Getting pregnant is exciting but it’s the little changes we see every day that get us worked up. Things like spotting, weird colored discharge, wet underpants or an annoying itch.
Furthermore, pregnancy is confusing and it’s sometimes hard to tell what changes are normal and which ones aren’t. Changes in virginal discharge for example. This varies in consistency, frequency, amount and thickness during pregnancy.
What is it?
Discharge during pregnancy is known as Leukorrhea. This mucus will increase as a woman starts her first trimester in pregnancy. The mucus becomes either heavier or runny and watery. It could also be creamy or white.
his increase in mucus is an estrogen effect on the cervical mucus during pregnancy. Estrogen makes the layer of cells that line the endocervical canal to partially turn outward and face the vagina. While in this position, these cells are stimulated to increase production of mucus. This is why sometimes when pregnant, your underwear feels wet most of the time.
The mucus color can also be brownish, pinkish or reddish. This can be due to implantation bleeding which is not very common but is normal.
What to expect
After you get pregnant, the color, consistency and amount of cervical mucus start to change. During the early days of your pregnancy, the mucus leads to an increased amount of vaginal discharge. The vaginal lining also increases secretions which contribute to the appearance and amount.
Estrogen and progesterone hormone levels rise during the early pregnancy days which leads to effects on the cervical mucus. The type of vaginal discharge seen depends on what hormonal effect is predominant in the cervical mucus.
If progesterone is predominant, then your early signs of pregnancy discharge will appear heavier, thick, odorless, whitish or yellowish. Progesterone causes this sticky, thick or gummy mucus which later forms the mucus plug in the cervical canal, that lasts until almost labor time.
If estrogen is predominant, then a heavier mucus is seen as the pregnancy progresses. It increases the amount of mucus the endocervix (the cervix inner lining) makes. The estrogen effect also makes the cervical mucus feel slippery and wet. It can also look milky white, yellowish, cream or clear.
Is it an early sign of pregnancy?
A missed period is usually your best bet on confirming pregnancy. Sometimes though, a milky white discharge can be a sign especially if it comes around the time you expect your periods to come. Do not, however, confuse this with the regular ones you get right before your periods begin.
After conception takes place, the cervix of a woman becomes swollen with blood and softens. More cervical mucus is produced as a result. The mucus however varies and could appear as creamy white discharge in some women or milky whitish in others. As you progress in your pregnancy, the consistency will change to become either thicker or watery depending on the trimester.
Discharge during pregnancy can appear in different colors. It is important, therefore, to know what color is normal and which one should make you visit a doctor immediately.
Watery discharge during pregnancy is normal and all pregnant women get it. It may be different depending on the color, consistency or smell. This is the body’s way of flushing out bacteria and protecting the uterus from germs or bacteria that could harm the baby.
Most of the time, however, it’s just urine. This happens when you have had a little accident due to pressure building up on your bladder. It could happen when you laugh, sneeze or cough.
During the last trimester, a discharge of amniotic fluid could be experienced. This is normal and is the body’s way of getting rid of cervical and vaginal secretions, dead skin, cells and bacteria that the body is no longer in need of. Call the doctor if it is brownish yellow or is green-tinged.
The mucus plug is an indication of labor. During pregnancy, it prevents infections and when you go into labor, the plug is expelled when dilation starts. Do not trust the movies, it’s not usually a large amount of fluid. In fact, it varies in volume and could be experienced either as a watery discharge, a dark fluid or blood. This is what is referred to as “water breaking”. Contact a doctor if there’s lots of blood.
Clear/ milky white color
It’s normal pregnancy discharge if the smell is mild and the consistency and amount don’t change. It’s not normal if it’s watery or continuously leaks out. It’s also a sign of a problem if it’s accompanied by pain, burning or itching or smells fishy. (Make sure you do not confuse it with urine or sweat.)
The white discharge, which is a sign and early symptom of pregnancy, occurs when the endocervical glands found on the cervix are exposed to the vaginal environment. This makes them increase mucus secretions containing the white blood cells. Sometimes this leukorrhea causes vaginal itching when the exposed cervix becomes inflamed and produces more mucus.
It’s normal but you should call your doctor if your due date is near or if it’s watery.
This is normal but you should consult your doctor if it becomes watery.
It’s normal but consult a doctor if you are bleeding actively or if the discharge becomes watery.
A bit more blood could be a sign of premature or preterm labor. This could affect the baby and you should watch out for other signs like cramps or pain with discharge. Consult a doctor immediately you get these signs.
Green or yellow
This is not normal and you should consult your doctor immediately especially if it’s watery. Consult your doctor too if it has an unpleasant smell or a frothy consistency. Make sure not to confuse the yellow discharge with urine. Sometimes it could just be urine, which is very normal.
This kind of discharge could be a sign of yeast infection. This causes itchiness, redness and a burning sensation. It is treatable through and you should see your doctor about it immediately.
Other yeast infection symptoms include an inflamed vulva, an odorless whitish discharge that causes pain during urination or sex, itching, burning or soreness. If it also comes out in chunks, it’s a sign of yeast infection.
Not normal especially if it has a fishy smell or is watery. Consult a doctor if your discharge is grey or appears thin white. It could be a sign of bacterial vaginosis. It sometimes has the same symptoms as a yeast infection. Along with it, however, bacterial vaginosis causes the discharge to get a fishy or foul smell. This is due to an imbalance in the vaginal pH levels. If untreated, it could cause a miscarriage or preterm delivery. It may also recur after you’ve had your baby.
Another reason could be changing color is due to a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI). Some of these infections show symptoms when it’s too late. An untreated STI can cause damage to the reproductive organs, resulting in infertility and other conditions. If you suspect something is wrong with the discharge either in terms of consistency, thickness or color, consult a doctor immediately. Better to be safe than sorry.