Vaginal discharge changes during pregnancy, changing color, texture and volume. One of the first indicators of pregnancy is an increase in vaginal discharge. Some color changes are normal, while others may suggest an infection or some other problem.
One of the most visible alterations that can occur in colour. The discharge can take the following forms:
- Clear or milky white
- White and lumpy
- Green or yellow
This article explains what the different colours of vaginal discharge mean and when to contact a doctor about it during pregnancy.
What is a normal discharge?
Discharge is common during different times of the menstrual cycle and pregnancy.
Healthy vaginal discharge, also known as leukorrhea, is thin, clear, or white, and has a moderate odour.
To reduce the risk of vaginal and uterine infections, the volume of discharge increases throughout pregnancy.
In the later stages of pregnancy, the discharge is the thickest and may contain pink mucus.
The mucus is usually sticky and gelatinous in consistency, indicating that the body is preparing to give birth.
Discharge Colors and What Is Their Meaning
Vaginal discharge can take on different shades, which can signal a variety of health problems. Here are some of them:
- Clear or Milky White
- This colour indicates leucorrhea, which is a common and healthy discharge, especially if it smells pleasant.
- On the other hand, any change in its quantity or consistency could indicate a problem. If a pregnant woman has an increase in clear discharge that continuously seeps or thickens and becomes gelatinous, she should contact a doctor.
- Premature labour could be indicated by these changes.
- White and Lumpy
- A yeast infection is indicated by a lumpy, white, or off-white discharge from the vagina that looks like cottage cheese.
- Yeast infections are prevalent and the female body is especially vulnerable during pregnancy. Itching, burning and urination or painful intercourse are some of the other symptoms.
- Green or Yellow
- Green or yellow vaginal discharge is unhealthy and could indicate a sexually transmitted infection (STI) such as chlamydia or trichomoniasis. Redness or discomfort in the genitals are also possible signs. STIs can sometimes go unnoticed without causing symptoms.
- STIs can create difficulties during pregnancy that harm both mother and child, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These problems may not appear for years after childbirth, but they can adversely affect the neurological system and development of the child, as well as induce infertility in the mother.
- When people lose small amounts of pee, they may mistakenly believe they have yellow discharge.
- Gray vaginal discharge may indicate bacterial vaginosis (BV) infection, especially if it also has a fishy odour that is stronger after sex.
- Due to a bacterial imbalance in the vagina, bacterial vaginosis (BV) occurs. BV, the most common vaginal infection during childbearing years, is caused by douching and having multiple sex partners.
- The discharge is usually brown because old blood is leaving the body, and it can be a sign of pregnancy. Brown discharge is usually not a cause for concern during pregnancy.
- On the other hand, pregnant women with dark brown discharge should call their doctor.
- Pink discharge during pregnancy may be normal. Pink discharge is common throughout early pregnancy or in the later weeks of pregnancy as the body prepares for labour. It can also happen before or during a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.
- Spotting and small episodes of bleeding in the first trimester, especially those lasting 1 to 2 days, did not correlate with an increased risk of miscarriage, according to a study of 4,510 participants.
- Sexual intercourse and vaginal infections are two other reasons for light spotting during pregnancy.
- During pregnancy, red vaginal discharge needs rapid medical treatment, especially if the bleeding is profuse, contains clots, or occurs in conjunction with cramping and abdominal pain.
- These signs and symptoms indicate a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy. Miscarriage, commonly known as pregnancy loss, occurs in about 10% to 15% of pregnancies.
- Other causes of red discharge, particularly during the first trimester, when it could be caused by implantation or infection, may be less dangerous. According to studies, between 7 and 24 percent of women have haemorrhages throughout their first trimester.
- Bleeding later in pregnancy could suggest a significant problem or preterm labour, which would necessitate medical attention right away.
Managing Vaginal Discharge During Pregnant
It is typical for the volume of light-smelling vaginal discharge to increase during pregnancy, but unexpected colours and odours can signal an infection.
Antibiotics or other treatments may be prescribed by a doctor to treat infections in this area of the body.
During pregnancy, women can generally maintain their vaginal health by doing the following:
- Avoid douching.
- Avoid using tampons.
- Use unscented personal care and feminine hygiene products, such as toilet paper and soaps.
- After you have a pee or a bowel movement, wipe your genital area back and forth.
- To absorb the extra loss, I wear panty liners.
- Wearing tight jeans and nylon tights, which can cause infection, should be avoided.
- Try probiotic foods and supplements that are safe to consume during pregnancy to avoid bacterial imbalances in the vaginal area.
- After showering or swimming, dry the genitals completely.
- Use breathable underwear.
- Eating a healthy diet and avoiding too much sugar, which can cause yeast infections, are both important.
When to See a Doctor
Any unusual discharge should be discussed with a doctor since it could indicate an illness that has to be treated or a problem with the pregnancy. Infections might lead to consequences if they are not treated.
Although increased discharge is common during pregnancy, unexpected discharge associated with strong odours or discomfort in the vaginal or abdominal area usually suggests a health problem. The same is true for green, yellow or grey discharges.
If the spotting or bleeding is heavy, lasts more than a day, or is accompanied by pain or cramping, women should seek medical attention immediately.