When you conceive, your body undergoes a plethora of change during pregnancy. While it is wonderful see your baby grow in your womb and the changes that occur to support your baby, it may be sometimes confusing to distinguish which change is normal and which is abnormal during pregnancy. And Vaginal Discharge During Pregnancy is one of the most common occurrences.
Is it normal to get white vaginal discharge during pregnancy?
Absolutely, it’s perfectly fine to get whitish creamy vaginal discharge from the time of conception as it protects your reproductive organs throughout those 9 months. It is possibly “Leukorrhea” – an odorless or mild milk-smelling thin or thick discharge because your body is producing more estrogen(a hormone that supports pregnancy), and more blood is flowing to the area around your vagina made up of secretions from the cervix and vagina & normal vaginal bacteria. You will probably notice increased vaginal discharge or mucosal discharge as you approach the end of third trimester.
What are the signs of abnormal vaginal discharge?
Can there be signs/symptoms of evident abnormal vaginal discharge during pregnancy(changes in colour or consistency)?
- If the discharge is green or yellow, produces frothy, unpleasant smell or causes vaginal pain or discomfort, itching it could be a sign of infection, visit your gynecologist right away! Do not wait as it could be bacterial or STD infection!
- If the vaginal discharge increases multifold by end of 36 weeks, or it’s not thick & whitish but clear/watery discharge, this can be a warning sign of a preterm rupture and you may want to get ready for labor. If the flow is continuous, it is probably the amniotic fluid which is leaking after your water bag bursts. Head straight to the doctor with your hospital bag! In some cases the impending shedding of the “Mucous Plug” (a protective barrier) at the cervix gets expelled which can also be a sign of early labor.
- Vaginal pain during intercourse or while urination with itching or burning sensation can be signs of yeast infection, especially during your 2nd trimester. It is strong smelling and thick texture.
What Not To Do During Pregnancy –
- Take chances if your discharge is “Yellow” or Green” in color! Visit your doctor right away, especially if it’s “Red” with bloody spotting!
- Introduce a sudden stream of water to remove excess vaginal discharge during pregnancy– this may interrupt the normal balance of good vaginal bacteria.
- Use tampons – it may cause infections in the foetus as they are not sterile.
- Scented soaps or bubble bath while taking a shower.
- Take OTC medication. You may be fantastic cook or an accountant but NOT A GYNECOLOGIST. So, let your doc do the job.
Correlation Between Vaginal Discharge & Early Pregnancy
While increased vaginal discharge is a common symptom of pregnancy, you are unlikely to notice the change until the end of first month. You can take a simple home-pregnancy test about 7-10 days after missing your period, to confirm the same.
Vaginal Discharge After Sexual Intercourse?
You may experience a difference in you discharge shortly after intercourse. It maybe thicker than usual if you have experienced an orgasm, that’s perfectly fine. Your body produces lubrication which may lead to excessive secretion. Use a condom to avoid Sexually Transmitted Diseases like HIV which can be transferred to the baby in the womb.
What can I do about the white vaginal discharge during pregnancy?
Well, we have enough worries about frequent urination, weight-gain & stretch-marks! Don’t add to your worries! You do not have to do anything about vaginal discharge, it’s quite natural unless it’s an infection & needs to be addressed immediately. If your discharge is more than usual, consider panty liners & 100% cotton underwear to absorb the discharge and keep your genital area dry and odour-free. Wear loose cotton comfortable bottom wear to avoid embarrassment due to leakage.
When Will Vaginal Discharge Stop?
Post delivery, it is normal to notice that the discharge will cease to be produced after 28-52 days of menstruation which will clean out the unwanted from the uterus. You should expect to see normal discharge that you were accustomed to prior to pregnancy.
Key Take Away –
To summarize, be cautious of the following –
- Consult an expert if the milky white colour changes to faint or strong shades pink/brown/red/grey/yellow or green. Unpleasant foul & fishy smell, frothy or watery consistency.
- If the water bag bursts closer to the date, you will suddenly feel wet – this is probably the “Amniotic Fluid” which is a clear, light pink (with possible spotting of blood) or meconium (dark green forming the first faeces of the newborn), and is a clear sign of preterm labor. Get mentally prepared hoping for a safe & healthy baby!
- Heavy discharge can also be caused due to “Stress” – physical, psychological or emotional changes stimulates hormonal changes. Best to avoid stress at all times for good health!
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