Do You Have Too Much Vaginal Mucus?

Causes of Excess Vaginal Discharge: What's Normal & What's Not

In This Article

Women may experience what appears to be egg white or very watery vaginal mucus a few days before ovulation. So, what happens when the amount is excessive and lasts longer than the usual period of time? When should you be concerned?

Normal Mucus Changes

It's normal to have one to five days of egg white vaginal mucus just before ovulation and have another patch of egg white or watery vaginal mucus just before menstruation begins. Normally, a peak in the hormones LH and estrogen lead to an increase and change in your vaginal mucus. This peak comes just before ovulation.

Some women may have several LH surges just before ovulation occurs. After ovulation, estrogen peaks.

Women with PCOS may ovulate less frequently or not at all, making ovulation detection with this method of tracking cervical mucus tricky. Other medical issues, including thyroid problems or excessive and severe stress, might also interfere with ovulation and cervical mucus production and quality.

Mucus During and After Sex

Vaginal secretions during arousal or after intercourse are difficult to distinguish from cervical mucus due to ovulation. While semen is watery, it will not stretch like fertile vaginal mucus. Egg white cervical mucus is also more mucus-like, while leftover semen is thinner in consistency.

Vaginal Infection

It is also important to distinguish vaginal secretions due to ovulation from vaginal discharge due to infection. Healthy vaginal mucus will be clear or slightly yellowish, while gray or green discharge with foul odor or accompanied by itching or irritation can be signs of infection.

If the vaginal discharge is more like cottage cheese, has a bad smell, or you're experiencing itchiness or irritation, it's best to see your doctor for a check-up and possible treatment.

Fertility Timing

Fertile vaginal mucus can let you know ovulation is coming. But if you have several patches of fertile quality vaginal mucus throughout your cycle, it can be difficult to know which (if any) of these patches indicates impending ovulation.

If you chart your body basal temperature, ovulation will be followed by a sustained temperature rise. By the time you see the rise in temperature, ovulation may have already occurred.

An ovulation kit is an easy way to predict ovulation before it occurs so you can time sex appropriately for conception. Keep in mind a fertile egg is viable for fertilization for up to three days after ovulation, and sperm can survive for up to five days. This provides a several-day window of opportunity.

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  1. UNC School of Medicine. Cervical mucus monitoring.

  2. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Vaginitis. Updated September 2017.

  3. Weschler T. Taking Charge Of Your Fertility. 20th anniv. ed. New York, NY: Harper Collins; 2015.