Discharge during pregnancy- Allocation is one of the intimate topics that worries many expectant mothers. What is going on “there”? What is causing all this discharge? In the early stages of pregnancy, vaginal discharge may increase, and at the end of pregnancy, mucus with traces of blood may be one of the signs of an impending birth – this is how the mucous plug that protects the entrance to the uterus during pregnancy comes off. Some secretions that have a specific odor and color may be a sign of infection. In this article, you will learn about the types of discharge you may encounter during pregnancy, which ones are harmless, and which ones require medical attention.
What discharge during pregnancy is normal?
Normally, discharge during pregnancy is transparent or white, usually sticky, without a pronounced odor. If the discharge leaves a yellowish mark on your linen or pad, don’t worry. During pregnancy, levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone rise and blood flow to the vagina increases, so there may be more discharge, especially in the second trimester . In fact, the discharge protects the fetus from infection, because this is how the vagina naturally cleans itself and removes dead cells. After the full period of gestation (at the 39th week), the discharge may become mucous. This is a mucous plug, which we will discuss in more detail below.
Is discharge a sign of pregnancy?
As a rule, discharge is not a sign of pregnancy , but at the very beginning, spotting is sometimes noted. This is implantation bleeding that occurs when a fertilized egg is attached to the lining of the uterus. In early pregnancy, such discharge is usually pink in color, slightly paler than menstrual bleeding.
By the way, if you recently found out that you will become a mother, we recommend calculating the approximate date of birth using our calculator .
What is Leucorrhea?
Leucorrhea (leucorrhoea) is the medical term for all types of vaginal discharge, not just those that are characteristic of pregnancy. Typically, it is a clear or whitish mucus-like substance that begins to be produced during puberty. The color, consistency and amount of discharge depends on the day of the menstrual cycle. During pregnancy, there may be more discharge than usual, but this is completely natural.
What discharge during pregnancy is a sign of infection?
Unfortunately, during pregnancy, the body is more prone to vaginal infections. The reason is that, due to pregnancy hormones , the composition of the vaginal flora changes, so the body is more susceptible to diseases such as thrush and bacterial vaginosis.
Any change in the color, odor, or consistency of vaginal discharge can indicate an infection, so be alert during pregnancy. Changes also occur with bacterial vaginosis – because of it, the discharge, as a rule, acquires a pungent fishy odor and gray, white or green color. With thrush, the discharge can be viscous, lumpy, white. If you notice these symptoms or something else is causing you anxiety, discuss it with your doctor, who will find treatment. Untreated vaginal infection can spread to the uterus, and this is already dangerous for the health of the fetus.
When should i see a doctor?
If the color or consistency of the discharge changes, or if an unpleasant odor develops, see your doctor. Also, you should consult a doctor if you experience itching or pain when urinating. Wateriness or traces of blood in your discharge may mean that you are leaking water or a mucus plug. If your due date is less than 37 weeks , this may indicate the onset of premature labor. In this case, you should consult a doctor at the first symptoms. If at any stage of pregnancy you experience vaginal bleeding (more severe than minor bleeding), see your doctor right away or call an ambulance.
How To Avoid Vaginal Infection During Pregnancy?
In order not to bring bacteria from the intestines into the vagina, wipe should be done from front to back. Wash yourself regularly with water and neutral soap. It is recommended to wear underwear made of cotton or other natural breathable fabric and not wear tight clothes (save your favorite leggings for later).
If an unpleasant odor appears, do not use syringes. Treatment for such symptoms is prescribed by a doctor.
What other changes in the nature of the discharge are worth paying attention to?
Immediately before the onset of pregnancy, during it and immediately after, women sometimes experience the following changes in the nature of the discharge:
- Discharge during ovulation. The amount of discharge (leukorrhea) depends on the day of the menstrual cycle. The amount of secretions increases immediately before ovulation (the most favorable time for conception), while they usually have a liquid consistency. Immediately after ovulation, the discharge becomes thicker and less noticeable, and its volume decreases. These fluctuations are usually noticed by women who purposefully plan pregnancy and monitor the periods of ovulation.
- Mucous plug. A mucous plug, as the name suggests, consists of mucus that accumulates in the cervix, blocking the entrance to the uterine cavity. Its purpose is to protect the fetus from infection. Just before labor starts, the cervix dilates and the plug comes out of the vagina. The color of this mucus is usually clear or slightly pinkish with traces of blood, and its consistency is usually thicker than that of normal pregnancy discharge.
- Amniotic fluid. A few hours before the start of the contractions, the fetal bladder breaks through and water leaves. This does not always happen on the same scale as in the movies: some have a small trickle of water, others may have a greater volume of water, and still others do not notice anything at all.
- Lochia. Immediately after natural childbirth or cesarean section and separation of the placenta, new discharge appears – lochia. It is a bloody mucus that is secreted for several days after giving birth. At first, it is a thick red discharge, which gradually turns pale and becomes yellowish or white. After cesarean section, the volume of lochia is slightly less than after natural childbirth. Lochia usually lasts four to six weeks after delivery.