Home Discharge Jelly-Like Discharge: Thick, Clear or Brown – A Pregnancy Sign?

Jelly-Like Discharge: Thick, Clear or Brown – A Pregnancy Sign?

A woman’s body produces discharges to keep the reproductive system healthy. The discharge is bound to change depending on her general health and her phase in the menstrual cycle.

The normal menstrual cycle discharge only changes from mucus to bloody. In most times, such mucus or discharge is sticky and thick to help prevent infection in the womb.

What does it mean when it is a jelly?Jelly-like discharge, clear and sticky

Majority of women can determine their fertility cycle by studying the appearance, amount, and color of the jelly-like discharge. Jelly discharge is a common sign that a woman is in her fertile days.

What does it look like?

It often resembles an egg- white. The mucus is stretchy and thin in consistency. If you happen to stretch it, it can stretch up to two inches between your fingers. This discharge is also called egg white cervical mucus.

It is much related to your ovulation. Most women experience it as part of the ovulation signs that are easily observable by women.[1]

Causes of a jelly discharge

Jelly-like discharge is mostly associated with rising hormone levels. You are likely to experience such a discharge when the following occurs:

1. Ovulation

Ovulation is the release of an egg from the ovary for fertilization. It usually occurs 14 days after the first day of your period. It is possible to get pregnant if you happen to have unprotected sex 3 days before ovulation or 2 days after. This is because the sperm can live up to 5 days in the body.

As a woman approaches ovulation, her body produces sticky, clear jelly discharge[2]. The mucus nourishes the sperm cell and propels it towards the fallopian tubes for fertilization.

2. Pregnancy

During pregnancy, the body produces various hormones to help sustain the growing fetus. Estrogen is one of such hormones. Jelly-like discharge is usually an effect of high levels of estrogen. This hormone brings about changes in cervical mucus and secretions.

The cervical glands function intensively in pregnancy than they normally do. As a result, there is an increase in the amount of mucus excreted and discharged through the reproductive organ. The consistency of the mucus produced is what makes it look jelly-like.

Several factors other than the estrogen may lead to more production of mucus during pregnancy. Diet also plays a key role in the appearance of the mucus. All the above factors combined usually result in a jelly discharge during pregnancy.

The discharge is normal during pregnancy unless:

  • It appears greenish with an odor
  • It is accompanied by swelling or edema
  • It accompanied by itching and irritation during urination

3. Vulvovaginitis

Vulvovaginitis is the inflammation of the lady parts, mostly as a result of an infection. The causes of such infection include yeast, bacteria, and virus. Besides infections, inflammation could be as a result of improper hygiene. Jelly-like discharge accompanied with odor is among the first symptoms one could experience.

Other symptoms of vulvovaginitis include itching, and burning sensation during urination. You should be prompted to visit your doctor if you notice such signs and symptoms.[3]

4. Use of contraceptive pills

Contraceptives pills are made up of synthetic progesterone and estrogen. These substances contained in the pill mimic the function of the reproductive hormones in the body.

If for instance, the contraceptive pill increases the levels of estrogen, you are likely to experience this kind of discharge even when ovulation is not due.

Clear jelly-like discharge before period

A clear jelly-like discharge occurs during ovulation, usually after three days of ovulation. It is normally thin and a bit stretchy. It is important to keep track of your ovulation days so that you can differentiate a clear jelly discharge during ovulation and one as a result of mild bacterial infection.

Even though a bacterial infection could be accompanied by itchiness and pain, in some mild cases a clear jelly like discharge would be noted

Thick discharge

A thick jelly like discharge could signal the end of pregnancy. Usually a plug forms at the cervical opening during the first weeks of pregnancy. The mucus plug acts as a protective barrier that hinders entry of micro-organisms into the uterus.

Labor can begin anytime from 36 weeks. However, shortly before labor begins, the mucus plug is loosened up and is expelled. It is usually accompanied by a bloody discharge called show.

 Am I pregnant?

A clear sticky or stringy discharge signifies fertility. But could it be a sign of pregnancy? If you happen to experience such a discharge 10-16 days from the first day of your period, know that you are ovulating.[4] During the first four days of ovulation, your discharge might seem scanty but then get sticky from the 5th day onwards. As ovulation continues the discharge is likely to become clearer and less sticky.

In case you are suspecting it is a pregnancy symptom, the best thing to do is to wait until you have missed your period. For an accurate pregnancy test, it is always advisable to wait for 7 days after a missed period to take the test. At this time your body will have secreted enough the pregnancy hormone into the urine.

Brownish jelly discharge

Brownish jelly discharge is normal if it occurs in the middle of the cycle (during ovulation).During ovulation, you will notice that the discharge is a bit stringy but odorless and usually lasts for about two days.

However, it is usually a cause for concern when a woman experiences such a discharge any other time other than during ovulation. For this reason, one is advised to visit a doctor for examinations and tests. It could be a sign of an underlying health problem.

Pinkish discharge

Pink mucus is usually a mixture of blood and cervical mucus. Its occurrence signifies the presence of some blood in the cervix. Here are the causes of pinkish jelly-like discharge:

  1. Trauma

Pink discharge could occur after intercourse. Minor lacerations often lead to bleeding. Also, a woman is likely to bleed during intercourse if they happen to be suffering from cervical polyps.

  1. Onset of menstruation

A pinkish discharge could signal the commencement of period. Often, a period starts light before it progresses into being heavy.

  1. Contraceptive pills

Contraceptive pills may cause what is called spotting. Spotting is mid-cycle bleeding as a result of hormonal imbalance. Spotting is common during the first three months of oral contraceptive use.

When it occurs after miscarriage

It is normal for a woman to experience such a discharge weeks after a miscarriage. Such a discharge after a miscarriage is a sign that ovulation is happening and that you could be pregnant if you happen to have unprotected sex.

Cramps

Implantation is likely to occur 4-8 days after fertilization. If this happens, you are likely to experience cramps as a result of egg burrowing into the thick inner layers of the uterus. Even after implantation, the cervix does not dry up instead the muscles increases as the body produces more pregnancy hormones, estrogen, and progesterone. The only way to tell if you are pregnant is to have a home pregnancy test or simply visit your doctor for one.

When to see a doctor?

In most cases, such discharge signifies either ovulation or pregnancy. However you should be prompt to visit your doctor if you notice the following, it could be a sign of a serious health problem: Visit your doctor when:

  • You have excessive discharge, that is making you uncomfortable
  • You are not sure of the cause of the discharge
  • The discharge is accompanied by irritation, pain during urination and itching.

Your doctor will then carry our proper examinations and tests and advise you accordingly.

References

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24845657

[2] Fertility awareness (June 2014): https://www.webmd.com/infertility-and-reproduction/fertility-awareness#1

[3] Vaginitis (April 2016): http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vaginitis/Pages/Introduction.aspx

[4] Ovulation signs (May 2016): http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/getting-pregnant/expert-answers/ovulation-signs/faq-20058000

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