If you’ve ever been surprised by the sight of clear, jelly-like discharge in your underpants, you’re definitely not alone. Your vaginal discharge is a part of the way the reproductive system keeps healthy, and it changes according to different phases of the menstrual cycle. The jelly-like discharge can tell you a lot about your fertility cycle – and give clues about your overall health.
Vaginal discharge changes with the menstrual cycle
Discharge is a fluid produced by the cells of the cervix and vagina, mainly composed of dead cells and bacteria. The vagina is constantly making some form of discharge to keep moist and clean. The consistency of this fluid varies according to the different phases of the menstrual cycle.
Most of the time, vaginal discharge is thick and sticky. This helps prevent germs from getting through and infecting the uterus. However, in the fertile window around the ovulatory phase of your cycle, there is more of it and it becomes more watery. If you happen to have sex around this time, it will help sperm cells on their way through to fertilize an egg.
Jelly like discharge as an ovulation sign
Ovulation is when your body releases this menstrual cycle’s fertile egg. (In a 28-day cycle, this usually happens around Day 14.) If you happen to have some unprotected penis-in-vagina sex in two to three days before ovulation or the 24 hours after it, it’s possible to get pregnant.
As you approach ovulation, your body will produce a clearly, slippery discharge from the cervix. This fertile mucus nourishes sperm cells and allows them to find their way through the vagina towards the egg cell.
This discharge is quite stretchy and jelly-like in consistency. It can stretch up to a few inches between your fingers if you care to try. When you see this discharge, you’re at your peak fertility. This is often referred to as “egg white cervical mucus” or “EWCM” by aspiring parents when they’re trying to conceive.
Is gel like discharge always normal?
Gel-like discharge around ovulation time is nothing to worry about. Arousal fluid from getting wet may also appear somewhat similar, and it can show up any time you’re sexually stimulated. You can tell the difference between the two by the fact that gel-like discharge stays damp, but arousal fluid dries up within an hour or so.
However, if you’re not taking birth control pills, you’re not especially hot and bothered, and you see gel-like discharge happening at seemingly random times in your cycle? That’s a little more unusual. This could be a sign of anovulation. In other words, your body isn’t releasing an egg this cycle. (If you don’t ovulate, you won’t notice an ovulation spike of a graph of your Basal Body Temperature, either.)
Even if you’re not planning on getting pregnant, problems with ovulation can be a sign of hormonal imbalances like PCOS, so consider seeing a gynecologist as soon as possible to identify the cause.
Jelly like discharge is one of your vagina’s signals
A sudden or unusual change in the smell, color, or texture of your vaginal discharge can be a sign of infection or other serious medical conditions. Every vagina is different, but once you know what normal discharge is like for you, you’ll be able to head straight to a gynecologist if there’s anything out of the ordinary.