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Luteal Phase Discharge: What’s Normal And When To Worry

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Every month, a woman’s menstrual cycle goes through different stages to prepare her body for a potential pregnancy. 

One important stage is the Luteal Phase, which happens after Ovulation. During this time, the body produces a hormone called Progesterone. 

This hormone changes the consistency and appearance of the cervical mucus. Thus leading to a white, creamy, thick vaginal discharge, which is known as Luteal Phase discharge. 

The look and feel of this discharge can vary among women or Assigned Females at Birth (AFAB). 

This article discusses the different types of Luteal Phase discharge and when you should seek medical help. 

Common Types of Luteal Phase Discharge

Vaginal discharge is a good indicator that helps you identify the phase of your menstrual cycle, as its appearance and feel can vary throughout each stage. 

Luteal discharge is different from Ovulation Discharge, and it is ideally 12-14 days long but can also be 11-17 days long.

Let us find out what types of vaginal discharge during Luteal Phase are considered normal.

Luteal Phase: White discharge (Creamy or Thick)

White discharge in Luteal Phase is the most common type. It can range from white to off-white in color. This thick, creamy, white discharge before a period is considered normal. 

Brown Discharge in Luteal Phase

Many women experience a slightly brown discharge in Luteal Phase. This is often old blood being shed from the uterine lining and is not a cause for concern.

When this old blood mixes with vaginal discharge, it results in a brown color.

Did You Know?
The discharge during Luteal Phase is caused by the hormone – Progesterone. It is also responsible for the thickening of cervical mucus, and, in the case of pregnancy, that helps in the implantation of the fetus.

Watery Discharge During Luteal Phase

Watery discharge during Luteal Phase is rare among women but is not a cause for worry. It can occur because of hormonal changes inside the body.

An increase in Estrogen levels before Ovulation makes the uterine lining thin and watery, followed by Progesterone, which makes the lining thick. Early in the Luteal Phase, when Estrogen levels are still dropping, your discharge might be watery.

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  • Yellow Discharge in Luteal Phase

    A yellow discharge in Luteal Phase, is frequent among some women. The presence of white blood cells in discharge can make it yellow in color. This discharge may also have a mild odor, which is normal.

    However, a yellowish discharge with a foul odor can also be an indication of an infection such as PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease)

    A normal Luteal Phase discharge has no odor. However, a mild odor in the discharge is also considered normal.

    It is important to remember that everybody is unique, and your discharge may not necessarily match these descriptions. 

    When To See A Doctor

    Woman consulting doctorSource: pixelshot
    Woman consulting doctor

    If you experience any of the following symptoms, immediately seek medical advice:

    • A bright red or greenish discharge
    • A fishy or pungent smell
    • Any form of burning sensation or itching in the vaginal area
    A brownish discharge that is smelly or is accompanied by spotting in between two cycles can also be caused by Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).

    Luteal Phase Discharge v/s Pregnancy Discharge

    You can experience vaginal discharge in your Luteal Phase if you are pregnant. This discharge is often thick and milky in color and might be accompanied by a little bleeding if pregnant. However, this alone cannot confirm pregnancy; hence, knowing the difference between pregnancy discharge and Leutal Phase discharge is important. 

    FeatureLuteal Phase DischargePregnancy Discharge
    TimingStops before periodMight continue throughout the first trimester
    ColorMilky whiteCan be similar, but there might be some spotting
    Duration Few daysCan be long lasting
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    Luteal Phase discharge is fairly normal form of vaginal discharge. It occurs after Ovulation and can range from white to yellow in color. A mild odor is considered normal during discharge.

    Knowing what Luteal Phase discharge is can help you track changes and maintain your overall health and reproductive system. 

    Leutal Phase discharge and pregnancy discharge might seem similar; hence, other factors must be considered to confirm pregnancy.

    It is important to consult a doctor if you experience any abnormalities, such as a pungent smell or reddish or greenish discharge.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is increased discharge in Luteal Phase normal?

    A slight increase in discharge during the Luteal Phase is considered normal to the point that it is white or off-white in color. However, if the increase is significant to the point that it causes discomfort, you should seek medical advice.

    Does everybody have discharge in the Luteal Phase?

    Some people don’t experience any vaginal discharge during Luteal Phase, which is also normal. Vaginal discharge is different for different people and depends upon many factors.

    Does discharge change throughout the cycle?

    Yes, the discharge changes throughout the month. After your period, there might not be much discharge at all. Then, as you get closer to Ovulation, the discharge might get slippery and clear. Later on, it can get thicker and white. Finally, right before your period starts again, the discharge might change again, sometimes getting a little watery. 

    Why is the Luteal Phase short for some women?

    Short Luteal Phase (less than 10 days) can happen due to hormone issues when the body does not produce enough Progesterone or health problems. It makes getting pregnant harder because the lining in your uterus isn’t ready long enough for an egg to implant.

    Can stress affect the Luteal Phase?

    Yes, it might mess with the hormones needed for a healthy lining in your uterus (important for pregnancy). This lining might not have enough time to get ready if you’re stressed, making it harder to get pregnant.

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    Photo of author Janet Fudge
    Janet Fudge is a highly skilled and experienced pharmacologist who serves as a contributing writer for With a strong academic background from a premier US University and a passion for helping others, Janet has become a trusted voice in the pharmaceutical world. After completing her Doctor of Pharmacy degree, Janet embarked on a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry, working with various clients, including hospitals, retail pharmacies, and drug manufacturers. Her in-depth knowledge of pharmacology and dedication to patient-centered care has led her to excel in her field. As a writer for, Janet uses her wealth of expertise to provide readers with accurate, reliable, and up-to-date information on various topics related to medicine and healthcare. Her engaging writing style and ability to break down complex topics into easily digestible content make her a valuable resource for healthcare professionals and the general public.
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