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Egg White Discharge & Fertility: What Does It Mean?

The consistency and the nature of your vaginal discharge and cervical mucus can vary significantly during your menstrual cycle. It can leave you confused or even worried at times. If you know the cause and significance of such changes, you can have great insight into your overall reproductive health.

As the name suggests, egg white discharge/cervical mucus (EWCM) has the consistency of uncooked egg whites. It is one of the most common types of cervical mucus variation; you can expect this change right around your ovulation phase. The presence of EWCM can reveal a tremendous amount about your fertility window if you’re planning on getting pregnant; learning more about egg white discharge and what to expect from discharge when ovulating is an excellent place to start.

The consistency, colour, and even the odour of your discharge can reveal important details about your menstrual cycle, vaginal health, fertility window, and even early pregnancy.

This article will help answer all your questions about EWCM: how long after egg white cervical mucus do you ovulate? How long does egg white cervical mucus last? Read on to find out more.

Vaginal discharge colours: what do they mean?
Image courtesy of The Bright Girl Guide by Demi Spaccavento.

What does egg-white cervical mucus mean?

Egg white cervical mucus is the moniker given to the cervical mucus that looks like raw egg whites, as you might have guessed. A typical cervical mucus discharge is clear and odourless, but EWCM is usually slippery and stretchy.

For most women, EWCM discharge makes its appearance right around your ovulation. That said, there can be other times in your menstrual cycle when you can see such a discharge, and its meaning can vary greatly. Let’s look at what to make of such a discharge at various times in your cycle.

Egg white cervical mucus before period

The egg white discharge appearing before your period might indicate ovulation. Ovulation occurs around the 14th day, which is halfway through your cycle. Therefore, if you observe the egg white discharge a couple of weeks before your expected period, it more than likely indicates that you are ovulating. Utilising an ovulation predictor kit throughout your cycle can help confirm if this is the case.

The egg white discharge is produced to make it easy for the sperm to fertilise the egg. If you observe egg white discharge during your cycle and want to get pregnant, it might be the best time to have intercourse.

Egg white discharge after ovulation

If you are using an ovulation kit, you might observe that you have an egg white discharge even after you have ovulated. The egg white discharge can often last up to two days after ovulation.

However, observing such a discharge much later in your cycle might have a different meaning. Egg white discharge after a few weeks of ovulation can signify early pregnancy. In some cases, the discharge might be milky white (known as Leukorrhea), but it can also be clear.

Egg white discharge in early pregnancy

Many women might experience a vaginal discharge indicating early pregnancy, ranging from whitish to transparent and relatively thin. The discharge volume also tends to increase during early pregnancy, making it appear similar to ovulation. If you observe egg white discharge after a few weeks of having intercourse, it is best to take a home pregnancy test to be sure.

Egg white discharge after menopause

Seeing a slippery, clear discharge after menopause can catch you off guard. It happens as the vagina increases the secretions during menopause in response to the lower oestrogen levels in your body.

One of the other most common reasons for an egg white discharge after menopause is a vaginal infection, which is relatively common following menopause.

Bacterial vaginosis, a bacterial infection, can produce a thin, slippery cervical mucus discharge resembling discharge observed during ovulation. However, such a discharge due to an infection is grey rather than egg white. In rare cases, a thin and transparent vaginal discharge after menopause might even indicate endometrial cancer.

Endometrial cancer is a form of cancer that generally affects women over 50 years, mostly between 60-70 years old. Other indications of endometrial cancer include vaginal bleeding, pain during intercourse, and even pain during urination. In most cases, an egg-white cervical mucus discharge after menopause is not a sign of cancer, but it is best to consult your doctor to rule anything out.

Can I Have Fertile Cervical Mucus and Not Ovulate?
Can I have fertile cervical mucus and not ovulate?

How should an egg-white discharge look?

A ‘normal’ egg white cervical mucus discharge that indicates ovulation is usually thin, transparent, and odourless—the volume of discharge when ovulating may also increase.

It’s important to remember that every woman is different, and the egg-white discharge of all women is not the same. You might not have an ideal egg white discharge in every cycle, and that’s quite normal. If your egg-white cervical mucus discharge is odourless and colourless, there is probably no reason to worry about it. That said, observing the following signs could be worth seeking advice from your healthcare professional.

  • Cervical mucus discharge that is thin and grey
  • Thick egg white discharge that resembles cottage cheese
  • Cervical mucus discharge that is yellow and frothy
  • A fishy odour coming from the vagina
  • A burning sensation in your vagina.
How long after egg white cervical mucus do you ovulate?
How long after egg white cervical mucus do you ovulate?

FAQs about egg white vaginal discharge

This section answers some of the most commonly asked questions about white discharge.

Does white cervical mucus mean ovulation?

If you menstruate, ovulation is the most common reason for egg white discharge. You might experience such a discharge leading up to ovulation or even a couple of days after ovulation. During that time, there is unlikely to be an accompanying LH surge.

You can’t rely solely on the appearance of cervical egg white mucus discharge to indicate ovulation. The best way to track your ovulation is by using an ovulation test to monitor your fertility hormone levels.

Does egg-white mucus mean I am fertile?

The EWCM in the middle of your cycle is often recognised as a sign of ovulation. Some women might rely on the consistency of the cervical mucus to track their ovulation.

However, the appearance of such a discharge cannot be primarily used to predict ovulation; such cervical mucus discharge can occur before and even after ovulation. Once the egg is released from the ovary, it is only viable for 24 hours. Hence, if you rely solely on your cervical mucus consistency, you may miss your fertility window.

