In some cases, yes a white discharge can mean that you are pregnant. However, there are numerous causes for this kind of discharge and many women experience this for different reasons.
There is a healthy discharge that varies between watery and opaque, and thick and white. These are released as a result of your hormones during your menstrual cycle and when pregnant. A healthy discharge is usually smooth and odorless.
If you are experiencing a discharge that is pasty, has a strong or distinct odor, and is accompanied by intense itching or irritation, it’s likely that you have an infection. The most common culprit is a yeast infection like candida, which can be cleared up by medication from your doctor.
IMPORTANT: A smooth, white discharge is completely normal and actually quite important for maintaining the health of your uterus and vagina.
A thick mucus that is odorless can definitely be a sign of pregnancy, or at least indicate a rise in hormones. If the discharge burns, itches or irritates the vaginal area, it’s important to see your doctor and get the proper medication to clear it up.
What is this white discharge?
To understand this discharge, first we have to look at how the body works. During your menstrual cycle, you will have a rise and fall in both progesterone and estrogen. These two are responsible for the two different types of discharge you might see.
When your progesterone levels drop just before you menstruate, the thicker, white discharge will appear. For many women, this discharge will actually continue throughout menstrual bleeding and may then appear brownish in color.
As you reach the follicular phase of your cycle and you ovulate, your estrogen levels start going up. This hormone encourages the production of the lighter, more fluid discharge. This looser discharge is a clear sign that you are in your fertile period.
Why does this white discharge happen?
Thicker, white discharge
After you ovulate, your progesterone levels start to go up. The corpus luteum (the scar left behind when the egg ruptures out of the follicle) produces the hormone to stimulate the buildup of the endometrium in preparation for a fertilized egg. As your progesterone levels increase, your discharge will change from fluid and opaque to thick, white and creamy.
If you want to know if this discharge is a sign of falling pregnant, keep an eye on it and see if it continues after your menstruation is due to start. This could very well mean that you’ve conceived.
Sometimes, women experience dark spotting in this discharge. There are three main potential reasons for this:
- Menstruation is about to start
- The blood is a result of nidation (implantation of the embryo)
- Progesterone levels aren’t high enough to maintain a pregnancy
If your menstrual bleeding starts, this discharge will start to dissipate as your progesterone levels drop. This is all part of your normal cycle. You’ll probably experience these changes in discharge each time you ovulate and don’t conceive.
On the other hand, if the spotting is a result of nidation, this discharge will likely continue for at least your first trimester. Basically, the more thick, white mucus you discharge, the more likely it is that you are pregnant.
After fertilization, it can take the embryo between 7 and 15 days to reach the uterus and implant itself into the endometrium. If your progesterone levels are too low, the endometrium may start to break down before the embryo has a chance to implant itself. If you experience heavy spotting before you believe your menstruation is supposed to start and you don’t see much of this thicker discharge, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor. They will test your hormone levels and suggest medication that will help you to conceive, if you wish to.
Essentially, the thicker and whiter the discharge is, the more progesterone your body is producing. Don’t be alarmed if your discharge resembles a paste but is odorless and doesn’t cause irritation.
Fluid, opaque discharge
When you are in your fertile period – just before and including the day you ovulate – you will likely have a fluid discharge that is similar in texture and color to a raw egg. For some women, this discharge can be almost as heavy as their menstrual period.
This discharge is caused by a rise in estrogen and is there to aid with conception. The fluid nature of the discharge is ideal for sperm to thrive in, and assists with getting the sperm to the waiting egg. When this discharge stops and the thicker one starts, you are out of your fertile period and unlikely to fall pregnant.
Basically, your uterus and vagina are constantly producing some form of discharge in order to keep things balanced inside the organs. However, if this discharge begins to smell or irritate the sensitive area, it is a sign that something is wrong. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist about proper medication to clear up an infection as soon as possible.