Vaginal discharge during pregnancy
Vaginal discharge is the first sign of pregnancy and continues throughout the pregnancy
The body undergoes numerous changes during pregnancy. Out of these changes the first one is a change in your discharge from vagina. It is important for you to know the difference between a normal and an abnormal vaginal discharge during pregnancy. You should immediately consult your physician, if you notice any changes that appear abnormal.
Vaginal discharge is one of the initial signs of pregnancy. This discharge may continue throughout the pregnancy with a large volume than during ovulation. Normal discharge from vagina that occurs during pregnancy is known as Leucorrhoea. It is thin, milky, and white and has a mild smell. This discharge is completely normal and you should not worry about it. The vaginal discharge starts changing after a week or two of conception. The discharge becomes more noticeable with the progress of the pregnancy.
During the last weeks of pregnancy, there occurs a thick discharge with streaks of blood, called show. This is considered an early sign of labour.
Factors that may affect the vaginal discharge during pregnancy may include:
- Hormonal changes
- Changes in the cervix
- Changes in the wall of vagina
You should always consult your physician in case of any abnormal discharge, as it could be a sign of an infection or problem. An abnormal vaginal discharge during pregnancy has following characteristics:
- It may be yellow, gray, or green in colour
- It may have foul smell
- It may be accompanied by symptoms, such as itching or swelling
Yeast infections are most common during pregnancy. Your physician may prescribe a vaginal cream or suppository to get rid of the yeast infection. Preventive measures include:
- Wearing loose clothes
- Wearing cotton panties
- Keeping the genital organs dry after shower or swimming
- Adding yogurt to the diet to encourage the growth of healthy bacteria
Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) can be another reason for abnormal discharge during pregnancy. Therefore, all women should be screened for STDs during the first prenatal appointment. Screening is important as the infection can pass from the mother to the baby.
Complications during pregnancy can also be a reason for the abnormal discharge from vagina. Any blood red coloured discharge can be a sign of placenta praevia or rupture of placenta
It is important to differentiate between vaginal discharge and amniotic fluid. Vaginal discharge comes out at regular intervals, whereas amniotic fluid leaks once the water bag breaks.
Vaginal discharge during pregnancy can be prevented by:
- Wearing panty liners to absorb the discharge
- Wiping from front to back
- Wearing cotton panty
- Avoiding the use of perfumed pads and soaps
- Avoiding douching
- Avoiding fried and spicy foods
A woman should always consult the doctor if:
- The discharge is coloured, especially red
- It has a strange smell
- There is itching and soreness of the vaginal area
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