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Discharge During Pregnancy – Everything You Need To Know

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If you are pregnant, chances are, you probably get worked up about every little change in your body. While some changes are simply annoying, few can signal an underlying condition. Vaginal discharge is quite normal during pregnancy, but the color of the discharge can tell you whether you need to consult a doctor or simply run down to the supermarket for some panty liners.
Discharge-During-Pregnancy
If you are worried about the color of your vaginal discharge, or you notice that it doesn’t look or smell normal, consult your doctor. In the meanwhile, read our post below to learn why the vividly colored vaginal discharge occurs.

Different Types Of Vaginal Discharge While You Are Pregnant:

When you are pregnant, you will notice an increase in your vaginal discharge, something you may have always experienced but haven’t noticed until now. Before you panic, understand that vaginal discharge is a part of pregnancy and is quite normal.

Here are some of the different types of vaginal discharge that you may experience while you are pregnant:

1. White Vaginal Discharge During Pregnancy:

Here are a few reasons why you may notice a white colored discharge from your vagina while you are pregnant:

  • A white discharge from your vagina is one of the first types of vaginal discharge that you will experience while you are pregnant.
  • It will not have any odor or may have a very mild odor, more like a milky smell. It is also possible that you have experienced a similar type of vaginal discharge even before you were pregnant. If yes, the discharge is probably leukorrhea. Unless and until you notice a very strong or foul smell or experience itching in your vaginal area along with the white discharge, there is no need to worry.
  • The only difference that you will notice in the white vaginal discharge you experience while you are pregnant and that before you got pregnant is the amount of discharge. The flow will be a little more now than what it was earlier.
  • Now that you are pregnant, your body produces a higher amount of the hormone known as estrogen. It also results in a higher amount of blood flow to your vaginal area.
  • The white vaginal discharge is a mix of fluids that are secreted from your cervix, from your vagina, from the regular bacteria that live in your vaginal walls.
  • As you reach the end of your pregnancy term, you will notice some changes of your white vaginal discharge. While it may be heavier in terms of flow, you may notice a difference in terms of the look and feel of it.
  • In your earlier weeks of pregnancy, the secretions from your cervix fill up your cervical canal. As a result, it helps to form a protective barrier that is also known as the mucus plug. As you progress in your pregnancy months, your cervix starts to become thinner and gradually dilates, or opens up. At this stage, it may push out the mucus plug in the form of a vaginal discharge. When that happens, you will notice a change in the way your white vaginal discharge looks. It will look more like the white part of a raw egg or mucus that you may have when you suffer from a cold. In most cases, the mucus will come out as one big blob of white vaginal discharge, which may sometimes also have a few spots of blood in it.
  • In the later stages of your pregnancy and closer to your due date, you may notice that the discharge is clearer and more watery than earlier. It could be a result of leakage in your amniotic fluid and may signal the arrival of labor.
  • If you notice a strong odor and the vaginal discharge looks like curd or cottage cheese, it could probably be a result of yeast infection or fungal infection in the vagina.

2. Green Vaginal Discharge During Your Pregnancy:

Here are a few reasons you may notice a green colored discharge from your vagina while you are pregnant:

  • Seeing a vaginal discharge during your pregnancy that is green can be a little daunting, and it is something you should also be careful about. If you do notice a green color in your vaginal discharge while you are pregnant, make sure you speak to your doctor about it immediately. The green color is often an indication of some or the other infection.
  • If you see a greenish vaginal discharge while you are pregnant, take a look and see if the green color is present throughout the discharge or if it is only in a few spots.
  • A greenish discharge from your vagina can mean that you have a chronic infection.
  • When you have any vaginal infection or an infection that may be present near your vaginal area, the neutrophils, which is a type of white blood cell, start multiplying in number. During an infection, these white blood cells become extremely active, and there are a lot of activities that goes on. As some of the neutrophils start to die, they break up into smaller pieces and give off a green colored pigment that is also known as verdoperoxidase. It is this pigment that makes your vaginal discharge look greenish.
  • Verdoperoxidase is a type of enzyme and is sometimes also referred to as the green mucus, due to its color and texture.
  • It is the enzyme that creates peroxidase activity that is present in pus.
  • Another reason that you could notice a green color in your vaginal discharge is the presence of vaginal warts. A wart is a type of growth that often occurs as a result of a viral infection as part of a sexually transmitted disease, or even otherwise. Warts may be the same color as your skin or could also be grayish. While they can appear anywhere in your genital area or anal region, warts that are present in your vaginal area can lead to a greenish discharge.
  • If you notice a strong and foul smell that accompanies your green vaginal discharge, it could also be a case of trichomoniasis. The other symptoms that you will notice in this case are a yellowish and greenish discharge, and the texture will be a little bubbly, or frothy. Trichomoniasis is a type of parasitic infection and in most cases affects your vaginal area, the urinary tract or even your digestive system.
  • Another possible reason that could lead to a greenish vaginal discharge is a condition known as gonorrhea. It is a type of venereal disease in which you experience discharge from your vagina that may appear a little frothy.

