Vaginal discharge or more famously known – white discharge during pregnancy, occurs to all women. This event occurs right after puberty. Vaginal discharge stops when women reach menopause.
The flow of the discharge varies depending on the time. Usually, the discharge gets heavy at the time of the period. When a woman becomes pregnant, the flow again gets heavier. In fact, it is only normal to have heavy vaginal discharge during pregnancy. Sometimes it happens because of wrong sleeping position during pregnancy.
The medical term of pregnancy time vaginal discharge is – Leukorrhea (1). Heavy vaginal discharge is a sign of pregnancy. Sometimes the color of the discharge also changes. While this is a normal event, some colors might be the sign of some infection. Therefore, it is important to know about vaginal discharge during pregnancy.
Color Of The Discharge
You need to pay attention to the vaginal discharge if you are pregnant. This is essential because there are times when you need to seek medical help. White discharge even though a common event, sometimes leads to medical complications. The color of the discharge can vary. The discharge might be clear white, yellow, green, gray, or even lumpy.
This article gives you a detailed insight into the white discharge during pregnancy.
Normal Discharge – A Brief Discussion
Heavy white discharge is the symptom of pregnancy (2). This event continues until the last stage. The vagina of a woman changes as she gets pregnant. Usually, the vaginal discharge that women experience, is thin, mildly smelling, and milky white.
The changes take place in the vaginal discharge before even women miss their first period. This is the first sign of pregnancy which many times people miss out. With the progress of the pregnancy, the discharge becomes heavier. The flow turns the heaviest at the last stage of the pregnancy. This sometimes pushes women to take precautions. Some prefer to opt for lined panties to avoid staining.
One essential fact about the discharge in the last week of pregnancy is its color. You may notice pink colored discharge during this time. Also, the type of discharge changes when someone gets pregnant. The discharge becomes jelly-like. This is the sign that your body is getting prepared for the labor.
Color Of The Discharge – What Do They Mean
The color of vaginal discharge may vary during pregnancy. There are types of discharges which you may experience. You must pay attention to the consistency and the color to understand whether you are having normal discharge or not. The color of discharge may be
Clear White Discharge During Pregnancy
Clear white discharge is an indication of normal discharge. You need to pay attention to the smell. In case, the discharge smells mild, you can be assured that this is a good sign. However, if you notice any change in the texture or the quality, you should immediately see a doctor because this might be an issue. (3)
Lumpy White Discharge During Pregnancy
Lumpy vaginal discharge during pregnancy may be an indication of yeast infection. This type of discharge looks like cottage cheese. Yeast infection is common during pregnancy. The body becomes inclined to the infection at the time pregnancy. There are some other signs of yeast infection. You may notice itching. Painful urination is another sign of this infection. You may experience painful intercourse during pregnancy due to this as well. Therefore, be sure to get medical assistance if you notice lumpy discharge during pregnancy. (4)
Green or Yellow Discharge During Pregnancy
Green or yellow discharge is a sign of a sexually transmitted infection. Therefore, this is not a healthy sign. Redness or feeling of irritation around the genital area is another sign of this infection which is better known as STI. The problem with this infection is – it leads to complications at the time of childbirth. This may affect the health of both the mother and the child.
The problems due to the infection arise years after the childbirth. This might lead to complications regarding the child’s development. Also, it affects the nervous system. Sometimes this may cause infertility in the affected woman as well. Therefore, it is important to seek medical help the moment you notice green or yellow vaginal discharge. (5)
Gray Discharge During Pregnancy
Gray discharge is a sign of a bacterial infection called bacterial vaginosis (BV). You need to be careful about gray discharge, especially it comes with a fish-like smell. Bacterial imbalance around the vaginal area is the reason for this infection. It can occur due to multiple sexual relationships. BV is a common infection which many women suffer from during their pregnancy. (6)
Brown Discharge During Pregnancy
Brown vaginal discharge is not a matter of serious concern. This occurs frequently. The color of the discharge turns brown when old blood begins to leave the body. This is also a sign of pregnancy. (7)
Pink Discharge During Pregnancy
Pink discharge is not a normal event. This may be a case at the early stage of pregnancy. Such a thing may occur in the last stage of pregnancy as well. Pink discharge shows that the body is getting prepared for the childbirth. However, if it occurs during the pregnancy, it may be a sign of miscarriage. Yet, there are some other reasons for pink vaginal discharge including infection or sexual intercourse. (8)
Red Discharge During Pregnancy
Red discharge is a matter of concern. You need to get immediate medical assistance if this takes place. It is essential to pay attention to the discharge. In case of heavy bleeding or blood clotting, you need to seek immediate help from your doctor. This can be a sign of miscarriage. However, if this takes place in the early stage of pregnancy, you may not have to worry too much about it. Then it may be a sign of infection.
There are studies that show that many women suffer from this type of bleeding at the early stage of their pregnancies. However, it is better to seek medical help in the case, you experience red discharge at any time during your pregnancy. (9)
How To Deal With White Discharge During Pregnancy
Sometimes it becomes difficult to deal with the discharge. Heavy discharge with a mild smell is normal during pregnancy. However, in case of unusual color or strong odor, you need to get medical help as it is not normal. Doctors will be able to suggest antibiotics or other medications to help reduce infections.
You need to take care of yourself during pregnancy. It is essential to maintain vaginal health when you are pregnant. There are ways to treat your vaginal health.
- Get unscented feminine care products which include soaps and toilet papers
- Stop douching
- Wear panty liners that can soak the additional discharge. You can also wear pads to remain comfortable during the time of heavy discharge.
- Make sure to dry the vaginal area after showering
- Make sure to wear breathable underwear
- Make sure to eat healthy and avoid sugar
- Don’t make the mistake of using deodorant to prevent the smell
- Wash off frequently and gently
- Wash with plain water
- Don’t use wipes as the genital area is capable of self-caring
Is It Normal To Experience White Discharge During Pregnancy?
This is a completely normal event. Almost every other woman experience this during their pregnancy. White discharge during pregnancy takes place to prevent infection reaching the womb through vaginal area. As the pregnancy progresses, the discharge turns thicker. This mucus-like discharge is called show.
Be Careful Of Thrush
Thrush is a common infection during pregnancy. This too can lead to heavy discharge. However, this is not a serious threat to you. This can be easily cured. Therefore, you need to get in touch with your doctor immediately once you notice this kind of infection.
Thrush can lead to heavy vaginal discharge. This is normally white in color. Sometimes it may look like cottage cheese. The unique fact about thrush is its lack of smell. It can also cause irritation and itching around the genital area.
The best way to deal with this infection is by getting in touch with your doctor. It is against advice to consume the medicine without consulting anyone. Such a practice might be harmful as some of the medicines are not suitable at the time of pregnancy.
There are ways to prevent thrush. You can make a practice of wearing cotton underwear that bestows comfort. The idea is to allow your skin to breathe properly. In addition, you may benefit from avoiding scented soaps or underwear.
Disclaimer – It is essential to seek medical assistance in case of abnormal vaginal discharge.
Commonly Asked Questions about White Discharge During Pregnancy
How much discharge is normal during pregnancy?
It is normal to have heavier discharge during pregnancy.
When to call a doctor?
If you experience in the color of green, yellow or red, you should immediately get in touch with a doctor.