Vaginal Discharge while pregnant may be yellow, brown, green, white or clear depending on the underlying cause. Early pregnancy discharge or discharge during pregnancy should be monitored closely due to the fact that some of them may indicate infections that should be treated urgently.
Vaginal discharge is a very important fluid that oversees the general health of a vagina. Its prime time begins when a woman hits puberty to the time she gets into menopause. During pregnancy, the hormonal balance shifts and this changes the color and volume of vaginal discharge. These changes depend on the stage of pregnancy.
Is vaginal discharge while pregnant normal?
- Is vaginal discharge while pregnant normal?
- Is it normal to have vaginal discharge while pregnant every day?
- How much vaginal discharge is normal while pregnant
- Reasons, meaning, Causes of vaginal discharge while pregnant
- What color is normal vaginal discharge during pregnancy?
- What does normal vaginal discharge while pregnant look like?
- Pregnancy vaginal discharge smell
- Pregnancy vaginal discharge on underwear
- Types of vaginal discharge while pregnant
- Pregnancy Vaginal discharge and sexually transmitted diseases
- Spotting while pregnant
- Itchy Discharge during pregnancy
- Period while pregnant
- When is vaginal discharge considered not to be normal during pregnancy?
- When to see a doctor
Yes, vaginal discharge is normal during pregnancy. In fact it is one of the most important features to observe during early pregnancy. Early pregnancy symptoms include vaginal discharge that is milky, white, light and has got no smell.
This type of vaginal discharge while pregnant is known as leukorrhea .The reason for vaginal discharge while pregnant is that it plays a key role of cleansing and rejuvenating the vaginal walls by washing away dead cells.
Is it normal to have vaginal discharge while pregnant every day?
Vaginal discharge is part and parcel of pregnancy so brace yourself to embrace it daily. The volume Leukorrhea increases in volume everyday as the pregnancy advance s from one stage to another. This discharge is more than usual and can easily leak through your dress. Pregnant women are advised to wear panty liners in order to avoid such embarrassments especially in a public place.
You should not use tampons to contain the discharge. They can easily attract an infection up the cervix and that is the last thing you would want to deal with as a pregnant woman. The panty liners should also be changed regularly at intervals of an hour or two.
If you are able to run some clean water over your vagina every time you change your panty liner then you better do so. But ensure that you dry your groin area properly because dampness encourages yeast infection.
How much vaginal discharge is normal while pregnant
An average woman produces four millimeters of vaginal discharge a day .However, during pregnancy, the level of estrogen increases and this in return influences the amount of vaginal discharged production. Vaginal discharge during pregnancy is way more than four milliliters.
When you get knocked up expect to get double the discharge you always get. Remember increased discharge is only healthy if it has got no odor and the color does not change from milky white.
Most sexually transmitted diseases can lead to increase in the volume of vaginal discharge that comes out of your vagina. The increase in column can be accompanied by other symptoms like a foul smell or change in color. Consult your gynecologist if you have a different kind of discharge color and texture.
Reasons, meaning, Causes of vaginal discharge while pregnant
Normal vaginal discharge is produced by glands found in the vagina and cervix. It is a natural process aimed at keeping the vagina healthy. It cleanses the vagina by washing away dead cells, dirt and any foreign body in the vagina. It also balances the pH of the vagina and provides good bacteria with an environment to thrive in.
During pregnancy the level of hormone estrogen increases and this increases the amount of vaginal discharge that is being produced .A thick mucus plug also forms on the cervix in order to prevent pathogen from moving up the cervix and infect the growing fetus. In the third trimester this mucus plug comes out as thick mucus discharge. The mucus increases the volume of the discharge further and makes it look watery.
Sexually transmitted diseases and vaginal infections also contribute to production of vaginal discharge. But discharge caused by infections is abnormal in color, smell and texture. You need to observe your discharge keenly. You can do this by wiping yourself with a white tissue and observing the discharge under daylight.
What color is normal vaginal discharge during pregnancy?
During pregnancy the color of vaginal discharge is milky white .It is thin and increases in volume as the pregnancy advances. The milky white color is observed mostly during the first trimester. In the second and third trimester the discharge tend to be yellowish. The yellowish discharge increase in amount should have no foul smell unless you have an infection.
