Vaginal discharge during pregnancy, is it normal?

Pregnancy causes changes in vaginal discharge. The color, texture, volume and frequency may vary, but you should NOT confuse them with vaginal fluid. In this article we will explain what is normal and what is not.

All women have vaginal secretions

Whether we are pregnant or not, all women have vaginal secretions. They start a little before puberty and stop with the menopause. What is their purpose? Well, they help the vagina be clean, without infections; they are a mixture of cervical mucus and other fluids produced in the vagina itself, the uterus or the cervix. “Vaginal secretions help keep vaginal tissues healthy, provide lubrication, and provide protection against infection and irritation. The amount, color, and consistency of normal vaginal secretions vary: from whitish and sticky to clear and liquid depending on the stage of the reproductive (menstrual) cycle”, explains the Mayo Clinic.

It may interest you: Drowsiness during pregnancy, this is the reason and what you can do

Every woman is different. Some have discharge from time to time, others have a little daily. The amount varies from woman to woman, and it even changes throughout life. But not all secretions are normal.

Is vaginal discharge normal during pregnancy?

The flow as such is NOT normal (at any time), what are normal are the vaginal secretions. Especially in the second trimester, according to the Mayo Clinic.

During pregnancy it is possible to notice “a sticky, transparent or white vaginal discharge, which is normal”. However, if it has a strong odor, an unusual color (intense green or yellow), or if it is accompanied by pain, discomfort, or itching in the vaginal area could indicate a vaginal infection.

“There should be no discharge during pregnancy. Some women detect cervical mucus, which all women have, but during pregnancy it becomes thicker, a whitish, but there should be no discomfort such as itching, bad smell or burning”.

“The cervical mucus looks thick and stains the panties, that’s it. If vaginal discharge is present, it is a symptom of infection and then we would be talking about another issue that requires medical treatment”, explains Susana Haquet Santana, an academic from the Department of Embryology and Genetics of the Faculty of Medicine, UNAM.

You may be interested: Stress can influence the search for pregnancy

Why is there vaginal discharge?

Abnormal vaginal discharge has many causes. When the woman is not pregnant, most discharge is relatively harmless (such as vaginal candidiasis or bacterial vaginosis) although they are very uncomfortable. It can also be a symptom of sexually transmitted infections.

But be careful, when the woman is pregnant it is very important that the doctor provides treatment before the baby is born because infections can be transmitted to the baby during childbirth. Your gynecologist will be able to provide you with treatment that will help you against abnormal vaginal discharge and infections, without putting your baby at risk. If you are expecting a baby, never try to solve it on your own with over-the-counter medications, go to your specialist; remember that at this stage we must be very careful with medications.

You can read: Basic skin care during pregnancy

If you are at the end of pregnancy, pay attention if there is a sudden increase in mucous vaginal discharge. Pay attention if it is thick and transparent, light yellow or brown, sometimes stained with blood. In this case you could be losing your mucus plug, which indicates the moment of delivery.

Also at the end of pregnancy, be very careful that the secretion you are losing is not amniotic fluid because it is a vital element to protect the baby inside the womb. In all cases, if in doubt, contact your doctor immediately.

Translated by: Ligia M. Oliver Manrique de Lara

Spanish version

Other recommended articles:

Basic skin care during pregnancy

Virtual Baby Shower, a growing trend

7 ideas to reveal the gender of your baby

Quick guide to make a milk bank