Experiencing discharge before your period? It’s likely nothing to worry about. We’ll take you through the details here and let you know when to see a doctor.
There might be a lot of reasons why you’re wondering about vaginal discharge before your period.
Discharge throughout your cycle can give you some clues about your health and your fertility.
Let’s talk about what discharge usually looks like the week before your period, and some things to look out for.
And before we dive in, know that if you’re at all worried, check in with your healthcare provider.
You don’t have to struggle alone — and there are no silly questions when it comes to your health.
In this article: 📝
- What should discharge look like before your period?
- How many days before your period do you get discharge?
- Does discharge mean your period is coming soon?
- Discharge before your period — the bottom line
What should discharge look like before your period?
The discharge in the week before your period is usually milky, cloudy, and white.
It may be mildly irritating and have a very slight odor — but if it’s painful, very itchy, or has a strong smell, it could signal a health issue. (More on this below.)
The medical term for vaginal discharge is leukorrhea.
It’s made up of skin cells from your vagina and cervix.
Discharge is there to keep the area well lubricated and protect you from infections.
And it’s totally normal.
In fact, it’s pretty essential.
It’s normal to produce about a teaspoon of it — an amount that may vary depending on a range of factors, like where you’re at in your menstrual cycle and whether you’re on hormonal birth control.
How many days before your period do you get discharge?
Cycles differ in length and regularity, so this is by no means a one-size-fits-all model.
But here’s what your vaginal discharge might look like in a 28-day cycle.
(Cheat sheet: Day 1 of your cycle is the first day of your period.)
Day 1 to 4
This is when you’re on your period.
These are all likely menstrual blood and normal when your period’s in full swing.
Day 5 to 9
After your period, you may have some brown discharge, which is the remnants of your period.
And then you might have a few days where you’re discharge free.
Day 10 to 14
An egg white discharge before your period — specifically, about two weeks before — may be [ovulation discharge](https://www.peanut-app.io/blog/ovulation-discharge-
what-to-know). It’s stretchy, very wet, and signals the most fertile time of your cycle.
It’s caused by an increase in estrogen that happens around this time.
If you’re looking to get pregnant, this discharge is particularly handy as it’s there to help any entering sperm reach the egg that has been released that month.
Day 15 to 28
Over this time (called the luteal phase, the hormone progesterone rises.
Its job is to help with implantation if one of your eggs gets fertilized and prep your body for pregnancy.
During this time, you may notice less discharge than you did during ovulation, but it doesn’t mean it dries up completely.
Does discharge mean your period is coming soon?
All our bodies are different — as are the clues they give as to when your period is coming.
While not always as obvious as ovulation discharge, white discharge before your period (and just after) is normal.
It’s your body’s way of getting rid of old cells it no longer needs and maintaining the health of your reproductive system.
But there are other reasons why you might have discharge that aren’t about the arrival of your coming period.
We’ll take you through the details.
Pregnancy discharge can be one of the earliest signs of pregnancy.
It’s basically down to hormone changes again — your estrogen and progesterone levels are both on the up at this time.
Pregnancy discharge helps soften the cervix and prevent anything that could cause infection from traveling to the uterus.
And it will likely increase as your pregnancy progresses.
Bacterial vaginosis (BV)
This may sound scary, but it’s actually the most common vaginal condition you can get between the ages of 15 and 44.
It can cause a thin white or gray discharge that comes with a painful, itchy, or burning sensation and a strong, fishy odor.
BV is not an STD, but it can increase your chances of getting one.
It’s caused by an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in your vagina — and experts can’t say for sure exactly what causes it.
Caused by an overgrowth of yeast in your vagina, this is a very common ailment, affecting about 75% of women in their lifetimes.
It’s often described as “cottage cheese discharge” — yep, you get the picture.
And you may also experience an itchy or burning sensation.
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STDs)
In some cases, vaginal discharge is a sign of an STD.
If you think this might be the case for you, head to your healthcare provider as soon as possible so that you can get treatment.
- Chlamydia may cause a yellow discharge, pain in the pelvic area and when you pee, and bleeding between periods.
- Gonorrhea can come with a yellow, green, or bloody discharge, irregular periods, and a fever.
- Trichomoniasis causes a green-yellow foamy discharge. You may also experience redness and pain in and around your vagina and pain when peeing and having sex.
Discharge before your period — the bottom line
Discharge before your period is totally normal.
It’s usually the result of the hormonal ebbs and flows during your menstrual cycle and, in some cases, may be an early sign of pregnancy.
But there are times when it’s your body’s way of telling you something is wrong.
If you experience discharge that is not white or clear, along with other symptoms, check in with your doctor.
And if you need support along the way, know that your Peanut community is here for you.