In the third trimester the discharge becomes watery and a bit clear in colure because it contains more mucus. In the first trimester of pregnancy, the body forms a mucous plug in the cervical canal that protects the uterus against infection that may get in from outside the cervix. In the third trimester, the cervix dilates and the mucous plug is released. It comes out as clumpy jelly like mucus which is clear in color.
Any other color apart from white or clear is considered abnormal. Sexually transmitted diseases, yeast infection or bacterial vaginal infection will give your vaginal discharge a different color like green, brown, yellow or grey. Consult your gynecologist.
What does normal vaginal discharge while pregnant look like?
Normal vaginal discharge during pregnancy is milky white and has got a creamy smooth consistency. The white color changes to yellowish but the consistency is maintained. When it gets to the third trimester it increases in volume significantly and becomes clearer because of the increased amount of cervical mucus content in it
Vaginal discharge that is lumpy, frothy or has got a cottage-cheese like texture is a sign of infection. Ensure you visit your gynecologist for proper diagnosis .You doctor will advise you on the best treatment. Some medication or home remedies are not ideal for pregnant woman.
Pregnancy vaginal discharge smell
Vaginal discharge while pregnant has got no smell or may bear a very faint smell which is very normal. You should not feel the smell unless you decide to smell your panty. If you sweat a lot then your discharge may have a stronger musky scent and flow more because it becomes more watery. Pregnant women should wear lose clothes and cotton panties in order to avoid too much sweating.
Any vaginal discharge while pregnant pregnancy that exhibits a strong odd smell is not a normal vaginal discharge. Discharge that has a fishy smell is a sign and symptom of a bacterial infection called bacterial vaginosis or sexually transmitted diseases like trichomoniasis. Yeast infection will have no odd smell but the consistency will change to cottage cheese like.
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Pregnancy vaginal discharge on underwear
Pregnancy vaginal discharge while pregnant increases in volume as the pregnancy advances. It is bound to soak and soil your underwear. Pregnant women are supposed to wear panty liners on their underwear in order to prevent the discharge from leaking through their clothes. They should also observe high standards of hygiene and only wear underwear made out of cotton or linen fabric. The panty liner should be changed frequently. Dampness encourages yeast infection and bacteria growth.
Types of vaginal discharge while pregnant
During pregnancy, the vaginal discharge tends to have a milky or creamy smooth and thin consistency. It is called leukorrhea .However, this discharge may change depending on the stage of pregnancy or if an infection occurs in the vagina. The following are types of discharge that you may observe during pregnancy.
1. Milky White Vaginal discharge while pregnant
This type of discharge is normal vaginal discharge while pregnant. Most women experience think, milk white smooth discharge while pregnant. This type of discharge is mostly observed in the first trimester. It may change to a different color either yellow or watery as the pregnancy advances.
It should not have any foul smell and should be creamy smooth. White vaginal discharge that looks like cottage –cheese is a symptom of yeast infection. It may not bear a smell but still you need to seek treatment .Your doctor will advise on the type of treatment suitable for a pregnant woman.
2. Yellow vaginal discharge while pregnant
In early pregnancy the vaginal discharge tend to be light yellow for some women. Light yellow discharge after missed period is considered an early sign of pregnancy. However the best way to confirm pregnancy is by taking a pregnancy test.
Yellow discharge can also occur in the third trimester. Light yellow discharge that looks like cottage-cheese is a symptom of yeast infection. Sexually transmitted diseases like Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Trichomoniasis are associated with dark yellow discharge.
3. Clear watery discharge during pregnancy
This kind of discharge mostly occurs in the late stages of pregnancy. Increase in levels of estrogen during pregnancy leads to the formation of a thick mucus plug on the cervix. This plug is released in the third trimester and mixes with the discharge hence giving it a clear watery color. The mucus may appear as clumps or egg white consistency. This type of mucus discharge should bear no foul smell.
4. Thick mucus vaginal discharge during pregnancy
Thick mucus discharge form during pregnancy. Pregnancy hormone progesterone will improve blood supply, swelling of the uterine cervix, enlargement and proliferation of its glands. All this changes lead to the formation of a thick mucus plug on the cervical pharynx in order to protect the internal organs and the growing embryo from external pathogens that may enter the uterus through the cervix. This plug comes out in the third trimester as clumps of mucus and influences the color and volume of discharge.
