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Is Clear Discharge Normal During Menopause

What Causes Clear Watery Discharge After Period

Vaginal Discharge During Menopause

There are 2 major causes of clear discharge from the vaginal area.

If you have passed date for your next period with clear discharge, then youre likely pregnant. After a missed period, abdominal cramps and clear discharge could be due to an ectopic pregnancy.

However, if you had your period, clear discharge after period without odor, smell and vaginal itching are normal. It occurs during ovulation or after sexual intercourse.

What Common Conditions Cause Yellow Vaginal Discharge

Before Menstruation

It is normal to see yellowish discharge before normal menstrual cycle. During this time the body produces more cervical fluid in preparation for ovulation. Sometimes small amounts of blood mix with this fluid to give it a yellowish colour. If you notice discharge like this it is often no cause for concern and it will typically go away in a couple days.

Short Menstrual Cycle

The average menstrual cycle lasts between 25 and 30 days. Sometimes if you have a short menstrual cycle you may notice brownish-yellow discharge right after your period. Menstrual blood may give your discharge a brownish-yellow tint, which should go away by itself over a couple days.

Noticing yellow discharge by itself shouldnt be a cause for concern. However, if youre experiencing any foul order, pain or other unpleasant itching or burning sensations along with abnormal vaginal discharge then it is a sign you need to be examined by your doctor or visit a sexual health clinic.

Bacterial Vaginosis

Yellowish vaginal discharge can be the result of imbalances of the good and bad bacteria present in your vagina. Vaginal cavities contain bacteria called lactobacillus, which are designed to keep out other disease-causing bacteria and ensure that everything stays balanced.

Medication Changes

It is important to note is that its not possible to diagnose any of these issues without a thorough examination and further laboratory testing by a doctor.

Your Cycle And Your Cervix

If you’re a woman who has periods and are not on hormonal contraception, understanding the pattern of your own discharge throughout the month can hint at the high and lows of certain hormones.

The cervix is part of the female reproductive system and acts as a gateway between the top of your vagina and the uterus .

Glands in and around the cervix produce fluid, which often turns into vaginal discharge. This can change in colour, consistency and volume throughout the month in response to your changing hormones.

The changes seen in your vaginal discharge can show where you are in your cycle and may help to indicate when ovulation the release of an egg from one of your ovaries has occurred.

Recognising the different phases of your discharge can put you more in touch with the rhythms of your own body and menstrual cycle, giving you information about your likelihood of becoming pregnant, or simply helping you to know the regular hormonal pattern of your own body and, in turn, to be aware of any changes that aren’t normal for you.

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Vaginal Atrophy: Vaginal Dryness Soreness And Painful Sex

Without the production of estrogen by the ovaries, the skin and supporting tissues of the vulva and vagina become thin and less elastic. This is a common consequence of the menopause and the majority of women will experience symptoms of one form or another. Vaginal dryness is commonly the first reported symptom, due to a reduction in urogenital mucus production.

Thinning of the lining of the vagina and vulval skin increases the risk of damage. This is most likely during sex, especially if lubrication is also poor. Even quite gentle friction can cause pain and discomfort. If the vulval lips are thin and dry, rubbing against underwear can cause soreness. Some women find the physical changes to the vulva upsetting due to a reduction in fat content/plumpness. For many women, sex becomes difficult and painful.

Alteration in the normal vaginal discharge is noticed by many women after the menopause and this is rarely discussed. Without estrogen, the pH of the vaginal secretions changes and the normal discharge becomes more alkaline . This change in pH affects the balance of the micro-organisms in the natural secretions, which in turn suppresses the normal levels of goodbacteria . Vaginal discharge changes in nature, becoming watery, discoloured and slightly smelly. This often leads to irritation and can cause burning of the vulva and vagina.

Some women seek advice, but many dont ask for help for this under-recognised problem.

