Things you need to know
-Fluctuations in discharge texture and colour can mean due changes in estrogen and progesterone throughout your cycle.
-The cervix and vaginal walls soften during pregnancy and discharge increases to prevent infections.
-It is important to understand that your vagina is a self-cleansing area of your body.
Vaginal discharge during pregnancy
The vagina is working around the clock to ensure the cervix is moist, sealed and healthy by producing liquid. Consult your doctor or midwife if your discharge is of strange colour, smells terrible, or makes your vaginal area uncomfortable or irritated. It’s possible that you’re infected. Pregnancy can be as perplexing as it is enthralling, and it’s not always clear what changes are natural and what situations are alarming. Vaginal discharge also called leukorrhea might change in terms of consistency, thickness, regularity and amount.
Ever wondered what is leukorrhea?
Let’s dig a little deeper into the concept of leukorrhea, it is a medical and more refined term for thick white discharge during pregnancy. It is a vaginal discharge that is a by-product of a healthy vagina. White discharge is mostly made up of a mucus-like layer carrying your body’s cells This liquid moisturises the vaginal tissues while also removing contaminants. It can range in thickness from watery to stiff, although it usually has a thin, slippery, and/or sticky consistency. Some individuals are prone to having only a tiny chunk of leukorrhea, while others produce a large amount.
Why leukorrhea happens?
Leukorrhea can happen due to varying reasons:
1- Unusual leukorrhea may be caused by infections with bacteria, yeast, or other microbes
2- Many sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhoea and chlamydia, are major reasons for leukorrhea because they involve the transfer of viruses or bacteria
3- The discharge is caused by increased hormones and vaginal blood flow. As your cervix and vaginal walls temper during pregnancy, it provides protection from infections
Defining colors of vaginal discharge: What do they mean?
- White/Milky white is a sign of healthy discharge but can be due to yeast infection
- Underlining reason for yellow and green discharge can be due to sexually transmitted infection
- Red discharge might be alarming due to many reasons such as mensuration, cervical infection, cervical polyp and endometrial or cervical cancer
- Pink discharge may be due to cervical bleeding, vaginal irritation and implantation bleeding
- Grey colour discharge can be due to bacterial vaginosis
- The clear discharge indicates a healthy discharge or may be due to ovulation and hormonal imbalances
Is leukorrhea normal and how is it helpful for your body?
The vagina is a self-cleaning area of the body. If any cleaning is required, leukorrhea helps in fulfilling the task of cleansing your vagina without any external support. The increased leukorrhea during pregnancy aids in the removal of dead cells from the vaginal walls helps in the prevention of infection and assists in the maintenance of “good” bacteria in the vagina. Leukorrhea works to maintain the vaginal area and keep it clean and clear of infection, which becomes crucial during pregnancy.
Treating vaginal discharge during pregnancy
- Always prefer using unscented personal care products which include feminine hygiene items, body wash, face wash and other toiletries
- Wear pads or panty liners to absorb excess discharge
- Do not forget to wipe the genital area always from front to back after urinating
- Remember to dry your genital area thoroughly after taking shower or swimming
- The underwear fabric should be a breathable fabric making it comfortable to wear for a longer duration
- Skip tight clothes and nylon fabric clothes which might increase the risk of infection
- Your diet should be healthy, full of essential nutrients and there shouldn’t be too much sugar in the food items as it might trigger yeast infections
- Stick to probiotic food and supplements only as suggested by your healthcare provider
The approach used for each patient is different and it is ideal to know the cause of discharge during pregnancy. Your obstetrician will prescribe appropriate medicines if you have got a bacterial infection during pregnancy. If by any chance the discharge is caused by sexually transmitted illnesses, on the other hand, your healthcare practitioner will try to treat it to relieve the symptoms.
It is always best to determine the problem instead of delaying it and spending too much time fretting and overthinking something that might or might not be true. During pregnancy, your body keeps on changing and it is in the best interest of the patient to stay informed.
It has no negative effects on the baby throughout pregnancy or delivery. Vaginal thrush is characterised by severe itching and clumps of white discharge.
Bathe regularly and keep yourself clean throughout the day. Keeping the area clean and dry helps to keep bacteria in check and prevents vaginal infections.
In some women discharge during pregnancy can be on a regular basis and normal vaginal discharge is transparent or milky, with a faint odour that is not unpleasant. But, it is also crucial to understand that vaginal discharge varies throughout a woman’s menstrual cycle.