Last updated on June 19th, 2019 at 06:33 am
Two days ago, I got an email from one of my readers asking why his Girlfriend has clear slimy discharge? He described her discharge as stringy, threadlike and slippery to feel
As usual, he was concerned she was pregnant and wanted to know if a slimy discharge is a sign of pregnancy. If you are also experiencing this type of discharge this guide will let you know all the possible reasons you have a clear stringy discharge.
But first, you need to relax your nerves. Most lady experience a clear slimy discharge and most times it happens normally because of spike or fall of your hormones.
In some women, slimy discharge happens because of a physiologic process called ovulation. So, if you are worried, there may not be an issue with your health.
Nevertheless, if you are not expecting, a discharge that feels slippery may be a sign that you could be pregnant. This discharge, though not a reliable way to tell that you are pregnant, can give a clue especially if you’ve missed your period.
Other causes of this type of discharge could be vaginal infections, fluid release during sexual intercourse, bacterial vaginosis infection, and contraceptive use.
So, it is important you go through this guide from start to finish to understand the reason for a stringy discharge.
How does vaginal discharge form and why is it important?
Most times, ladies panic unnecessarily when they notice an excessive type of vaginal discharge. But you shouldn’t. Your vaginal discharge plays a protective role and helps keep your vaginal canal tidy and healthy.
Think about it for a second. It is quite difficult to care for the vaginal all the time. You can not always wash the inside of the vagina for 24 hours.
That’s the work of your discharge. Women generally release about a teaspoon full of discharge every day needed to clear up specks of dirt and prevent infections in the vagina.
That’s quite small but you may also notice much more level of discharge at certain times of your menstrual cycle (more on that later).
So, how is vaginal discharge formed?
Discharge forms form small tiny glands that are located in the lowest part of the uterus, called cervix. The cervix is much more like a hollow connection between the body of the uterus and the vagina.
Right there at the cervix, the glands secrete mucus from time to time. Depending on different times in your menstrual cycle, this mucus may be thick, watery, slippery, stretchy, slimy, or threadlike.
For the most part of your menstrual cycle, it is thick. So, it is quite common to hear ladies say vaginal discharge should be thick creamy like discharge.
So, why is a thick discharge very important?
A woman’s reproductive tract consists of the vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. These part of the reproductive system are internal, that is, they are located inside your body.
When you have a thick mucus discharge, it specifically prevents infection from down the vagina to spread upwards through the cervix.
So, as expected, when your discharge doesn’t feel thick, you will be concerned.
Clear Stringy discharge: 3 Important questions
There are several possible reasons you have a clear slimy discharge. So, we will go through some questions to streamline the reason you are experiencing a stringy discharge.
What time in your menstrual cycle are you experiencing a slimy discharge?
This is by far the most important question you need to answer. Why? Because vaginal discharge texture changes regularly in between your menstrual cycle.
To simplify, your menstrual cycle is the number of days in between our period. Most ladies tend to have a 28day menstrual cycle.
That is, assuming your period started on the first of December and then showed up on the 29th of the same month, it means you have a 28-day menstrual cycle.
So, what time did you notice this type of discharge? Is it in the middle of your menstrual cycle? Is it one week after the end of your period? Or are you experiencing a thready discharge just a few days to your next period?
If you notice a stringy discharge in the middle of your menstrual cycle, it means it happening because of ovulation. Ovulation happens about a week and a few days after the end of your menses.
Also, If you are experiencing this type of discharge just before your period or after a missed period, it is possible that you could be pregnant or experiencing delayed ovulation (more on that later)
Did you have unprotected sexual intercourse?
This is an important question you need to answer right away. Have you recently involved in sexual activity? Did you use a condom or are you on a reliable contraceptive method?
If you’ve had unprotected intercourse, there is a possibility that your slimy discharge could be due to pregnancy especially when you have missed your period.
Do you have other unpleasant symptoms?