Management of urogenital atrophy

What Is Atrophic Vaginitis

Menopause Discharge: What You Need to Know

Atrophic vaginitis, also referred to as genitourinary syndrome of menopause and vulvovaginal atrophy, is a non-infectious form of vaginitis that results from a decrease in your hormones. If you have it, your vagina becomes dry or atrophic. This occurs primarily during perimenopause and postmenopause which occurs either naturally or surgically . Breastfeeding and postpartum states can also contribute to atrophy. Medications such as aromatase inhibitors or Lupron Depot® can drastically lower estrogen levels and cause atrophy.

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Postmenopausal Bleeding Is Never Normal

Whether its light spotting or a heavier flow, vaginal bleeding after menopause can signal potential health problems.

It should always be brought up with your provider, said Gina M. Mantia-Smaldone, MD, a gynecologic oncologist at Fox Chase Cancer Center. And the sooner, the better. Rather than waiting for your next planned checkup, give your gynecologist a call quickly to schedule an evaluation.

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When To Seek Help

Vaginal discharge is one of the most common reasons women see a gynecologist, amounting to about 10 million office visits per year. Clear, watery discharge, however, is rarely a sign of a problem.

There are several conditions, including infections and STIs, that can cause abnormal discharge. Discharge may be a sign of a problem if there are noticeable changes in color, odor, consistency, or amount.

If youre concerned about your vaginal discharge, you should make an appointment with your primary care doctor, gynecologist, or OB-GYN. If you dont already have an OB-GYN, our Healthline FindCare tool can help you connect to physicians in your area. You can also seek treatment at a sexual health clinic, such as Planned Parenthood.

See your doctor if you have any of these signs of abnormal discharge:

  • yellow, gray, or green color
  • white and chunky discharge, like cottage cheese
  • a strong, fishy, or sour odor

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Causes Of Brown Discharge

There are many possible causes of brown discharge. In most cases, brown discharge is nothing to be concerned about. However, brown discharge can indicate a possible health issue if its accompanied by other symptoms, such as vaginal itching, pain, a strong odor, or changes to your menstrual cycle.

If you experience brown discharge unexpectedly, there are a variety of different possible causes:

Understanding Perimenopause Nipple Discharge

Menopause and discharge: what’s normal and what isnt

For the perimenopausal woman, nipple discharge can be frightening. It may have been years since breastfeeding a child so why could this be happening?

As it turns out, there are a variety of reasons for nipple discharge and most reasons for nipple discharge are not serious. Please continue reading for an explanation of some of the more common reasons for nipple discharge during perimopause.

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Does Abnormal Vaginal Discharge Always Mean That I Have An Infection

No. Anything that causes a change in the healthy balance of bacteria in the vagina can also cause abnormal discharge. Common non-infectious causes of vaginal discharge include:

  • Vaginitis, a condition that leads to inflammation of the vagina

  • A foreign object, like a forgotten tampon or condom

  • Atrophic vaginitis, or the drying and thinning of the vaginal walls, often during menopause

  • Cancers of the vagina, cervix, and uterus, though these are less common

Clear Fluid During Periods

Clear fluid discharge from the vagina is an alarming condition. People tend to give various and often faulty explanations for the condition. There is a lot of incorrect information floating around the internet also. Therefore it is essential to have a clear idea of the possible differential diagnoses, in order to have fewer doubts, fewer medical expenses and a happier life.

A huge number of conditions cause watery vaginal discharge or clear discharge.

It is therefore better to consult your gynecologist in cases of any worrisome symptoms.

Young girls may experience watery discharge related to periods due to infections, anovulatory cycles and obesity.

Young girls

Infections are common among young girls, especially those who are sexually active. Candida and Trichomonas are such organisms. A high vaginal swabculture and microscopy give a definitive diagnosis. Anti-fungal and antibiotic creams applied locally settle the matter.

