Vaginal Discharge during Pregnancy

Some amount of white discharge is common during pregnancy. In most of the cases, this discharge is similar to the one before you were pregnant, and is considered to be harmless. The only difference being the slight increase in the amount of discharge. White discharge is produced by the cervix to keep the vagina clean. During pregnancy, with increased blood flow to the region, the vaginal discharge also is elevated. The levels may increase as your due date approaches and it may be heavier too. As labor approaches the white discharge may have bloody mucus, indicating the loss of mucus plug from the cervix. It is important to know what is normal and what is abnormal during pregnancy.

Normal white discharge during pregnancy

Normal discharge from the vagina during pregnancy, called leukorrhea, is thin and white in color with a mild smell.

Abnormal white discharge during pregnancy

You should inform your doctor if the vaginal discharge changes in color or smell. You may need treatment if the discharge is

  • White/grey in color and watery
  • Yellow/green and frothy in consistency
  • Thicker with consistency of curd
  • Having a fish-like or unpleasant smell

Other symptoms that you should look out for include

  • Pain during urination
  • Soreness in vaginal region
  • Itching in and around vaginal area
  • Pain during intercourse

Some of the above symptoms may indicate infections like bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis or thrush. These infections need medical attention as they increase the risk of miscarriages or premature delivery. During early pregnancy, you may see the discharge to be brownish due to spotting. This is normal during early pregnancy, but do remember to inform the same to your doctor to rule out all other possibilities.

Self-help measures for increased discharge

Some of the tips that may be of help during increased discharge

  • Change your panties more often
  • Use panty liners
  • Keep your vaginal area dry and clean
  • Use unscented soap to wash the vaginal area
  • Avoid rinsing the vaginal area with hand-held shower
  • Avoid using scented wipes or vaginal deodorants
  • Avoid using tampons

Having probiotics like a bowl of yogurt with live cultures of Lactobacillus acidophilus is considered to be helpful in maintaining the balance of micro-organisms in the vagina.

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