3. Pink Vaginal Discharge During Your Pregnancy:

Here are a few reasons you may notice a pink colored discharge from your vagina while you are pregnant:

  • It is also possible that sometimes you notice a pinkish tint to your vaginal discharge, which can either be completely pink, dark pink or a pale pink.
  • In most cases, the pink color that you notice in the discharge from your vagina while you are pregnant is because there are small amounts of blood mixed in an otherwise white discharge.
  • The vaginal discharge could be tinged with blood and may have the type of color that you notice almost towards the end of your menstrual period when the blood flow is at its last phase.
  • One of the first times when you will most likely notice a pinkish discharge from your vagina after you have become pregnant is at the earliest days after you have conceived. It is most likely a case of implantation bleeding. Once you conceive, the egg that is fertilized makes its journey towards your womb and implants itself there, resulting in a little amount of bleeding. The pinkish discharge that you see at this time is the little bleeding that gets mixed with your regular white vaginal discharge and makes it pink.
  • Towards the last few weeks or days of your pregnancy, you may notice the pink vaginal discharge again. If it also has a thick consistency and has a texture like that of mucus, it could be a sign that your labor is due any time now and could be nearer than you realize.
  • Sometimes, a pinkish vaginal discharge, while you are pregnant, could also point towards a severe infection in the vaginal area or your uterus. If you also experience any itching or pain along with the discharge, make sure you immediately speak to your doctor about it.
  • In some cases, a pinkish discharge from your vagina, while you are pregnant, could also mean that there has been a miscarriage. Sometimes, a silent miscarriage or a missed miscarriage can be the reason. It means that even though the fetus is not alive anymore, the body is not able to realize the same and continues to behave as if the pregnancy is still on. In such cases, the body is not able to remove the pregnancy tissue from its system. In such a situation, the placenta will still keep releasing the hormones that are related to pregnancy, which is why all the symptoms of pregnancy, such as nausea, dizziness, distaste towards food and such may still be present.
  • Another reason that could lead to the pinkish discharge from your vagina while you are pregnant is if it is a case of ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is a type of pregnancy in which the fetus, instead of growing inside the womb, starts to develop outside the womb. In most cases in an ectopic pregnancy, the fetus starts to develop in the fallopian tube. It is a very serious condition that can be dangerous for the mother to be.
  • If you notice a pinkish discharge from your vagina towards the end of your pregnancy, it could also be because of a condition known as placenta previa, which is also known as abruptio placentae. It is a condition in which the placenta is placed in such a way that it either completely or partially blocks the opening of the uterus. In such a case, it becomes difficult for the unborn baby to be born via a vaginal birth. It is a condition that can cause internal bleeding, contractions in the uterus as well as severe distress to the unborn baby.

4. Yellow Vaginal Discharge During Your Pregnancy:

Here are a few reasons why you may notice a yellow colored discharge from your vagina while you are pregnant:

  • A yellow discharge from your vagina, especially while you are pregnant, could be an immediate signal towards a possible infection.
  • The neutrophils, which are a type of white blood cells, are present near your vaginal area, and can result in the yellowish color that you may see in your vaginal discharge.
  • Once your infection turns severe, the yellowish tint from the vaginal discharge may turn into a yellowish and greenish mixed color and then to an outright green vaginal discharge. Once the yellow vaginal discharge turns to green, it means the infection has reached a chronic state.
  • Sometimes, you may notice a yellowish discharge on your underwear after you have taken it off. In some cases, the discharge from your vagina was most likely white, but it has the possibility of turning into yellow once it comes in contact with air and becomes dry.
  • The yellow discharge that you notice from your vagina while you are pregnant could also be due to an infection known as bacterial vaginosis. It is also referred to as vaginal bacteriosis and is one of the most common infections in the vaginal area in women who are in a fertile age. While the condition mostly develops after having sexual relations, it is not categorized as a sexually transmitted infection, or STI. Make sure you speak to your doctor about it, especially if you are still sexually active during your pregnancy.
  • In some cases, if you have bacterial vaginosis, the yellowish discharge will also be accompanied with a very strong and fishy odor, which could be very unpleasant. You may also experience itching and swelling in your vaginal area as well as redness and a burning sensation.

When Should You Call Your Doctor?