Anovulatory cycles are menstrual cycles without ovulation. The ovum continues to form estrogen long past the middle of the cycle in anovulatory cycles. Obese individuals have a high content of fatty tissue. These adipocytes can convert the compound androstenedione to estrogen. A high estrogen content leads to endometrial hyperplasia and vaginal mucosal stimulation. There may be excess production of fluid exudate from these hyper-stimulated tissues.

Women of reproductive age



transvaginal ultrasound scan

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Whats Considered Normal Vaginal Discharge

What is a normal discharge during the menopause? It varies a lot between woman to woman, so this is just a rough guide.

Colour-wise, it tends to be transparent, it may be a slightly egg-white colour or just a slight yellowy tinge to it. The consistency, it should be quite runny but not very runny, if you know what I mean, and it should flow quite easily.

The volume of mucus you produce, this is different for every woman. Some women will produce quite a lot. Other women will produce very, very little. It can also depend on what time of the month it is, so especially if you’re in the peri-menopause and you’re still getting periods of some kind, then depending on where your hormonal balance is, then the amount can be quite different sort of day-to-day and week-to-week.

We talk a lot about smell. Now, a normal smell would be a mild smell, I mean, most of us are used to our own smells anyway, so you wouldn’t really notice any difference. But it would not be an unpleasant smell.

What Else Can Cause Yellow Vaginal Discharge

Vaginal discharge color guide: Causes and when to see a doctor

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease is an infection of the female reproductive organs typically contracted through sexual contact. It is possible, but not common, to contract pelvic inflammatory disease if the barrier of the cervix is damaged after giving birth, during a miscarriage, or while having an abortion. The underlying cause of PID is often an untreated sexually transmitted disease like gonorrhea or chlamydia. Pelvic inflammatory disease can lead to the development of scar tissue, which puts you at risk of having multiple abscesses grow along your fallopian tubes. Pelvic inflammatory disease often has no symptoms, but some women do experience abnormal vaginal discharge and abdominal or pelvic pain. If left untreated pelvic inflammatory disease can cause permanent damage to the reproductive organs and lead to ectopic pregnancies, infertility, and ovarian cysts.


Trichomoniasis is a diseased caused by the contraction of parasites, known as trichomonas vaginalis, during sexual contact with someone who has the disease. For most people trichomoniasis is symptomless.

70% of people infected with trichomoniasis will not display any signs of the disease. However, those that do experience symptoms often notice yellowish-green foul fishy smelling discharge within 5 to 28 days of contracting trichomoniasis.

A green coloured vaginal discharge is also common if you have contracted trichomoniasis.

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Thick White Discharge With No Odor

Thick white discharge that doesnt smell may or may not be connected with your menstrual cycle.

White discharge that is thick and sticky with no other symptoms is usually due to ovulation or pregnancy.

Thick white discharge with symptoms like vaginal itching, burning, redness, and chunks in the discharge is usually due to a yeast infection.

Signs And Symptoms Of Vaginal Discharge

Vaginal discharge is a normal occurrence all women experience that usually appears as a white or clear fluid on underwear. Some women have discharge daily and others on occasion. The discharge is made up of fluid and cells that shed through the .

The amount, color, and consistency of discharge may change based on the stage of your menstrual cycle. But discharge is different from menstrual blood.

Discharge fluid can be several things, including:

Cervical mucus A clear liquid or gel-like fluid that is produced by the cervix and changes over the course of your menstrual cycle or during pregnancy

Arousal fluid Produced from glands in and around the vagina when sexual arousal occurs. The fluid lubricates the vagina and dissipates usually within an hour of arousal.

Seminal fluid A mans sperm along with other fluids. It can appear as vaginal discharge if you had intercourse within the last day seminal fluid can stay in the vagina for hours after intercourse.

When abnormal discharge is present, other symptoms may also be depending on whats causing the discharge. Other symptoms might include:

  • Itching

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What Causes Vaginal Atrophy

During menopause, your body makes less estrogen. Without estrogen, the lining of the vagina can become thinner and less stretchy. The vaginal canal can also narrow and shorten. Less estrogen lowers the amount of normal vaginal fluids. It also changes the acid balance of the vagina. Women who have just had a baby and are breastfeeding also have a drop in estrogen. These symptoms also occur in women who have had their ovaries removed or are taking certain medications .

