Pregnancy discharge refers to the vaginal discharge that occurs at various stages during pregnancy. The discharge volume gradually increases throughout the pregnancy and is at its heaviest in the final week of pregnancy. This discharge helps to reduce the risk of vaginal and uterine infection.
Vaginal discharge is completely normal and every woman, whether she's pregnant or not, has it. It is made up of fluid and dead cells trying to renew themselves. Most women start to observe extra discharge due to a boost in oestrogen production and increased blood flow early in pregnancy.
A typical discharge should be thick, clear to white in colour, and odourless. A mucus of whitish or a slight pink colour is visible at the end of pregnancy. This mucus plug prevents bacteria from entering during your pregnancy by blocking the opening to your cervix. Read on to know more about pregnancy discharge by Dr. Swetha M.P, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, HRBR Layout, Bangalore.
Why Does Your Discharge Have A Different Colour?
Do you sometimes feel that your discharge is not normal and has a weird colour? Different colours of vaginal discharge may indicate different health issues. Some of these colours are.
Clear Or Milky White
This is the perfect colour because it suggests leukorrhea, a normal and healthy discharge. However, if a woman experiences a strong smell and heavy discharge, it is better to see a doctor.
White And Lumpy
A white and lumpy vaginal discharge resembling cottage cheese indicates a yeast infection. A body is particularly susceptible to yeast infections during pregnancy.
Green Or Yellow
Green or yellow vaginal discharge indicates a sexually transmitted infection(STI), such as chlamydia or trichomoniasis. A woman should immediately visit a doctor if they also have redness or irritation in the genitals.
Grey vaginal discharge is often a sign of a vaginal infection called bacterial vaginosis (BV). Grey discharged along with a fishy smell is caused by a bacterial imbalance in the vagina.
Brown discharge is usually caused by old blood leaving the body, which is often an early pregnancy symptom. Although it is not a sign of concern, if a pregnant woman experiences dark brown discharge, they should visit a doctor.
Pink discharge occurs during early pregnancy or in the final weeks as the body prepares for labour. It is essential to consult a doctor if you have pink vaginal discharge, as it can also occur before a miscarriage or during an ectopic pregnancy.
Red vaginal discharge during pregnancy is the most dangerous and requires a doctor's immediate attention, especially if cramps and abdominal pain accompany the heavy bleeding.
How To Deal With Discharge During Pregnancy?
In some cases, a doctor can prescribe antibiotics or other medications to treat infections caused by vaginal discharge. However, taking care of a few things can help women maintain vaginal health during pregnancy.
- Avoid scented personal care products and female hygiene items
- Wear panty liners to deal with the excess vaginal discharge.
- Cleaning the genital area from front to back
- Wearing cotton-underwear.
- Avoid wearing tight jeans that can increase the risk of infection.
- Eating a healthy diet.
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When Should You Visit A Doctor?
You should get in touch with your doctor as soon as you observe a sudden increase in vaginal discharge in the later stage of pregnancy. Vaginal bleeding is a cause of concern and often indicates a more severe problem such as a miscarriage or a problem with the placenta. It is necessary to discuss any unusual discharge with a doctor to prevent any infection that may cause an issue with the pregnancy. An increase in discharge during pregnancy is standard, but unusual discharge alongside strong odours or discomfort in the vagina or abdomen are all signs of worry and require immediate medical attention. Without treatment, infections can lead to complications. Therefore, it is always recommended to consult a medical professional.
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