5. Brown vaginal discharge while pregnant
Brown discharge while pregnant is an early sign of pregnancy. It occurs during implantation bleeding. This is a slight bleeding that occurs when a fertilized egg enter the womb and attaches itself to the lining of the uterus.
It burrows into the uterus lining and makes the wall bleed. The little amount of blood comes out of the cervix and mixes with normal vaginal discharge while pregnant and this give the discharge a brown shade. The discharge gets back to its milky white once the implantation stage is over. Some women do not experience implantation bleeding.
The brown discharge should not be seen for more than a day. Consult your gynecologist if the discharge is constantly brown for more than a day. It should also not bear any foul smell. It may have a metallic smell because of the blood but anything smelling like rotten meat or fish should raise an alarm.
6. Pink vaginal discharge (spotting) during pregnancy
Pink discharge is also known as spotting during pregnancy. Just like brown discharge this pink discharge is also caused by hormonal imbalance and implantation bleeding. Fresh blood mixes with vaginal discharge and gives it a pink tint. The pink discharge after missed period can be used an early sign of pregnancy. Although you should not assume, take a pregnancy test if you suspect that you could be pregnant.
Women who have ovarian cyst are likely to experience pink discharge throughout their pregnancy but still have normal delivery. Pink discharge with mucous that occur in third trimester is a sign of labour. According to NHS,” In the last week or so of pregnancy, your discharge may contain streaks of thick mucus and some blood. This is called a “show” and happens when the cervical plug (a ball of thick mucus that fills the cervix during pregnancy) comes away. It’s a sign that the body is starting to prepare for birth, and you may have a few small shows in the days before you go into labour.”
Pregnancy Vaginal discharge and sexually transmitted diseases
The immune system of pregnant women is very weak .A partner who has got a Sexually transmitted diseases can easily infect a pregnant woman by having unprotected sexual intercourse with her. These diseases are the reason for abnormal vaginal discharge while pregnant. They case discharge of different color, smell and texture. The following are three common sexually transmitted diseases and their related symptoms;
This is a sexually transmitted diseases caused by a tiny parasite known as Trichomonas vaginalis. It is treatable using antibiotics. It has to adverse effect on pregnancy and will cause premature rupture of the amniotic fluid. The following are related symptoms;
- Yellow Green frothy vaginal discharge
- Discharge with a fishy smell Swollen vulva
- Discomfort in the abdomen
- Pain while urinating
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Itchy vaginal discharge
- Inflammations around the vagina
This disease is caused by bacteria known as Chlamydia trachomatis. It can either be symptomatic or asymptomatic in some women. It is important to treat these dieses because it may cause a miscarriage or bring about complication during labour. The following ae the symptoms to watch out for;
- Yellow odorless discharge
- Pain during sexual intercourse or while urinating
- Swollen labia
- Nausea and fever
- Painful tummy or pelvis
- Itching in the vagina
Gonorrhea is sexually transmitted diseases caused by a bacterium known as Neisseria gonorrhoeae .It has got the following symptoms but they are hardly noticeable in women;
- Watery or greenish cream discharge
- Burning sensation while urinating
- Spotting after sexual intercourse
- Swollen vulva
- Pain in the pelvic area
- Sharp abdominal pain
Spotting while pregnant
Spotting refers to very light bleeding. The amount of blood is of little tat it only stains your discharge and does not require you to wear a pad or a tampon. A panty liner is enough to contain it. It is mostly observe during early pregnancy. It may also occur throughout the pregnancy depending on the condition of the cervix or uterus of a woman.
When a fertilized egg gets into the womb for growth and development, it attaches itself to the uterine lining. This process causes slight bleeding known as implantation bleeding. The blood is considered as potting while pregnant.
