Vaginal Discharge During Pregnancy
Vaginal discharge during pregnancy is common and it is not your imagination. This discharge is referred to as leucorrhea, a mild smelling milky discharge. Vaginal discharge during pregnancy is due to the fact that you are now having increased estrogen production. You are having a greater blood flow to the vaginal area as well. The secretions from the cervix and vagina, old cells from the walls of the vagina, and normal bacterial flora from the vagina are causing the excess discharge.
The so called mucus plug creates a protective barrier. When you are getting closer to labor you will notice even more vaginal discharge during your pregnancy. This discharge will look a bit different than when you were in your earlier months of pregnancy. This is fine, it is just a part of being pregnant and the body taking care of itself. When your cervix begins to thin out and dilate it will expel this mucus. Then you will notice that the discharge looks like egg white and you will probably expel the plug in one gelatinous glob. This discharge might be tinged with a bit of blood. Do not let this bother you as this is only normal before the baby is born.
One word of caution when you are getting a lot of vaginal discharge during pregnancy it can be hard for you to tell if it is mucus or you’re leaking amniotic fluid. If you do have any doubts please contact your physician as this is a severe problem for the baby. If you are not yet in your 37th week and you notice an increase in discharge or a change in the type of discharge like if it becomes watery, or bloody then call the physician immediately. This can be a sign of preterm labor.
Preterm labor can be prevented if caught soon enough so you can carry your baby full term. Vaginal discharge during pregnancy, lower abdominal pain, with cramping farther along in your pregnancy is all signs of preterm labor.
This could just be a sign that your uterus is stretching or it could mean that you are indeed going into preterm labor. It is very wise for you to contact your physician immediately so he can help you prevent this process.
You may have an infection which is usually an odorless, whitish discharge that’s causing you discomfort such as itching or burning. A vaginal discharge during pregnancy untreated can result in a yeast infection. It is always good for you to check your discharge because it might be foul-smelling, frothy, yellow, green, or gray which means that you have a different kind of infection or a sexually transmitted infection, even if you don’t have symptoms of irritation, itching or burning. We like to advise that you should not try to treat yourself with over the counter medications. It is very important to first see your practitioner for a proper diagnosis to make sure you get appropriate treatment.
I know at this point you are wondering if there are any things that you might be able to do to help with the problem. Let me tell you now, yes there is, vaginal discharge during pregnancy is not uncommon but it is very irritating and some simple methods are available that will help. Firstly, very important – do not ever use a tampon during your pregnancy! Use panty liners to absorb the discharge and change often to prevent any infection. Next keep your genital area healthy by keeping it clean. Always wipe from front to back when you are cleaning your self. Next wear cotton underwear; avoid tight pants, nylons, bubble bath, scented pads or toilet paper. It is necessary that you also avoid feminine hygiene sprays and scented or deodorant soaps for the protection of the fetus. One other main concern that physicians and midwives have is that you do not douche. I know that vaginal discharge during your pregnancy is sometimes uncomfortable and you may feel unclean but you need to understand this is just part of being pregnant. The process of douching can upset the normal balance of vaginal flora and increase your risk of a vaginal infection. Douching has been noted in some rare cases to introduce air into your circulatory system through the vagina, which can cause serious complications. Keeping your self clean and wearing panty liners is the safest way to go when you are pregnant.