The complain about watery discharge which feels like you peed on yourself is not uncommon, 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.
Sometimes, these watery discharges can be very heavy and odorless almost like you just urinated on yourself. Some people complain of getting intermittent pain (mild to moderate) in lower right abdominal region during this period which can be unnerving especially for women who are pregnant. It is important to note that the amount of discharge depends on certain factors, including the phase of the menstrual cycle and this can occur at any age. However, excessive watery discharge may be a symptom of an underlying medical condition.
What are the causes of watery discharge?
The following are some of the major causes of watery discharge:
Hormonal imbalance: Hormonal imbalances due to stress or other health conditions, like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), may also cause increases in vaginal discharge. PCOS affects some 10 percent of reproductive-age women. While some women experience less vaginal discharge, others report having more. Other symptoms include anything from excess facial and body hair and weight gain to irregular periods and infertility.
Pregnancy: Almost all people experience an increase in vaginal discharge with pregnancy. It helps to protect the fetus from infections that might travel up the vagina and into the uterus. Your discharge may also be thin and clear or white in color. However, it is especially important to be on the lookout for unusual discharge during pregnancy. Be aware of any changes, including:
- a difference in smell, color, or texture
- pain accompanying the discharge
- soreness or itching in the vaginal area
These could signal a medical condition. Consult a doctor.
Normal discharge tends to be mucus-like and will not soak a pad or panty liner. See a doctor if an increased amount of wet discharge requires a pad or liner, as this can indicate ruptured membranes, commonly known as the water breaking.
Change in Microbial Flora: Antibiotics kill bacteria, which can upset the delicate balance of yeast and bacteria in the vagina that work to keep other germs in check. This means that antibiotic treatment can sometimes end up causing a vaginal yeast infection (candida fungus). This happens to about 10% of women who use clindamycin or metronidazole. This can lead to a yeast infection, which is often characterized by an increase in cottage cheese-like or watery discharge.
Ovulation and period: Vaginal discharge changes during the menstrual cycle. In preparation for ovulation and during it, discharge tends to be stretchy and wet. The body produces more mucus at this stage than after it. Ovulation occurs between days 11 and 21 of the menstrual cycle. Just before a period, discharge is often white or cloudy, because of raised levels of the hormone progesterone. Immediately after a period, vaginal discharge may be brownish, due to remnants of blood in the vagina.
Hormonal contraceptives: Hormonal birth control can have some major pluses, like protecting against pregnancy and helping to treat heavy periods, acne, and cysts. You may, however, experience certain side effects along the way that aren’t so pleasant. This includes an increase in vaginal discharge while your hormones adjust.
Foreign objects: Sometimes, increase in vaginal discharge can be as a result of the presence of a foreign object in the vagina such as tampon, condom or an IUD . While a range in discharge can be normal, some changes may be a sign of infection. See a doctor if you experience:
- yellow, green, or gray discharge
- persistent foul odor
- swelling around the vaginal opening or vulva
- pain or tenderness around the vaginal opening or vulva
Menopause: You may continue to experience vaginal discharge during and after menopause. Vaginal atrophy can cause a watery discharge. Vaginal atrophy is a condition that causes the vaginal walls to thin and may occur in women who’ve gone through menopause.
Sexually Transmitted disease (STD): a number of STDs can cause distinct changes in vaginal discharges, altering the color, scent, and more. That’s because several STDs can affect the vaginal microflora. This can result in a distinct vaginal discharge. These changes can cause orange vaginal discharge, chunky yellow discharge, and other abnormal discharges. A change in how your discharge smells such as having a foul odor is another sign your abnormal discharge might be due to an STD.
Most of the time, a normal vaginal discharge is nothing to be alarmed about. For one, discharges help keep the vagina clean and free of harmful pathogens. Healthy bacteria living in your vagina help make your secretions acidic. That acidic discharge fights off bad bacteria and clears out dead cells. Vaginal discharge can begin about six months to one year before a girl gets her period. It’s caused by hormonal changes. If the discharge is watery, it’s most likely normal and not a sign of infection.
Clear and watery discharge can increase at any point during your cycle. Estrogen can stimulate the production of more fluids. However if you notice any foul smell or changes in color, call your doctor immediately. Read: Why Your Discharge Smells Like Dead Animal