discharge during pregnancy

Discharge During Pregnancy: What’s Safe, What’s Not?

Pregnancy brings jubilation but it can also be equally confusing in many ways. Your body goes through tons of changes, some of which are normal and others that may be a cause for concern. Should you be worried about the discharges during pregnancy? “Some women have an increase in their vaginal discharge during pregnancy, and some don’t have an increase at all,” says Karen Nordahl, M.D., co- founder of Vancouver, British Columbia-based (Canada) ‘Fit to Deliver International and a Fit Pregnancy’ advisory board member. “A sudden increase should be investigated to make sure there is no infection.”

Let’s look at some of the common discharges during pregnancy.

Yeast Infection

If you are experiencing an odorless, white, cottage cheese-like discharge inclusive of itching, redness, and soreness in the vaginal area then you may be suffering from a yeast infection which is a common occurrence through the pregnancy period because of hormonal changes in the body. Additional symptoms include discomfort during intercourse and a burning sensation while urinating.

If symptoms get worse then consult your doctor to know which vaginal creams or suppositories you may use to ease the pain. Probiotics can also be helpful in this instance.

Bacterial Vaginosis

Triggered by an inequality in the bacteria generally found in the vagina, bacterial vaginosis initiates in the system as a vaginal infection but may at times scale into the uterus causing premature rupture of the membranes resulting in a premature delivery. Itching, burning, asymptomatic with a fishy smelling discharge especially post sexual intercourse are some of its noticeable symptoms.

To prevent any danger to the fetus and reduce chances of a preterm birth, consult your doctor immediately.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

There are 3 types of STDs that may occur during pregnancy. Producing no discharge at times or sometimes an odorous discharge is called ‘Chlamydia’. A yellowish discharge may be a symptom indicating ‘gonorrhoea’. A foamy yellow-greenish discharge accompanied with itching could indicate ‘trichomoniasis’. Preterm labor is possible if you contract STDs in your pregnancy followed with an uttering infection post birth. Your baby may contract the infection during delivery as it may pass through the placenta affecting the fetus.

It is important that you do not ignore the symptoms and schedule a test with your doctor as most STDs are treatable with antibiotics during your pregnancy.


“Other than seeing your doctor, the best way to tell if you’re leaking urine (versus amniotic fluid; see below) is to note how often and when it occurs,” says April Sarvis, M.D., an OB-GYN in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (USA). “If you leak only occasionally, such as when you cough, sneeze or have a good belly laugh, it’s likely urine. The smell and color are helpful indicators, too.”

With growing pressure on the uterus, leaking urine is normal. Try contracting and releasing the muscles around the vagina with Kegel exercises. This may help in controlling your bladder pressure.

Amniotic Fluid

A pregnant woman should only be discharging the amniotic fluid if she goes into labor. The fluid can be clear, brown, green, pink-tinged or yellow in color. If the membranes rupture, the Amniotic fluid will continuously leak. If you are unable to differentiate between urine and amniotic fluid, put on a pad and lie down for about 30 minutes. If you feel a small gush when you stand, it could be amniotic fluid. Call your doctor immediately in that case.

Seeing Red

Spotting, especially after intercourse of a pelvic examination is not unusual during pregnancy. However, check with your doctor, if it persists for more than 24 hours.

Anomalous flow may also indicate a difficulty in your pregnancy. If you are uncertain, it is always better to play it safe and call your doctor.

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