What to do when you have vaginal discharge?

You may experience an increase in vaginal discharge in pregnancy, due to higher levels of oestrogen. Don’t panic, it is perfectly normal and plays a role in keeping you and your baby healthy. Here’s how to deal with it.

What is it?

Just like the inside of your mouth and nostrils, the inside of your vagina is covered in mucous membrane, called vaginal discharge, produced by the body to moisten and cleanse the vagina. The mucus, which is produced in the vagina in pregnancy, plays a part in protecting your developing baby from infections.

What should it look like?

This thin, milky, mild-smelling discharge is usually clear in colour but may look white or off-white when it is seen outside of your body (on your underwear or toilet tissue).

How will it evolve during my pregnancy?

How much of it there is and how thick or watery it is will vary from day to day. You might notice fluctuations in the amount of discharge produced. 43% of women said they experienced an increase in vaginal discharge in pregnancy. The amount of discharge can possibly increase until term, sometimes becoming quite heavy.

How do I deal with it?

When experiencing vaginal discharge women find it comfortable to use panty liners, that protect their underwear and to help them feel fresh and clean every day.

Do I need to heck with the doctor?

When vaginal discharge in pregnancy suddenly changes in colour (becomes yellow, green or grey), odour (strong or bad), amount or consistency or causes pain, itching or burning. It may indicate an underlying problem like an infection or the vaginal discharge may be amniotic fluid.

When you experience minor blood loss

Early in their pregnancy, newly pregnant women may notice some spotting in their underpants. It happens as the egg implants into the wall of the uterus. In other instances, an irritated cervix can result in minor bleeding, particularly after intercourse.  For some women, spotting happens more than once during pregnancy.

In any case, you should call your doctor or seek medical advice any time that bleeding occurs, especially in the later stages of your pregnancy, as it might indicate problems with the placenta, which need to be addressed.


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