctor when you notice them, as they can be treated with medication. If the symptoms you’re noticing are associated with intercourse, you can use a lubricant or moisturizer to help remedy the dryness.
Abnormal discharge is rarely associated with serious diseases, but an egg white-like discharge that seems atypical could be a sign that you have (or are getting) an infection.
But how can you tell if your vaginal discharge is abnormal?
Color and smell are the two key things to pay attention to. A change in one or both of these could indicate that something is going on:
- A yellow-greenish discharge may be a sign of a sexually transmitted infection
- Vaginal discharge that’s grayish in color could be a sign of bacterial vaginosis
- Pinkish discharge can be a sign of vaginal irritation, cervical bleeding, or implantation bleeding
- A foul smell could indicate bacterial vaginosis or a sexually transmitted infection
In addition to changes in vaginal discharge, some women also experience symptoms like vaginal itching, pelvic pain, and vaginal burning.
An egg white-like discharge that’s clear and odorless is completely normal. If you notice that your vaginal discharge has changed in color or smell, though, it’s a good idea to see a doctor. While it can be tempting to self-medicate or ignoring the symptoms and hope they will disappear, it can cause complications.
Your best bet is to consult a doctor, who can determine what’s happening and advise you on the best course of action.