What are the Effects of Menstruation on Discharge?

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  • Written By: Anna T.
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 23 September 2016
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The effects of menstruation on discharge tend to vary depending on where a woman is at in her menstrual cycle. During menstruation, most women notice little to no discharge. There is also typically an absence of vaginal discharge just before and just after menstruation occurs. During ovulation, which normally happens around two weeks after the menstrual period begins, vaginal discharge tends to get thicker and may have the consistency of egg whites. Even though the effects of menstruation on discharge vary throughout each month, a woman should consult her doctor if her discharge has a foul odor or is accompanied by severe itching because these symptoms are often signs of infection.

Just after the menstrual period ends, the pH level inside the vagina tends to drop. Women usually notice no vaginal discharge during this time of the month, and if discharge is present, it is usually very thin and watery. This is the time of the month when most women should pay close attention to the effects of menstruation on discharge, because when the pH level inside the vagina are low, chances of developing an infection increase. Yeast infections are usually much more likely to occur during this time because a low pH level creates the perfect environment for yeast to grow and multiply. Eating lots of yogurt just after menstruation can help to raise the pH levels inside the body, which should help prevent a yeast infection from occurring.


The effects of menstruation on discharge are most noticeable during the ovulation phase. When most women ovulate, their vaginal discharge becomes thick and stretchy. The majority of women also notice a marked increase in the amount of discharge they produce during this time of the month. Some women go by the presence of their ovulation discharge to help them conceive because when this discharge is present, the chances are good that they are ovulating, which usually means chances of conception are much greater. After ovulation ends, discharge usually becomes much thinner and then goes away almost completely just before, during, and after menstruation.

Even though most vaginal discharge is normal, it can occasionally indicate the presence of some type of vaginal infection. When vaginal discharge has a foul odor and is yellow or grayish in color, that is usually a sign of an infection. Excessive itching might also accompany the appearance of unusual vaginal discharge when an infection is present. In addition to yeast infections, another common type of vaginal infection that may have similar symptoms is bacterial vaginosis. Women who have bacterial vaginosis are typically not able to treat the infection with over-the-counter yeast infection creams and may instead have to see their doctors for antibiotic prescriptions.


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Post 2

@Pippinwhite -- You sound like me. I had eight-day periods on a 32 to 36 day cycle. That stinks like, completely. My cramps were beastly and I always hoped to start on Friday so I could hole up and stay in the bed over the weekend.

I noticed once I got on the pill that my discharge no longer changed. It stays about the same all the time. Fortunately, my cramps have nearly stopped and my flow is minimal, compared to what it used to be. The pill has been good for my mental health, if nothing else!

Post 1

Before I got on the pill, I never knew exactly what day my periods would start. I had to rely on the discharge to let me know. When I was about to start, maybe three days before, up until I started, the discharge went from thick and clear to kind of milky and thinner. When that happened, I knew I was "in the window," so to speak, and to start carrying a pad or something.

My periods would start with cramping and a little dark discharge the first few hours, but would quickly get heavier in about 12 hours or so. At that point, it was like clockwork. I just never could pin down an actual start day.

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