Blood vessels also increase around the cervix during pregnancy. So any act of sexual intercourse of vaginal examination can easily trigger light bleeding. Increase in hormonal levels in the body is make cervical polyps bleed and this may occur throughout his pregnancy of a woman who has got cervical polyps. There are a few tips that help in dealing with spotting while pregnant
- Plenty of rest and frequent naps
- Limited physical activities
- Place your feet in a raised position while resting
- Avoid lifting heavy items over 5 kilograms
Itchy Discharge during pregnancy
Itchy vaginal discharge while pregnant is caused by an infection in the vagina. Sexually transmitted diseases, bacterial vaginosis or yeast infection. Most pregnant women are at high risk of yeast infection especially during the second trimester.
Yeast infection is caused by fungus known as Candida albicans. It exists naturally in the vagina. When a woman gets pregnant, her hormone estrogen levels also increases and consequently the acidity level of the vaginal pH drops.
High levels of estrogen reduces the acidity of the vaginal environment and increases the level of glycogen, a type of glucose which Candida alibican feed on in order to multiply. These are home remedies that can be used to treat yeast infection .Sexually transmitted diseases like trichomoniasis and chlamydia that cause itching are treated using antibiotics under the directive of a doctor.
Period while pregnant
Biologically it is impossible to have period while prgant. However tis term is used by layman in order to refer to bleeding that occur during pregnancy. Periods occur because a woman’s uterus grows a thick blood –rich lining called endometrium in preparation for fertilized egg to grow into a fetus and eventually a baby.
This wall sheds off if there is no fertilized egg, but when you are pregnant the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormones will inform the wall of blood and tissues to stay put and support the bay that will form in your uterus until you give birth.
Period while pregnant is not necessarily harmful especially if it occurs in early preganancy. According to Mayo Clinic,” Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy can be scary. However, it isn’t always a sign of trouble. Bleeding in the first trimester (weeks one through 12) might occur, and most women who experience bleeding during pregnancy go on to deliver healthy babies”
Kindly consult your gynecologist if you experience the following;
- Period while pregnant in the first trimester may be a sign of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. You should consult a doctor. Heavy bleeding with passage of large blood clots from the vagina and uterine cramping is associated with miscarriage or threatening miscarriage while dark watery bleeding that is associated with dizziness/lightheadedness and lateral pain that occurs one either the right or the left side is a sign of ectopic pregnancy.
- Period while pregnant in the second and third trimester. It is caused by a condition known as abruptio placentae which refers to the placenta separating from the inner wall of the uterus before the baby is born .Oher reasons for bleeding while pregnant in this stage are ;miscarriage, placenta Previa which refers to a condition where the placenta is covering all or part of the opening to the cervix and Vasa Previa
- Bleeding in the third trimester may indicate the beginning of labour.
Causes of period while pregnant
Depending on the stage of pregnancy, there are various reasons for period while pregnant. The following is a long list of these reasons;
- Implantation bleeding
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Molar pregnancy
- Use of contraceptive pills in the past
- Blood clots at the tip of the placenta
- Infection in the pelvic cavity or urinary tract
- Hormonal imbalance
- Premature labour or preterm labour
- Inflamed cervix
- Placenta Previa
- Placental abruption
- Cervical polys or growth on the cervix
- Sexual intercourse since the blood vessels in the cervix area increase.
When is vaginal discharge considered not to be normal during pregnancy?
Types of vaginal discharge while pregnant have been discussed above. They are all normal except when accompanied by the following characteristics;
- It has a cottage-cheese like consistency. This is a clear sign of yeast infection.
- It changes its color to any other color apart from white or clear. Other colors like dark yellow, green or grey discharge are symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases or virginal infections.
- It has got a foul smell. Sexually transmitted diseases like trichomoniasis will give your discharge a fishy smell.
When to see a doctor
Vaginal discharge while pregnant should be milky white and smooth like a cream with no odor. The types of discharge that were discussed above are also normal but you need to confirm you’re your doctor. Any change in color that has not been discussed above is not normal and needs medical attention.
Apart from color, you should check for other symptoms like itchy feeling in the vagina, burning sensation while urinating, and bloody discharge, cottage cheese like consistency or frothy discharge. These are all sins of vaginal infection or sexually transmitted disease.
Your doctor will be able to give you a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment for sexually transmitted diseases or vaginal infections like yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis. Most pf these diseases will affect your baby’s health.