Lady researching discharge before your period

Do you wonder about the clear discharge before your period?

Vaginal discharge (also known as cervical mucus) before your period is common and provides clues about your body, such as if your period is about to start or if you have a condition such as fibroids. Uterine Fibroids significantly affect various aspects of your menstrual cycle, including the characteristics of vaginal discharge such as color, consistency, scent, and the amount of discharge.

If you want to know whether fibroids are causing your symptoms, our symptom checker below can help you determine whether you should consult a fibroid specialist.


Fibroids and Discharge: What Does the Discharge Before My Period Mean?  

Women with fibroids are more likely to experience abnormal menstrual cycles, so understanding what is considered abnormal is important in determining whether to seek treatment.

Some symptoms to look for include:

  • Spotting: Fibroids can cause irregular bleeding or spotting between periods. However, these symptoms are not the same as pre-period discharge.
  • Increased Pain: This pain can cause further discomfort and cramping in conjunction with heavy bleeding. 
  • Unusual Discharge: While discharge before your period is normal, any significant changes in color, consistency, or the presence of a foul odor may indicate an infection separate from fibroids.

Recognizing uterine fibroids effect on vaginal discharge is crucial for understanding fibroid symptoms. We recommend contacting your doctor as soon as possible if you detect any changes or inconsistencies in vaginal discharge before your period.

discharge graphic 

The Basics: Understanding Discharge Before Menstrual Cycle

Before your menstrual cycle begins, you may notice a white discharge. This discharge is called leukorrhea, which keeps the vagina clean. It’s loaded with fluid and cells shed from your vaginal area and is usually transparent (sometimes may appear yellow), stretchy, or watery when estrogen is the dominating hormone. 

Vaginal discharge is a natural and healthy part of your menstrual cycle that cleans and lubricates your vagina. The discharge’s amount, color, and consistency may change throughout your cycle due to hormonal shifts. 

Your Menstrual Cycle and Discharge

The average menstrual cycle lasts around 28 days but varies on an individual basis, sometimes even changing from cycle to cycle. 

Typically, though, your menstrual cycle goes through the following phases:

1. Menstruation (Period): This is considered the first day of your cycle, lasting 3-7 days on average. The lining of your uterus sheds and exits your body as your period. Your cervical mucus combines with the blood, so the volume and consistency of the cervical mucus are difficult to assess.

2. Follicular Phase: This phase typically lasts around 14 days and is fueled by rising estrogen levels. Follicles, tiny sacs in your ovaries, mature, each containing an egg. For the first three to four days, there is very minimal or no discharge. After those initial few days, it is normal to notice a hazy, white discharge.

3. Ovulation is a brief window, around 24 hours, in the middle of your cycle (around day 14 in a 28-day cycle). A surge of luteinizing hormone (LH) triggers an egg’s release from the dominant follicle. More mucus will likely appear when an egg is discharged from the ovary into the Fallopian tube. It’s usually thin, slick, and wet and may be easily stretched between your thumb and forefinger.

4. Luteal Phase: This phase lasts about 14 days after ovulation. Progesterone becomes the dominant hormone, preparing the lining of your uterus (endometrium) for a possible pregnancy. If pregnancy doesn’t occur, progesterone levels drop, triggering menstruation and starting the cycle.

Understanding the Impact of Progesterone

When estrogen levels decline, mucus production decreases, and what remains is thick and dry. At this point, progesterone levels rise.¹ 

Progesterone is another sex hormone that supports menstruation and pregnancy by preparing the uterine lining for a fertilized egg to implant itself and grow.   

The number of vaginal discharge changes throughout the menstrual cycle, indicating different stages of fertility. When estrogen levels rise to release an egg, you may notice a change in cervical mucus around ovulation. When the mucus has the texture of raw egg white, it helps sperm access the egg, increasing fertility.²

Fibroids and Your Menstrual Cycle

Many women have fibroids and are unaware as they believe heavy, lengthy periods or severe cramps are a normal part of their cycle. However, your period should not interfere with enjoying life. 