While it is normal to have vaginal discharge while you are pregnant, there are certain situations that may require immediate medical attention and you should speak to a doctor about it. Here are a few such situations that you should take note of and make sure to call your healthcare provider to understand what needs to be done:

  • You may notice an increase in your vaginal discharge which looks more watery, could be more like mucus in texture or could also have very prominent spots of blood present in it. The vaginal discharge could also be lightly tinged with blood, making it look more pinkish than white or red. Sometimes, it could also be a dark brownish color that looks more like dried blood. If you have not yet reached the 37th week of your pregnancy, it could mean that you are about to enter into premature labor. Make sure you immediately call your health care provider and inform about the same.
  • You could have a simple white discharge from the vagina that does not have any odor but feels very uncomfortable. Some symptoms that you may notice with such a discharge could be pain while you go to the bathroom to pee, or pain if you are having sexual intercourse with your partner after your doctor has given you the confirmation to go ahead. You may also experience some pain, soreness, tenderness around your vaginal area. In some cases, you may notice that the opening of your vagina has an inflammation and may also look red. If you do notice these signs and symptoms, it could mean that you have a yeast infection. Make sure you speak to your doctor and understand what you should do as a precaution and for treatment.
  • Sometimes, you may notice a grayish or thin whitish discharge from your vagina that also has a distinctly unpleasant fishy odor. It typically happens when you have had sexual intercourse, and your discharge mixes with the semen from your partner. It could also point towards a type of vaginal infection that is known as bacterial vaginosis. Make sure you stop any sexual activity for the time being and speak to your doctor about it first.
  • You could experience a yellow or greenish discharge from your vagina that may or may not also be frothy. Such a discharge will also be accompanied by a very unpleasant and strong odor. The signs and symptoms could point towards a very common sexually transmitted disease (STD) known as trichomoniasis. Some other symptoms could be itching or irritation in your vaginal area or the opening of the vagina, and redness or swelling in your vaginal area or the opening of the vagina. Additionally, you may also experience pain, discomfort or a burning sensation while you urinate or when you have sexual intercourse. Make sure you stop any sexual activity for the time being and speak to your doctor about it first.
  • In some cases, you may have a greenish, grayish or even yellowish discharge that has a very unpleasant and strong odor. You could also experience other symptoms such as itching, a burning sensation or even irritation. Make sure you call your doctor and ask about the treatment options that you need to follow.

Taking Care Of Vaginal Discharge During Pregnancy:

Vaginal discharge is extremely common and even normal during the time that you are pregnant, but there is no doubt that it can be very uncomfortable and may also feel very unhygienic. If you want to make things a little bit more comfortable for yourself and also want to ensure that you do not have the risk of catching any infection, try out the following tips that could be helpful:

  • In case of a normal discharge from your vagina, you may want to use a panty liner if you feel the flow is quite heavy and regularly soils your underpants. Using a panty liner will help to absorb the discharge without letting it stain or spoil your clothes.
  • Instead of a panty liner, you could also use a regular sanitary pad if you feel you are more comfortable using the same. Make sure that you regularly change the sanitary pad, even if you feel that it is not completely soaked. Do change the pad at least once every four hours to avoid the chance of any possible infection.
  • Do not use tampons while you are pregnant, as it could lead to certain infections and may cause more discomfort than comfort.
  • It is always a good idea to keep your private parts clean and healthy so that you have a lesser risk of catching an infection, especially when you are pregnant. Make sure that you always keep your genital area clean and especially after each time that you use the toilet. Always remember to wipe from the front to back motion instead of the back to front motion. If you try to clean yourself from the back to front motion, germs from your anal region could come up towards your vaginal area and enter the same, which could lead to a possible infection.
  • Wear underpants that are only made out of pure cotton fabric, as these will absorb all sweat and make it difficult for bacteria and other germs to thrive.
  • Do not wear tight pants, stockings or nylon based products around your genital area.
  • Avoid taking bubble baths as some bubble baths can cause irritation in your vaginal area and lead to an infection.
  • Try to use non-scented soaps instead to keep your vaginal area clean.

No matter the type or color of vaginal discharge you experience while you are pregnant, make sure that you always keep your doctor updated about the same. Also, if you have any concern or feel any symptoms such as itching, burning, swelling, redness or anything else that is mentioned above, immediately speak to your doctor.

 

 

Credits:MomJunction

CureJoy Editorial

The CureJoy Editorial team digs up credible information from multiple sources, both academic and experiential, to stitch a holistic health perspective on topics that pique our readers' interest.

CureJoy Editorial

The CureJoy Editorial team digs up credible information from multiple sources, both academic and experiential, to stitch a holistic health perspective on topics that pique our readers' interest.