white discharge during pregnancy

The thin, sticky, pale yellow or white mild smelly or sometimes odourless discharge secreted in most pregnant women from their first trimester continues throughout the pregnancy. This discharge is medically termed as LEUKORRHEA. It might be cognate to the vaginal discharge experienced during heavy periods. 

After conception, in the period of one to two weeks, the vaginal discharge is noticeable. During pregnancy, the blood flow to the vagina and hormonal levels increases, which causes the white release through it. You should consult a doctor if it smells burn, becomes very thick or watery, itch, these may be the signs of infections. 

What is the reason behind white discharge during pregnancy?

Oftentimes leucorrhoea is a typical left product of a healthy vagina. The increase in the hormonal level of oestrogen causes the rise in blood flow to the pelvic regions, which in turn stimulates the mucous membranes to increase the vaginal discharge. Infections of bacteria, fungi, yeast or other microbes cause abnormal leucorrhoea in particular sexually transmitted diseases in which the bacteria or viruses are transmitted. In the case of bacterial outgrowth in the vagina, which may cause a burning sensation in cervical and vaginal regions. It may be symptomatic or asymptomatic. In the case of trichomoniasis, which is a sexually transmitted disease caused by a parasite, includes heavily vaginal discharge and irritating sensation.

When does white discharge occur during pregnancy? 

Many women experience this white discharge through the vagina during the early pregnancy, and the amount will gradually increase during the process. Even before you have missed your period or as early as after two to three weeks of conception, the vaginal discharge gets started. This is heavily noticeable during last month of pregnancy.

What amount of white discharge is normal during pregnancy? 

More often, the white discharge is normal and healthy throughout the pregnancy process. To reduce the risk of reproductive tract infections in females, white discharge is increased throughout the pregnancy. As the cervical and vaginal wall soften in turn, they increase the mucous secretions to reduce the chances of infections. The embryos head may also press against the vagina, which also causes heavily discharge, and it is normal to have leucorrhoea. The female vagina works overtime during the time of pregnancy to keep the cervix healthy, moist and sealed.

White discharge during first trimester of pregnancy 

The first trimester of a pregnant woman starts from the day of her last period and lasts until the end of 12 th week. In the first trimester, the characteristics of leucorrhoea secretions are sticky, thin, white or pale yellow coloured discharge through the reproductive tract. The amount in the first trimester is less than the amount secreted in the last trimester of pregnancy as the quantity increase towards parturition. It may vary in consistency and thickness over the time period. If it feels itchy or having burning sensation and different from the White or pale yellow colour, one should immediately get doctors to consult because it may cause infections. 

White discharge during second trimester of pregnancy 

You might find it the same or an increased amount of white discharge you might have noticed before your periods, and it happens with many women. This time the discharge can be thicker and more in amount comparatively. 

The increased white discharge in second trimester of pregnancy is due to leucorrhoea. This is thick, white and with a mild smell. Cervical and vaginal secretions mainly produce this. As the estrogen level increases in pregnant women which enhance the blood flow to the vagina. As a result of which more amount of mucus is produced from the cervical glands and which comes out as vaginal discharge.

White discharge during third trimester of pregnancy

The amount of white discharge gradually increases with the time of pregnancy, and you might get confused with urine towards the end of the pregnancy. The vaginal and cervical wall gets softer and secretes more mucus for prevention from any kind of infection. This gradual increase in the discharge is the sign that you are pregnant, but the vaginal discharge can be caused due to many reasons, so it is not a confirming sign. 

The discharge may consist of some streaks of mucus along with some traces of blood. This may be the sign that the body is preparing for birth.

What kind of discharge is normal during pregnancy?

A sticky, clear and white vaginal discharge with the mild smell is expected during the pregnancy. Suppose you find it strong-smelling with unusual colour, pain, soreness, burning sensation and itching in the vaginal area. In that case, you should consult with the gynecologist because these are the signs of vaginal infection. 

Vaginal bleeding is not expected during pregnancy. It indicates the problems like miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or any placental problem.

What does pregnancy white discharge look like? 

The healthy vaginal discharge during pregnancy is white and clear in colour with a mild smell. The amount of white discharge increase with time typically in pregnancy till birth. 

However, if the consistency, colour and smell of the vaginal discharge changes, then there might be some problem. So it would be best if you went to a specialized doctor for better advice. 

If the discharge is lumpy like cottage cheese, it may be a sign of yeast infection. Green or yellow discharge indicates chances of sexually transmitted disease. Pink colour may or may not be normal. Usually, the pink discharge occurs in early pregnancy or in ending weeks of pf pregnancy. It can also because of miscarriage.

How to differentiate between white discharge and leaking during pregnancy?

The leaking in the ending days of the pregnancy is due to the breakage of the amniotic sac. When the amniotic sac breaks the amniotic fluid comes out through the vaginal opening. This usually occurs when a woman goes into labour, but sometimes it can rupture earlier, which is termed as premature rupture of membranes (PROM). The amniotic fluid is more of yellowish colour as compared to the white discharge. Leaking feels like a gush of warm liquid from the vagina. It usually is clear but can sometimes contain blood or mucus in traces.

What should I do to treat white discharge during pregnancy?

There are some home remedies which can help you to deal with ease during this time:

~ Bananas: it helps to control white discharge. Consuming overripe bananas daily will help to manage leucorrhoea. 

~ Amla: Indian gooseberry or amla is rich in vitamin C and is suitable for vaginal health. 

~ Fenugreek seeds: it maintains the normal pH of the vaginal part and keeps it healthy. 

~ It would help if you kept the genital area clean and dry. 

~ Wear cotton underwear so that the skin can breathe or you can use light pads which can absorb the discharge. 

~ It would be best if you change the underwear twice or thrice a day. 

~ Don’t use scented soaps on the vagina. 

~ Clean your hands properly before touching the vagina.