Most women have vaginal discharge at many different times throughout their cycle. During ovulation, white and watery discharge is common and accepted as normal. But, discharge after ovulation is widely believed to be a sign of pregnancy.
The Drying Up Myth
There is a myth that women will dry up after ovulation. This is simply not true.
Just because there is no discharge post ovulation, doesn’t mean there is no cervical fluid still present. The reason that most women experience no discharge after ovulation is because the fertile cervical mucus (which is a great host to protect sperm from the acidity of the vagina) is no longer needed and can go away; however it does not always go away. Some women may consistently have cervical fluid present with or without discharge.
While some women may experience no discharge after ovulation, others may naturally have creamy or sticky discharge for a few weeks after ovulation. In fact, some women experience creamier and thicker discharge after ovulation. The amount of discharge can change from cycle to cycle for a woman.
The amount and type of discharge depends on the woman and her body. The amount and consistency can be influenced by water intake, hormones, exercise, illness, medication, and diet.
How Much Discharge Is Normal?
Around 4 milliliters (or about a teaspoon) of discharge is normal per day. This can vary, and the bigger concern is usually the smell, consistency, and color of the discharge.
Is An Increased About Of Discharge After Ovulation A Sign Of Pregnancy?
It can be. Mucous starts to accumulate around the opening of the cervix in the first few days of pregnancy. This mucus acts as a plug or a barrier to help protect a baby as it develops. Due to the excess mucous, you may see some extra discharge.
There are also high levels of progesterone when pregnancy is achieved, and the increase of progesterone causes extra lubrication, which causes excess vaginal discharge.
However, as said above, it may not have anything to do with pregnancy and instead have to do with other things such as hormonal changes or diet changes.
Some women, who are on the birth control pill, may also experience increased discharge due to the hormone progesterone found inside the pill. Women who continually experience discharge after ovulation while on the pill may want to consider switching to a birth control without the hormone.
How About Brown Discharge After Ovulation?
Women often experience brown discharge after their period as left over blood is cleared out, but get concerned about brown discharge after ovulation. Brown discharge right after ovulation can simply be a sign that any remaining and decomposed blood has been picked up by the discharge and is being cleaned out.
Brown discharge can be a sign of pregnancy. It is often referred to as implantation bleeding.
Implantation bleeding usually occurs around 6-12 days after ovulation. It occurs when a fertilized egg implants inside of the uterus. However, not all women will experience this when impregnated. In fact, it has been shown that only one-third of pregnant women report this type of discharge before pregnancy.
It is important to note that cramping, increased bleeding or backache are not signs of implantation bleeding. Brown discharge is typically the only sign. Therefore, if you experience any other symptoms, visit your doctor to ensure that you do not have an infection or internal bleeding.
Other Causes Of Discharge
If you notice that the discharge is accompanied by other symptoms, such as burning, itchiness, odd color, or foul smell, then it may be a sign of infection, not pregnancy.
Some women believe that if their discharge is yellowish in color, it means that the pregnancy didn’t take place. This is another myth that is floating around, and it is certainly not true. Any change of color in discharge usually indicates that something is wrong.
For sexually active women, an STD can cause discharge at any point of their cycle. If the discharge changes in texture, color, odor, or amount, then it is important to visit the doctor for a gynecological exam. Common STDs that affect discharge include gonorrhea or chlamydia; however, it is possible to have trichomoniasis as well.
Trichomoniasis does not typically have any other symptoms besides a yellowish or greenish colored discharge that is often accompanied by a foul smell. But itching and pain during urination can sometimes be accompanied by the discharge as well as inflammation of the vagina. While this discharge can occur at any point in the cycle, including after ovulation, it is usually most apparent after a period.
Bacterial vaginosis can also cause excess discharge. It is normally whitish or grayish colored discharge, but sometimes it can appear yellow. This type of discharge has a foul smell, like a fishy odor, due to the bacteria, and it is more noticeable after sexual intercourse or washing with soap. Itching and redness may also occur along with the discharge.
Douching can also upset the balance of bacteria in the vagina and cause discharge. Many women believe they need to douche to prevent smells from the vagina; however, the smells usually come from outside of the vagina, unless there is an infection. Therefore, douching is unnecessary, while maintaining a clean environment outside of the vagina is more effective for smells.
Yeast infections are the most common cause of discharge before, during, and after ovulation. Yeast infections are caused by an increased amount of fungus called Candida. The discharge will usually be white and have a cottage cheese-like appearance. Symptoms that may occur with yeast infection discharge are pain during intercourse, soreness, itching and burning.
When Discharge Occurs Right After Ovulation
If discharge occurs right after ovulation, it is still not a viable sign of pregnancy. The perfect timing of the discharge may just be a coincidence.
In the end, it is important to take note of vagina discharge at all times during a woman’s cycle. By being aware of what is normal, it is easier to spot what is abnormal. However, discharge levels and consistency can change from month to month, and in most cases it is not a cause for concern or indication of pregnancy.