The first sign of vaginal atrophy is usually a decrease in vaginal lubrication.

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Can Clear Vaginal Discharge Be An Early Sign Of Pregnancy

How Much Vaginal Discharge is Normal

Women who are pregnant tend to have an increased amount of vaginal discharge. In fact, increased clear vaginal discharge can often be one of the earliest signs of pregnancy, sometimes appearing even before a missed period is noticed. Often times, this increased level of discharge continues throughout a pregnancy.

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Research And Statistics: Who Gets Vaginal Discharge

All women have normal vaginal discharge, and vaginal discharge can occur at all times of a woman’s life, starting in childhood.

During childhood, common causes include:

  • Poor hygiene that causes infection due to bacteria from the digestive tract
  • Chemicals in bubble baths or soaps
  • A foreign object in the vagina

Reasons for vaginal discharge that occurs in women during other times of life are listed in the Causes and Risk Factors section above.

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Abnormal Discharge With Pain Or Bleeding

See your GP or go to a genitourinary medicine clinic as soon as possible if your vaginal discharge is abnormal and you have:

  • pain in your pelvis
  • pain when you urinate
  • bleeding between periods or after sex

You may have chlamydia or gonorrhoea . Gonorrhoea can make your discharge turn green, although often the pain or bleeding are more noticeable.

Both conditions are treated with antibiotics. You will need to visit a local GUM or sexual health clinic or see your GP.

Untreated gonorrhoea or chlamydia may spread upwards and lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, a serious infection of the womb, fallopian tubes or ovaries.

If you ignore your symptoms you may have problems with fertility and pregnancy as a result of not being treated in time.

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Can Fibroids Cause Bleeding After Menopause

Dr. Jessie: Yes, although this is unusual. Most fibroids shrink after menopause and become less symptomatic than they were prior to menopause.

Fibroids that are pushing in to the cavity of the uterus can certainly cause post-menopausal bleeding, but I usually see this in patients who are in their early 50s they think they are not menopausal because they continue to bleed, but the bleeding is actually coming from the fibroid and not a hormonal cycle.

I dont usually see bleeding from fibroids starting up when a woman is already well in to menopause. If you know you have fibroids and are having bleeding after menopause, I would definitely recommend a visit to your doctor rather than writing the symptoms off as coming from the fibroids. Very rarely, women can develop a fibroid-related uterine cancer called a sarcoma.


Hello everyone. I am 2+ years post menopausal and have had some slight brown discharge/staining and a little bit of cramping. U/A showed my uterus too thick at 9mm with increased vascularity and heterogeneity. Gyno has immediately referred me to Gyn Oncologist â I have a consultation in a few days then likely a D& C. Iâm terrified. Any others with the same experience?

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What Is Intraductal Papilloma

Watery discharge: Is it normal, and what does it mean?

An intraductal papilloma is a small, wart-like growth that bumps out into the breast ducts near the nipple. This causes a bloody or sticky discharge. Any slight bump or bruise near the nipple can also cause the papilloma to bleed. If the discharge becomes annoying, the duct can be surgically removed. This can often be done without changing the look of the breast.

Single papillomas most often affect women nearing menopause. But multiple intraductal papillomas are more common in younger women. They often happen in both breasts. Multiple intraductal papillomas are more likely to be linked to a lump than with nipple discharge. Any papilloma linked to a lump is surgically removed.

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What Causes Clear Watery Discharge In Women

Most women that notice clear discharge is usually normal. If you are not sure about your discharge, you can dip your fingers in your vaginal area and examine it.

Watery discharge that occurs in the middle of your menstrual cycle is likely because you are ovulating. It is without odor or smell.

Here are the main reasons you have clear discharge:


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