Attaining motherhood is every woman’s dream, but it has its own share of woes and agonies. A vaginal discharge during pregnancy is the scariest of them all. It may appear around the second month of pregnancy and continue as long as the eighth or ninth month. It is normal if it is not foul-smelling. This discharge occurs due to leukorrhea and it might intensify as you approach the EDD (Expect:ed Date of Delivery).
Vaginal Discharge During Pregnancy
Vaginal discharge is a natural occurrence that helps to keep the vagina clean and free from infections. During pregnancy, the body undergoes hormonal changes that can lead to increased vaginal discharge. Here are some key points to understand about vaginal discharge during pregnancy:
Normal Vaginal Discharge During Pregnancy
At various times during the menstrual cycle and during pregnancy, discharge is typical.
The term “leukorrhea,” which is another name for healthy vaginal discharge, describes it as being thin, transparent, or white, with a faint odor.
In order to lower the danger of vaginal and uterine infections, the volume of discharge rises throughout pregnancy.
During the latter several weeks of pregnancy, when discharge is at its heaviest and may include pink mucous, discharge is most common.
It is a sign that the body is getting ready for labor when the mucus is often sticky and jelly-like in consistency.
Abnormal Vaginal Discharge During Pregnancy
In fact, this fluid or discharge protects the vagina and the cervix by keeping it clean. But if they are infected, it becomes foul-smelling, and that is definitely a cause for concern. The smell will be accompanied by an itch and may become inflamed and painful if a doctor is not consulted in good time. It can be further aggravated by the onset of fever. This happens due to an increase in the level of estrogen in the body, resulting in greater flow of blood in the genitals.
Prevention of Abnormal Vaginal Discharge During Pregnancy
It is normal, and practically every woman has it at some time or the other during her entire pregnancy. Proper care should be taken to prevent any kind of infection occurring there.
Some tips to prevent infection in discharge during pregnancy
- Wash the area with lukewarm water and pat dry it with a clean, dry soft towel. Avoid using soaps as that might destroy the flora which protects the vagina from infection.
- Avoid tampons as they increase the chances of infection.
- Avoid any undergarment when you sleep. That will keep the area dry, which can otherwise remain wet and moist because of the frequent trips to the bathroom in the night.
- Use cotton panties and panty liners during the time of discharge. The liners are absorbents which will keep the place dry.
- Let your undergarments be slightly loose. As tight-fitting garments may compress your lower abdomen and your genitals.
- After every visit to the bathroom, wash and pat dry yourself.
- Take care that you wash yourself in a front to back motion, gliding your hand behind, as that will prevent any kind of infection that might occur by your stools.
- Avoid all kind of junk food, try healthy food instead.
- No using any douches. It might destroy the microorganisms which keep your vagina protected from infections.
- Take special care of your personal hygiene. Try having a regular bath and wash yourself every time you urinate.
- In case of infections of any kind, consult your doctor immediately.
Other Types of Vaginal Discharge
Some women also have a discharge which is brown in color. This causes alarm bells to ring, as the brown color is often misjudged as blood.
One of the most common reasons for a brown discharge during pregnancy is that as fresh blood is required by the baby, the earlier blood is being discarded by the body. Although it is always advisable to consult your doctor immediately in case of doubts, as that will prevent any further anxiety which is not good for the health of the mother and the child.
During the final stages of pregnancy, you notice a different kind of discharge. This is larger in quantity and thicker in consistency, accompanied by a jelly like discharge called the mucous plug. This is usually followed by contractions, which means an onset of labor. If the discharge is pink in color, it is an indication that the most awaited moment has come.
When to Consult Your Midwife or Doctor
If this discharge occurs before 37 weeks, it is a cause for concern and the doctor should be consulted immediately. Discharge during pregnancy is very normal, but if you find some changes in the consistency or quantity of the discharge, you should visit your doctor at once.
In the following cases, it is advisable to consult a doctor to avoid further complications.
- If you observe any kind of bleeding
- If the discharge is thick and foul smelling
- If there is itching and inflammation in your genitals
- If there is pain while urinating.
These are sure indications that you have contracted an infection which needs immediate attention and cure.
It’s usual to see changes in the consistency, color, and odor of vaginal discharge during pregnancy. But it’s important to remain alert to any symptoms that may be indicative to an infection or another underlying problem. Any worries concerning vaginal discharge can be quickly addressed by arranging regular pregnancy check-ups with your healthcare practitioner.
The experience of vaginal discharge during pregnancy might vary significantly from woman to woman, so it’s important to trust your instincts and seek medical guidance if you have any worries. You may manage the pregnant journey with assurance and peace of mind if you remain informed and practice good hygiene.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does Vaginal Discharge increase throughout Pregnancy?
Yes, it is common for vaginal discharge to increase as pregnancy progresses. The hormonal changes and increased blood flow to the vaginal area contribute to this increase. However, if the discharge becomes excessively heavy or accompanied by other symptoms like itching or irritation, it’s important to consult a healthcare provider.
Can Vaginal Discharge be a sign of Infection during Pregnancy?
Yes, vaginal discharge can sometimes be a sign of an infection during pregnancy. If the discharge is accompanied by itching, redness, a foul odor, or discomfort, it could indicate an infection such as bacterial vaginosis or a yeast infection. It’s crucial to seek medical attention if these symptoms arise.
Is it normal for Vaginal Discharge to have a mild Odor during Pregnancy?
Yes, it is normal for vaginal discharge to have a mild odor during pregnancy. However, if the odor is strong, fishy, or unpleasant, it could indicate an infection and should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.
Can Sexual Activity affect Vaginal Discharge during Pregnancy?
Yes, sexual activity can influence vaginal discharge during pregnancy. Sexual arousal can lead to increased blood flow to the vaginal area, causing temporary changes in discharge consistency and volume. However, if there are any concerns about the appearance or smell of the discharge after sexual activity, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare provider.
When should I be concerned about Vaginal Discharge during Pregnancy?
You should be concerned about vaginal discharge during pregnancy if:
1. The discharge has a strong, unpleasant odor.
2. The discharge is accompanied by itching, redness, or irritation.
3. The discharge is green, yellow, gray, or tinged with blood.
4. The discharge is watery or leaking in a gush, which could be a sign of ruptured membranes.
How can I manage Vaginal Discharge during Pregnancy?
While you can’t prevent vaginal discharge during pregnancy, you can manage it by following these tips:
1. Wear breathable cotton underwear to allow air circulation and reduce moisture buildup.
2. Avoid using scented products, such as soaps or douches, as they can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina.
3. Practice good hygiene by cleaning the external genital area with mild, fragrance-free soap and water.
4. Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes that can trap moisture and promote bacterial growth.
5. Use panty liners or unscented pads to absorb excess discharge, changing them frequently to maintain cleanliness and prevent irritation.
6. Stay hydrated and maintain a healthy diet to support overall vaginal health.