Pregnancy discharge is often related to one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. Pregnancy causes changes in vaginal discharge. Some changes in colors are normal, but others may indicate infection or other underlying problems. Many women will experience vaginal discharge but not often associated with pregnancy but women who are trying to conceive would experience an increase in vagina discharge during their early pregnancy.
Vaginal discharge consists of fluid, dead cells, and bacteria. It can vary in color, texture, and volume. Women will have vaginal discharge no matter they are pregnant or not. The increase of hormone levels (both estrogen and progesterone) during early pregnancy and an increase of blood flow in the vaginal are the main reasons that cause the increase of pregnancy discharge. You will notice the changes in the vaginal discharge one or two weeks after conception, as your pregnancy progresses, it will become more noticeable and heavier, especially at the end of your pregnancy.
As your cervix and vaginal will produce excess discharge to help prevent infections during your pregnancy and towards the end of pregnancy, the vaginal discharge is heavier when the baby’s head is pressed against the cervix. You may need to wear a pantyliner. The tampon is not recommended.
Let us look at the different colors of discharge and what do these colors represent.
Pregnancy Discharge – What do these 7 colors represent?
Clear or milky white
This is a normal and healthy discharge. Sometimes, it comes with a mild odor and it is ok. If it changes its quantity or texture, it could be due to other reasons. Normal discharge is usually thick, clear to milky white liquid, mild to odorless. It does not contain blood or has any itching and burning sensation.
White and lumpy
If you experience lumpy white discharge that looks like cottage cheese and is often accompanied by other symptoms like itching, burning, and painful urination or intercourse, probably it is a sign of a yeast infection. Yeast infection is very common during pregnancy as the change of hormone will alter the pH balance of the vagina, making your body is more susceptible to yeast infection.
Green or Yellowish
If you experience a vaginal discharge that is green or yellowish, it is not a healthy sign. It is important to seek medical treatment if you see green or yellowish discharge as it could be due to a sexually transmitted infection. Sometimes, it will not cause any symptoms, but some people may have associated symptoms like itching, irritation, and burning sensation.
Gray vaginal discharge may indicate a vaginal infection caused by excessive growth of bacteria – Bacterial Vaginosis (BV). It usually comes with a strong fishy smell and painful urination. BV is often caused by an imbalance of naturally occurring bacteria in the vagina and it is a very common vaginal infection during the childbearing years. Douching and multiple sexual partners are the risk factors for BV.
Shall you worry about your brown discharge during your pregnancy? Usually, brown discharge may cause an alarm because it resembles the color of the blood. Brown discharge can be another sign of early pregnancy as some blood in the uterus takes a while to discharge and old blood is appeared to be brown. In most cases, brown discharge is not a cause for concern. If you experience dark brown discharge accompanied with other symptoms like itching, abdominal cramping, change of odor, and the brown discharge slowly turn into bright red spotting or bleeding, you should seek medical help immediately. It could be the sign of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, a problem with the placenta, cervix, or uterus infections.
Pink discharge during pregnancy may not be normal as pink color can be an indication of light spotting during pregnancy after sexual intercourse and vaginal infections. If it turns out to be bright red spotting or bleeding with other symptoms like abdominal pain, it can be a sign of miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy. Consult your doctor immediately.
Red discharge during early pregnancy means a dangerous sign indicates something is wrong and require the immediate attention of a doctor especially when the bleeding start to become heavy, with blood clots and other sign like abdominal pain. It may be due to miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.
If you are already in the end of pregnancy, red discharge could be the bloody show. It is a normal mucus discharge with blood if you are about to deliver.
Prevention on abnormal discharge during pregnancy
Here are some tips to help you, applicable to all women of all ages:
- Do not clean inside of your vagina with soup water. Some women may not like the smell especially after menstrual period or after sex, they like to use vagina douche to make them feel fresher. Experts said it is not necessary as it will cause the imbalance of natural bacteria in the vagina and you are exposing yourself to bacteria infection. Just wash gently with warm water outside of the vagina is enough to keep it clean. Having some mild odor in the vagina is ok.
- Wear breathable panty and clothing.
- If you wear pantyliner, change it frequently. Look for unscented ones.
- Always practice “wipe from front to back” when you finish using toilet. It is to prevent the bacteria getting into the vagina and cause an infection.
- Control your sugar level if you are diabetic.
- Include probiotics or yogurts contain “Lactobacillus” in your diet. It will not only help to improve your gut health but vagina health as well.
Safe treatment for pregnant women on vagina infection
Yeast infection is one of the common vagina infections you get during your pregnancy. As the hormone is imbalanced and you are susceptible to yeast infection as it creates a better living environment for the yeast to grow. If you have a yeast infection, it will possibly pass to your baby during delivery. So, it is best to get it treated.
The doctor will give you antifungal cream or suppositories that contain ingredients like miconazole or clotrimazole. Consult your doctor before you take any oral medicine or treatment during your pregnancy as some ingredients may harm your baby.
Some people make their home remedies to treat vagina infections using yogurt and honey. A study also had found that using a mixture of yogurt and honey into the vagina to treat vagina infection is equally effective as using a clotrimazole vagina cream. Another study also shows that a mixture of yogurt and honey is safe and effective to treat vagina infection in pregnant women. You can apply this remedy directly into your vagina with a clean finger or a tampon. Sometimes, you freeze the mixture of yogurt and honey and apply it to your vagina, it feels cold and helps to relieve pain and itchiness.
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