Changes in Vaginal Discharge during Pregnancy

Changes in Vaginal Discharge during Pregnancy

Last update: 29 June, 2018

New mothers may not be aware that having large amounts of vaginal discharge is normal during the first months of pregnancy.

Today, we’ll elaborate on the unusual changes in vaginal discharge that occur during pregnancy. This information will help you characterize your discharge and alert you if you have a risk of getting an infection.

Whitish or milky leucorrhea vaginal discharge

During the first months of pregnancy, it’s normal for women to frequently get the desire to go to the bathroom. Some women are bothered by the sensation of moisture generated by an odorless whitish vaginal discharge that is a little thick and consistent.

This whitish vaginal discharge (which is odorless and doesn’t cause discomfort) occurs as a consequence of increased blood flow and the production of estrogen that increases from the moment in which an ovum is fertilized.

Changes in Vaginal Discharge during Pregnancy

The changes that occur during pregnancy cause increased vaginal discharge. This occurs in order to produce the famous “mucous plug” which protects the child until the moment of childbirth.

The excess discharge that the body produces while creating the mucous plug is expelled naturally. Whitish, sticky vaginal discharge is also known as leucorrhea.

When should you consult your doctor when it comes to vaginal discharge?

There are times when certain symptoms are associated with vaginal discharge. Visit your gynecologist if you notice any of the following:

  • When vaginal discharge causes itching or burning.
  • Irritated vagina.
  • Foamy vaginal discharge.
  • Burning sensation while urinating.

Leucorrhea is characterized by a whitish discharge that has a milky appearance. It appears during pregnancy.

When does increased vaginal discharge become a warning sign?

  • When it may be caused by a vaginal infection.
  • If the discharge is watery once you’ve passed the embryonic stage.
  • If the discharge is due to the premature rupture of membranes. Premature rupture requires medical supervision and it could mean obligatory rest for the remainder of the pregnancy.
  • If the discharge has a bad odor or a greenish, yellow color. This could mean an infection caused by fungi or bacteria and it should be treated before childbirth.

Pathological discharge can cause discomfort of varying intensity for pregnant women.

Sometimes due to the inflammation it causes, it can result in premature birth or premature rupture of the amniotic membrane. If the amniotic membrane is ruptured prematurely it could expose the baby to certain risks.

If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above contact your doctor immediately. You may have a urinary tract infection, bacterial vaginosis, pelvic inflammatory disease or a fungal infection.

What to do when faced with increased vaginal discharge during pregnancy?

In order to avoid the discomfort caused by increased discharge, keep your genital area clean and dry. Increase hygiene measures when you notice increased vaginal discharge. You can use hygienic wipes, protectors or cotton compresses.

Changes in Vaginal Discharge during Pregnancy

You’ll notice increased vaginal discharge as the delivery date arrives.

During the end of gestation, vaginal discharge is usually dense and sticky, it may even be accompanied by some blood. This discharge is caused by the gradual or sudden loss of the mucous plug which protects the womb.

The plug is detached when the cervix begins to dilate in preparation for delivery.

During the last weeks of pregnancy, a vaginal smear is usually performed in order to rule out type B streptococcal infections.

These infections can be transmitted to the baby through the birth canal. B streptococcal infections can be treated easily with the right medications.

Things to keep in mind…

  • Use underwear that is made out of cotton or natural fibers. Synthetic garments can cause irritation.
  • Don’t use perfumed toilet paper or bath gels, the chemicals which they contain can cause irritation.
  • Wash your underwear with neutral soap rather than ordinary detergent.
  • Daily protectors are widely used by pregnant women, however, they aren’t recommended for women who have persistent irritation.

Changes in vaginal discharge is natural during pregnancy due to many factors. Follow our advice and put the measures mentioned above into practice. They will help reduce the risk of suffering from infections.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.