How does vaginal discharge change during pregnancy?
Though many factors can affect vaginal discharge, so you can’t be sure this is the cause, increased discharge can be a sign that you are pregnant.
The amount of discharge may increase throughout the pregnancy. Near the end, there might be so much that you mistake it for urine.
The amount of discharge increases as the pregnancy progresses and can be mistaken for urine.
Your discharge may have streaks of thick mucus and some blood in the final week or so of pregnancy. When the mucus that has been present in your cervix throughout pregnancy comes away, it is known as a “show.” You may experience a few minor shows in the days before going into labor as a sign that the body is beginning to prepare for giving birth.
Abnormal discharge may be a sign of infection. Yeast infections are common during pregnancy. Your doctor might suggest a vaginal cream or suppository if you get a yeast infection while pregnant. To avoid a yeast infection:
Because of changes in hormone levels, a woman’s vaginal discharge fluctuates over the course of her menstrual cycle. Hormones continue to affect how your vaginal discharge changes once you become pregnant.
Any abnormal discharge must be reported to your healthcare provider because it could be an indication of an infection or a problem with your pregnancy. Here are some signs of abnormal discharge:
Even before you’ve missed your period, leukorrhea, the common vaginal discharge, will start to change one to two weeks after conception. This discharge usually becomes more noticeable as your pregnancy goes along and is at its heaviest toward the end. You may want to wear an unscented panty liner. Avoid tampons in pregnancy.
Changes to the cervix during pregnancy also affect vaginal discharge. The body produces extra discharge as the cervix and vaginal wall soften to help prevent infections. As your pregnancy draws to a close, your baby’s head may also press against the cervix, which frequently results in an increase in vaginal discharge.
Hernandez adds that a very pungent smell, itching, or burning could be symptoms of a bacterial or yeast infection, which are more prevalent throughout pregnancy due to hormonal changes. Another indication of infection in the discharge is its green or yellow color.
Call your doctor’s office at any time during your pregnancy if you have concerns or are simply unsure of the condition of your discharge. It’s one of those topics that women avoid discussing, but Hernandez continues, “we encourage women to talk to their provider or midwife.”
Ask your doctor to examine any discharge-related symptoms, particularly a foul odor and any changes in color. A bacterial infection may make some women more susceptible to an early delivery and premature membrane rupture. Your doctor may decide to use antibiotics to treat an infection depending on your risk.
As your pregnancy draws to a close, you might notice a steadier flow of mucus coming from your vagina. It can range from being clear to cloudy, whitish in color, or faintly pink. Or, one large glob of mucus might pop out. This is your mucus plug, which blocked the cervix’s opening to keep bacteria out while you were pregnant. Hernandez explains that the mucus plug that has been protecting the cervix up until this point is lost as the cervix prepares for labor.
Early in pregnancy, she claims, increased blood flow and increased estrogen production are to blame for the extra discharge. It should be a little thick, clear to white in color, and odorless when normal.