Aside from heavy bleeding and increased pain, other possible signs that fibroids are impacting your menstrual cycle include:

  • Protruding abdomen or belly
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Frequent urination  
  • Difficulty emptying the bladder
  • Anemia leading to fatigue
  • Constipation

Tracking your period and noting changes helps determine whether your menstrual cycle is affected by fibroids. Consulting your doctor about issues regarding your period and getting checked for fibroids is important in maintaining your menstrual health. 


Discharge Before Period vs Early Pregnancy

Symptom Before Period Early Pregnancy
Cervical mucus changes Increase in quantity, but possibly minor changes Modest rise in quantity, often subtle
Moisture in underwear More moisture noticed More dry whitish-yellow discharge
Vaginal discharge color Possibly clear May increase and become yellow
Missed period
Increased hunger/cravings
Chorionic gonadotropin ✓ (leading to frequent urination and exhaustion)
Light spotting ✓ (implantation bleeding)
Nausea ✓ (morning sickness)
Breast sensitivity ✓ (tender, painful, swollen breasts)
Dysgeusia ✓ (change in taste, metallic taste in mouth)
Altered hormone levels Dizziness and headaches


Cervical mucous changes can be mild during early pregnancy and differ from person to person. In most cases, the number of cervical discharges before your period increases. However, the change could be so minor that clear discharge before your period goes unnoticed. 

You may notice more moisture in your underwear early on in your pregnancy. At the end of the day or overnight, there might be more dry whitish-yellow discharge before your period in your underwear.

When you’re pregnant, your hormones begin to climb quickly. These hormone changes help prepare your body for growth and protect and nourish the baby. 

As your pregnancy continues, hormonal changes may cause an increase in vaginal yellow discharge before your period. This occurs naturally when your body fights to prevent vaginal infections, especially as your pregnancy progresses.

Early Pregnancy Signs

One of the early indicators of pregnancy is a modest rise in cervical mucus. It’s often overlooked since it’s so subtle. Several more obvious early indicators of pregnancy include:³

  • Missed period: Missing a period is one of the most common signs, although stress, eating disorders, and other health conditions can also cause it.
  • Increased hunger and cravings: Your appetite will likely change, whether you become more hungry or develop a distaste for specific foods.
  • Chorionic gonadotropin: This pregnancy hormone increases the production of progesterone, leading to frequent urination and exhaustion
  • Light spotting: Also referred to as “implantation bleeding,” it can start 6 to 12 days after conception for 24 to 48 hours. 
  • Nausea: The most common form is morning sickness. 
  • Breast sensitivity: Includes tender, painful, and swollen breasts.
  • Dysgeusia: Change in how food tastes, causing a metallic taste in the mouth. 
  • Altered hormone levels: Changes in hormones can lead to dizziness and headaches.


FAQs About Premenstrual Discharge 

Does Discharge Increase Before A Period?

When estrogen levels are at their highest, the cervix releases a fluid with the consistency of egg white. When hormone levels drop, mucus may be absent or thick and pasty.

People tend to produce the most mucus just before and during ovulation. Some women even employ a method known as the cervical mucus method to determine when they’re most fertile.

What Color is Your Discharge Before a Period?

colors of vaginal discharge

Vaginal discharge before your period varies greatly from one person to the next. Depending on where a person is in their menstrual cycle, the color, consistency, and amount might also differ daily.

  • White discharge: White can come in various shades, such as cream or pale yellow. White discharge usually indicates good lubrication if there are no other symptoms. 
  • Red Discharge: The color red can range from brilliant to a dark rusty color. Bleeding during a period is the most prevalent cause of red discharge, but it can also indicate fibroid sloughing.
  • Yellow-Green Discharge: A little yellow in the discharge before your period may not signal a problem, especially if the color change is solely due to a change in diet or dietary supplements. However, STIs such as chlamydia or gonorrhea may cause discharge to be more yellow. Symptoms such as a fishy stench, yellow-green discharge, and itching indicate trichomoniasis.7
  • Pink Discharge: The discharge can be bright pink or darker pink and frequently contains a small amount of blood. Spotting before menstruation is the most prevalent cause of the pink discharge, although it can also indicate implantation bleeding in the early stages of pregnancy.
  • Gray Discharge: Gray vaginal discharge is unhealthful and can be a sign of bacterial vaginosis, a frequent bacterial infection (BV). Other vaginal symptoms commonly associated with BV include itching, discomfort, a strong odor, and redness around the vulva or vaginal opening.8

What Causes Premenstrual Discharge? 

