It is typical to produce less discharge after ovulation, and people may have days with no discharge before their period. However, additional symptoms, such as irritation or discomfort, may indicate an underlying condition.
Hormone levels change throughout the menstrual cycle. These changes can alter the amount and type of mucus the cervix produces, which leaves the vagina as discharge.
People may find they have the most discharge before and during ovulation when an ovary releases an egg. After ovulation, mucus may become drier, and people may have days with no discharge before a period.
Experiencing no discharge before a period does not usually indicate pregnancy, as pregnancy typically causes an increase in vaginal discharge.
This article examines the potential causes for experiencing no discharge before a period, including other possible symptoms to look for and when to speak with a doctor.
People may have no discharge or drier discharge, which is sticky and cloudy, during and after ovulation. This can last for around 11–14 days before a period starts.
People do not require treatment if they have no discharge without additional symptoms. No discharge before a period can be part of a regular menstrual cycle.
- vaginal dryness
- painful sex due to reduced lubrication
- bleeding after sex
- vaginal itching or burning sensations
- frequent urination
- increased vaginal or urinary tract infections
According to a 2018 study, applying a low dose estradiol vaginal cream twice a week may effectively help treat vaginal dryness in postmenopausal people.
Certain drugs can dry out the vaginal tissue. When this occurs, people may have drier discharge or no discharge. Medications that may cause vaginal dryness include:
If medications are causing vaginal dryness, people may also experience:
- vaginal irritation
- burning sensation
- pain during sex
- dryness and irritation of the vulva, which may cause discomfort wearing underwear
People may notice that dryness begins after starting the medication.
If a medication is causing uncomfortable vaginal dryness, people can talk with a doctor. A doctor may be able to alter the dosage or provide an alternative that does not affect discharge.
Lower levels of discharge due to hormonal birth control may also cause:
- pain or burning during sex
- irritation or discomfort
If people experience dryness due to hormonal birth control, they may find it helpful to use silicone or water-based lubricants. This can help ease vaginal dryness throughout the day and during sex.
People can also speak with a healthcare professional about nonhormonal birth control options, including:
Cancer treatments may cause vaginal dryness and affect the amount of discharge people have.
If people have not yet begun menopause, chemotherapy
- vaginal dryness
- hot flashes
- irregular or lack of periods
- vaginal tightness
- light bleeding or spotting after sex
If people experience vaginal dryness due to cancer treatment, they can discuss their options with a healthcare professional. Treatment
- using a water-based gel lubricant during sex
- using a vaginal moisturizer throughout the week, which helps retain moisture in the vagina and also balances the pH
- having vaginal estrogen therapy, which applies hormones to the genital area and helps treat vaginal atrophy — although this treatment is dependent on the type of cancer a person has
According to the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS), other possible causes of vaginal dryness and changes in discharge amounts may include:
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends consulting a doctor if people experience irritation and pain during sex after using lubricants and vaginal moisturizers for 2 months or if other symptoms are present alongside vaginal dryness.
- changes in the typical amount or consistency
- changes in the typical color
- a strong or noticeable odor
In some cases, changes in vaginal discharge can indicate an infection, which may require treatment.
Vaginal discharge changes throughout the menstrual cycle and is usually clear to white with no noticeable odor. It is typical for discharge to become drier before a period starts, and some people may not have any discharge before a period.
No discharge before a period is not usually a cause of concern and not generally a sign of pregnancy, which often increases vaginal discharge.
However, continuously experiencing no discharge and vaginal dryness may indicate an underlying condition or a side effect of medication.