As a result of increased estrogen production and blood flow to your vaginal area when you become pregnant, you might notice a change in your vaginal discharge. Vaginal discharge is completely normal, and though it may be inconvenient at times, is no real cause for concern. However, you should stay on top of monitoring your vaginal discharge during pregnancy to make sure that it is not occurring due to infection.
What does normal vaginal discharge look like?
Normal vaginal discharge, also known as leukorrhea, generally has a thin, milky, white consistency, and is either odorless or mild-smelling. This particular type of discharge is made up of secretions that come from old cells that had lined the walls of your vagina, as well as normal bacterial flora that exists in your vagina and on your cervix. As your pregnancy progresses and your cervix begins to become thinner and more dilated, this type of mucus will be expelled from your vagina. In some cases, it may be tinged with a tiny amount of blood.
What does abnormal vaginal discharge look like?
Abnormal vaginal discharge is usually green or yellow in color, is accompanied by redness and itching, and has a strong, unpleasant odor. Abnormal discharge could be a sign of a vaginal infection such as a yeast infection, or an STD. In any case, if your vaginal discharge does not seem to meet the description above for normal discharge, you should make an appointment with your OB-GYN as soon as possible for a checkup.
Tips for handling and dealing with vaginal discharge
In most cases, especially if your discharge is not due to an infection, you will be unable to stop the flow. However, you can use panty liners to increase your comfort level and absorb any discharge. Never use tampons, as tampons could introduce bacteria to your vagina and increase the risk for infection and possible complications. Also, avoid using douche products to clean your vagina, as these products can disrupt the natural, healthy balance of vaginal flora and acidity in your vagina.
Keep your vaginal area clean at all times throughout your pregnancy by wearing cotton, breathable panties. Do not wear restrictive tight pants or nylons, and do not use any scented toiletry products on your genital area such as bubble bath and deodorant soaps. Also, when using the restroom, always wipe from the front to the back to lower your risk for infections.
CarePoint Health is dedicated to providing you with the individual care and attention you need so you can relax and focus on what is most important — the birth of your new baby. Contact us today to learn more about our obstetrics and maternity services.
Content on our website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911. Always consult your physician before making any changes to your medical treatment.