There are a few causes of vaginal discharge before your period or during any part of your cycle. Some of these causes include:

  1. Normal reproductive function: The beginning and end of menstruation are marked by white discharge. It is usually thin and elastic, and it should not be associated with itching or odor.
  2. Yeast infection: Yeast infections, also known as candidiasis, are common in women. Approximately 75% of women are believed to get a yeast infection at some point in their lives.4 The discharge associated with a yeast infection is thick, white, and lumpy, similar to cottage cheese. Itching and burning in and around the vaginal area are other symptoms.
  3. Hormonal birth control: Because hormone levels may be changed, using these methods of birth control, including the birth control pill, can result in increased discharge. Unless there are additional symptoms, the increase is usually not cause for alarm.
  4. Bacterial vaginosis: Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is an infection caused by bacterial imbalances in the vaginal canal that affects anywhere between 23 to 29% of women of reproductive age.5 Having multiple sexual partners is connected to BV. The discharge is grayish-white in color and has a fishy stench.
  5. Sexually transmitted infections: Changes in vaginal discharge are caused by a variety of sexually transmitted diseases (STIs). Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis are all possible illnesses. 

What Is Discharge Like Before A Period?

The increase in progesterone, a hormone involved in the menstrual cycle and pregnancy, causes discharge before your period to usually be hazy or white. 

White discharge before your period is common and simply serves as a warning that menstruation is about to begin. If it’s thick, it’s usually a sign you’re ready to ovulate. 

You also may notice clear discharge before your period when ovulating. Clear discharge in your underwear before or after your period is usually not a concern. Vaginal discharge can appear clear before your period and then watery during other periods of the cycle when the body has higher estrogen levels.

The volume and quality of the discharge vary – some women may barely detect a slight bit, while others may have up to a teaspoon full. It can also be creamy or transparent, like an egg white, and it is not necessarily totally white.6


Get The Answers You Need From USA Fibroid Centers

If the discharge before your period has abnormal characteristics and you are unsure what it means, it’s time to get answers. 

Here at USA Fibroid Centers, we aim to educate and help women learn about how they can help their bodies, especially if they may have fibroids. No woman should have to deal with uncomfortable fibroid symptoms and leave their fibroids untreated.

Although many women think that a hysterectomy, or the surgical removal of the uterus, is the sole option for fibroid treatment, this is simply not the case.

Uterine Fibroid Embolization is an outpatient, non-surgical fibroid treatment available at USA Fibroid Centers (UFE). UFE can help you eliminate your symptoms, preserve your uterus, and swiftly return to your daily routine. The procedure takes about 30 to 45 minutes and requires no hospitalization or recovery time; you can return home the same day. Most women return to their regular daily routines within one to two weeks.

Connect With Fibroid Specialists Near You

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  1. Donna Christiano Campisano, “What to Know about Cervical Mucus before Your Period,” Verywell Health, October 20, 2022. 
  2. Pallavi Suyog Uttekar, “How Many Days before a Period Do You Get Discharge?,” MedicineNet, February 28, 2022. 
  3. Erica Cirino, “Cervical Mucus: An Early Pregnancy Sign?,” Healthline, March 9, 2023. 
  4. “Vaginal Yeast Infection (Thrush): Overview,” [Internet]., June 19, 2019. 
  5. “Bacterial Vaginosis,” World Health Organization, August 16, 2023. 
  6. Toketemu Ohwovoriole and Irena Cabrera, “White Discharge Can Be a Sign of Your Period or Something More Serious – Here’s How to Tell,” Business Insider, May 26, 2022. 
  7. Nicole Galan, “Vaginal Discharge Color Guide: Causes and When to See a Doctor,” ed. Tahirah Redhead, Medical News Today, December 22, 2023.
  8. Jayne Leonard, “White Discharge before Period: Causes and Other Colors Explained,” ed. Cynthia Cobb, Medical News Today, April 11, 2023.