There could be a possibility of an infection. So, do you feel itchy down there? Any sore around the outside of your vagina? Do you feel your discharge is foul smelling? Are you experiencing painful intercourse or bleeding during intercourse?
If you are, there is a chance that you have an infection.
What causes clear slimy discharge
Most commonly, a slimy discharge happens because you are about to ovulate or already ovulating.
Ovulation is a process that happens naturally in a normal menstrual cycle. It involves the cyclic release of an egg from one of your ovaries during each menstrual cycle.
During a 28-day menstrual cycle, ovulation happens in the middle, that is, about a week after period. This may not be the same if you have a shorter or longer menstrual cycle.
So, to determine your ovulation period, you can simply use our menstrual calculator.
So, how does ovulation cause a slimy discharge?
Just after the end of your period, estrogen slowly rises until it reaches its peak just before ovulation occurs. This rise is fueled by follicle stimulating hormone and the growth of the ovarian follicles.
Estrogen is the most dominant in the first half of your menstrual cycle that is seperated by ovulation. In other words, before ovulation, estrogen is the most powerful hormone.
During this rise in estrogen, most women will notice changes to their body. They may feel breast tightness, abdominal bloating, increased libido, abdominal cramps. Also, they may experience a slimy vaginal discharge.
This discharge is somewhat like a thread and stretchy. It hardly breaks when stretched between your fingers. It is not sticky and might have a mild odor (not offensive).
If you get this type of discharge, there is nothing to worry. You can check if you have other symptoms of ovulation listed here.
If you are trying to conceive, Good luck, there is a possibility you are pregnant if you have a slimy discharge just around your next period date.
But it is not always reliable and you must take a pregnancy test to confirm if you are pregnant. But first, it is important to understand how pregnancy causes a slimy or stringy discharge.
As previously mentioned, estrogen is the most dominant hormone before ovulation. After ovulation, another hormone begins to rise and just about a week from your next period it reaches its peak. This hormone is called progesterone.
It is formed from the corpus luteum, the remnant of the ruptured ovarian follicle during ovulation. Just like a timed event, if you do not get pregnant, corpus luteum breakdown just before your period.
This results in a fall in the level of progesterone hormone. Women who are not pregnant will notice a reduced thick discharge or a dry vaginal during this period.
However, if you are pregnant, the corpus luteum stays on. Its work primarily is to keep producing progesterone and estrogen needed in the early stages of pregnancy.
If this happens, you will experience a multitude of changes to your body. Most commonly, your first sign might be implantation bleeding discussed here. And if you do, you may experience a brown, pink or red slimy discharge before your period.
Other signs of pregnancy are back pain, tummy pain, vomiting, lack of appetite or increased appetite, nausea, mood swing, and a missed period.
As always recommended, talk to your doctor if you are concerned about any new changes to your health. He or she will recommend a pregnancy test to determine if you are pregnant.
3. Sexual intercourse
It is possible you’ve not noticed, but during intercourse, there is an increase in the level of vaginal wetness. You find the vaginal area moist and wet when you are stimulated just before intercourse.
This is physiologic. On both sides of your vagina, just slightly inside, are two pea-shaped glands called Bartholin Glands. They help in lubricating the inside of the vaginal canal to prevent friction and injuries during intercourse.
These release from the Bartholin’s gland can change the texture of your discharge during and just after intercourse. So, if you experience a change in the texture of your discharge after intercourse, you shouldn’t worry.
4. Delayed ovulation
Delayed ovulation means, your usual timing of ovulation process is shifted to a later date. That means, instead of ovulation happening in the middle of your menstrual cycle, you may experience it just before your period or weeks later.
This usually happens from external factors that affect hormone release from hypothalamus and pituitary glands.
They include long term stress, sleepless nights, eating disorders, thyroid abnormalities, polycystic ovarina sndrome.
if your ovulation is delayed you will exprince the signs of ovulation at a later date including a smily looking discharge.
Still worried about slippery discharge? Let us know.