Ovulation test kits allow you to pinpoint your ovulation time by tracking your fertility hormone levels in your urine. These fertility kits can track your ovulation with 99% accuracy and help you know when you are ovulating.

Without egg-white cervical mucus, can I still get pregnant?

The presence of discharge when ovulating can vary significantly from the so-called ‘ideal’ discharge in consistency and colour. You might have a considerably thinner discharge or a different colour.

However, the appearance of a tacky and crumbly discharge that’s off-white is not a good sign. Such a release is considered hostile to the sperm and may be too thick to reach the egg. You can use sperm-friendly lubrication such as Conceive Plus to help assist.

What does EWCM indicate about my fertility?

EWCM, or cervical mucus, commonly occurs during ovulation. This type of discharge is usually clear, stretchy, and slippery, similar to raw egg whites. It provides an optimal environment for sperm to travel to the egg, thus increasing the chances of conception. In Australia, many women use this as a natural method to track their fertility window.

Can egg white discharge be a sign of early pregnancy?

Yes, egg white discharge can sometimes be a sign of early pregnancy. This discharge, known as leukorrhea, can be similar to the discharge observed during ovulation. However, it’s important to note that not all women experience this in early pregnancy. If you suspect you might be pregnant, taking a pregnancy test or consulting a healthcare professional in Australia for confirmation is recommended.

Is it normal to have EWCM outside of ovulation?

While egg white discharge is most commonly associated with ovulation, it can occur at other times in your menstrual cycle. Hormonal fluctuations, sexual arousal, and vaginal infections can also cause this discharge. If you notice changes in your discharge or other symptoms, it’s a good idea to consult a healthcare professional in Australia.

Can I still get pregnant if I don’t observe egg white discharge?

Yes, getting pregnant is possible even if you don’t observe egg white discharge. The presence and consistency of this type of discharge can vary greatly among women and even from cycle to cycle. If you’re trying to conceive and have concerns about your cervical mucus or other aspects of your fertility, consider consulting a fertility specialist in Australia.

What should I do if my EWCM has an unusual colour or odour?

If your egg white discharge has an unusual colour (such as yellow or grey) or a strong, foul odour, it could indicate a vaginal infection or another health issue. It’s important to seek medical advice in such cases. In Australia, healthcare professionals can provide appropriate treatment and advice based on your symptoms and medical history.

Trying to conceive naturally for the past 12 months

If you have been trying to conceive naturally for the past 12 months (6 months if you are above 35), it is a good idea to visit a fertility expert. If you can’t observe EWCM throughout your cycle, it can mean that you might have an anovulatory cycle. You should immediately consult your doctor to rule out complications in such a case.

With so many variables at play, falling pregnant can seem impossible. Thankfully, Fertility2Family is here to help with our comprehensive range of affordable and accessible fertility products. For ovulation kits to pregnancy tests, shop at Fertility2Family today.

Offering valuable insights into your fertility

Understanding your fertility can be complex, but Fertility2Family is here to guide you. Our comprehensive blog offers valuable insights into fertility-related topics, such as the significance of egg white discharge in predicting ovulation. To further support your fertility journey, we offer a range of ovulation tests and fertility kits that can help you accurately identify your most fertile days. Visit our blog and ovulation tests to learn more and take control of your fertility journey.

Sources:

Fertility2Family only uses trusted & peer-reviewed sources to ensure our articles’ information is accurate and reliable.

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Bright Girl Health Australia (2019) THE BRIGHT GIRL GUIDE. Available at: https://brightgirlhealth.com/product/the-bright-girl-guide-paperback/ (Accessed: 03 October 2023).

Department of Health & Human Services Australia (2003) Ovulation and fertility, Better Health Channel Australia. Available at: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/ovulation (Accessed: 03 October 2023).

Healthdirect Australia (2015) Vaginal discharge, healthdirect. Available at: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/vaginal-discharge (Accessed: 03 October 2023).

Healthdirect Australia (2015) Bacterial vaginosis (BV), healthdirect. Available at: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/bacterial-vaginosis (Accessed: 03 October 2023).

Johns Hopkins Medicine (2022) Calculating your monthly fertility window, Johns Hopkins Medicine. Available at: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/calculating-your-monthly-fertility-window (Accessed: 03 October 2023).

Ogle, A. (2023) Lubricant that is helpful for sperm, Mayo Clinic Health System. Available at: https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/trying-to-get-pregnant-select-a-lubricant-that-is-most-helpful-for-sperm (Accessed: 03 October 2023).

Johnson, S.  (2022) How you can track your fertility using the cervical mucus method, Clearblue. Available at: https://au.clearblue.com/how-to-get-pregnant/cervical-mucus-method (Accessed: 03 October 2023).

ScienceDirect (2018) Endometrium cancer, Endometrium Cancer – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/nursing-and-health-professions/endometrium-cancer (Accessed: 03 October 2023).

The Royal Women’s Hospital Australia (2014) Endometrial cancer, The Royal Women’s Hospital. Available at: https://www.thewomens.org.au/health-information/womens-cancers-pre-cancers/endometrial-cancer (Accessed: 03 October 2023).

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Evan Kurzyp

Evan is the founder of Fertility2Family and is passionate about fertility education & providing affordable products to help people in their fertility journey. Evan is a qualified Registered Nurse and has expertise in guiding & managing patients through their fertility journeys.

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