Discharge in pregnancy. When you get pregnant, it is a confusing and elating experience as your body goes through a series of changes and it becomes difficult to tell which changes are normal and which ones you should be concerned about.
Really, there are so many little things that you will experience that will get you all worked up, such as seeing a spot of blood, weird discharge, an irritating itch that refuses to go away or unexplainably wet underwear. All these and more create huge worries for expecting mothers because their causes can vary significantly.
One such change is your vaginal discharge. When you get pregnant your discharge can differ in thickness, frequency, consistency, and quantity and it is important for you to be aware of what is considered normal and what is considered abnormal which may require a visit to the hospital.
So first, what should you expect?
The foremost thing to understand is that there will be an increase in your vaginal discharge once you get pregnant and it can go on like that for the duration of your pregnancy.
According to medical experts, once you become pregnant, it’s as if your vagina takes on a personality of its own.
Normally your vaginal discharge will be mild smelling, clear, milky white or thin depending on what part of your cycle you are currently in. However, these changes as early as two weeks after conception – for some women – even after you miss your period. As the pregnancy begins to progress, the vaginal discharge becomes more obvious and the volume becomes most copious by the end of the pregnancy.
In those last weeks, before you give birth, you might even notice some streaks of thick mucus filled with blood in the discharge.
There is nothing that scares a pregnant woman more than bleeding when you aren’t supposed to. You may experience a bit of spotting during your first trimester, after a pelvic exam or a bit before you are due for delivery. Usually, it’s not a problem because spotting occurs after the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus or when the cervix is irritated or even for no reason at all.
But when you spot later in the pregnancy, it usually means there is some extra blood and those pesky hormones in circulation results in the tiny blood vessels of the cervix to break. This sign is usually a flag telling you that labor is about to happen.
On the other hand, it could mean a serious condition like placenta abruption – that is the separation of the placenta from the uterus before childbirth. If you experience this, just let your doctor know and try not to worry.
Make sure to wear an unscented panty liner, if you are comfortable with those but never use tampons because they can usher in new bacteria and other unhealthy microorganisms into your vagina. Also avoid using douches as they can interfere with the balance of normal, healthy bacteria in your vagina and result in infections.
If you are having any untoward changes in your vagina, never just assume it’s an infection and proceed to treat yourself. Always make sure to visit your healthcare provider regularly.Discharge in pregnancy.
What Makes the Vagina Discharge?
Throughout your menstrual cycle, the discharge from your vagina ebbs and flows in accordance with the fluctuations in your hormone levels, but as soon as conception happens and you get pregnant, these same hormones continue to influence the changes in your vaginal discharge.
Something else that affects your vaginal discharge is your cervix – as it changes to accommodate pregnancy. You see when you get pregnant, your cervix, as well as the wall of your vagina, softens and your body begins to produce more fluids to help you prevent infections. Also, as your pregnancy nears its end, the head of your baby might press against the cervix which results in an increase in the amount of discharge your body produces.
What Isn’t Normal?
Now that you know what normally causes vaginal discharge and what to expect when you get pregnant, what are the kinds of discharges that require a visit to your doctor?
First signs of an abnormal vaginal discharge are when the discharge is green, grey or yellow, has a foul or strong odor and is followed by swelling of your vulva, itching or redness.Discharge in pregnancy.
Usually, when your discharge isn’t normal, it might be a sign of infection. The most common infection that plagues pregnant women is the yeast infection and when it occurs your doctor will usually recommend a pessary or vaginal cream that’s safe for you. To avoid such infections, try as much as possible to wear clean cotton underwear, wear loose clothing, make sure your privates are dried properly after swimming, exercising or showering and include yogurts in your diet to boost healthy bacteria.
Another cause of abnormal vaginal discharge is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Usually, your doctor would have screened you for this during your first prenatal visit but if you are noticing any abnormal discharges that resemble symptoms of an STD, make sure to inform your doctor immediately to reduce the risk of passing it on to your baby.
Lastly, an abnormal discharge may mean that you are experiencing complications in your pregnancy. So if you having any of the abovementioned discharges and/or a bright red discharge more than one ounce in volume, contact your doctor right away.
If you are still in doubt about whether your pregnancy discharge is normal or not, it’s best to play it safe and just inform your doctor. Make sure to take note of the time the changes in your vaginal discharge started and exactly what kind of discharge you are seeing.
Now that we’ve given you all this juicy info, you are in a better position to determine what’s what. And this will help you have a successful worry-free pregnancy and help your doctor better determine what best way to help you should you need it.Discharge in pregnancy.