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Is it normal to have so much brown discharge a couple days leading up to my period? It's really thin in consistency and can be a bit itchy. I've had this for years now and it's frustrating. I'm not sure why I haven't asked my doctor, probably feeling embarrassed. I have had issues with bacterial vaginitis in the past.
Vaginal symptoms are some of the most frequent reasons for patient visits to the obgyn. It is true that some discharge is normal, particularly in reproductive-aged women, and especially around ovulation. In general, if the discharge is asymptomatic (i.e. it is not associated with burning, itching, painful intercourse, or odor), it is normal. In general, if it is cyclic (i.e. it is only mid cycle and disappears near one’s period), it is normal.
But if you do have any of those symptoms, you should see your gynecologist to rule out infection. There are cells in the cervix that produce mucus, and this is the origin of most mid cycle discharge.
Always, if there is any question about this, speak to your gynecologist. Although most gynecologists do not recommend regular douching, if the increase in mid cycle discharge is excessively bothersome, and infection has been ruled out, a physiologic douche (vinegar and water, no perfumes or chemicals) just at that time of the month may be acceptable. Again, discuss with your doctor. And always safe sex with condoms.