Pregnancy is a wonderful period for women wherein plenty of emotional, mental and physical changes occur. Lot of hormones comes into action and the womb and abdomen slowly grows in size giving room for the fetus. It is not uncommon for whitish vaginal discharge during pregnancy which is known as leukorrhea in medical terms.
Thin milk like fluid comes out of vagina during the first few weeks of pregnancy. Many women would notice this milky white discharge after they have missed the period and often this discharge continue throughout the pregnancy. The discharge becomes heavy during the final trimester of pregnancy and often women may start using panty liners.
For some women, vaginal discharge may contain strains of blood during the last term of pregnancy which is an early sign of labor. It is not good to use tampons during pregnancy since you are likely to invite infection through germs. Avoid vaginal douching totally during pregnancy since it can affect the growth of healthy bacteria inside. If you have any doubts about vaginal discharge during pregnancy you can always check with your doctor.
Symptoms Of Discharge During Pregnancy
The following symptoms are definitely a matter of concern during pregnancy :-
- Foul smelling vaginal discharge
- Strains of blood in vagina
- Yellow colored or greenish yellow vaginal discharge
- Persistent itchy feeling in vagina
- Abdominal cramps with vaginal bleeding
- If you experience any of the above symptoms you need to consult your doctor promptly. It can be vaginal infection which should be treated immediately to prevent complication.
- Candida infection is common during early stage of pregnancy which should be treated with prescription medications promptly.
If you observe any change in vaginal discharge you need to notify your doctor without any delay.
Read more on Positive Pregnancy Test
Discharge During Pregnancy Causes
Several factors can cause vaginal discharge during pregnancy.
1. Action Of Hormones
Once a woman becomes pregnant, her monthly periods would stop. As the fertilization takes place to form a zygote which gets implanted in the womb several changes may occur. Extra lining of the uterus would shed off resulting in red spots once in a while. Plenty of hormones are secreted creating changes in cervix area. The walls of the vagina and cervix become soft and it is quite common to get extra vaginal discharge.
2. Increased Discharge
As the stage of pregnancy grows into final trimester, the baby’s head may exert pressure on the vagina resulting in increased discharge.
3. Process Of Cleaning
To prevent any infection, the defense mechanism of the body would act producing plenty of hormones for keeping the vagina clean. These extra chemicals can cause increased discharge of whitish fluid from your vagina.
4. Yeast Infection
Candida infection can occur during pregnancy and gets transmitted through sex. This can cause foul smelling yellowish discharge with burning pain while passing urine. If left untreated, it can affect the growth of developing fetus. Based on the symptom, your doctor may prescribe medications and vaginal cream.
Having sex with unknown persons can result in sexually transmitted diseases. As per the recommendations of CDC every pregnant woman is to be screened for STD before the first appointment for prenatal checkup. Taking precautions and getting treated promptly can save the health of your baby.
6. Placental Abruption
In rare cases, the placenta (thin tube that connects your baby with womb) may separate from the womb either fully or partially before the labor. This can happen during the final trimester of pregnancy resulting in heavy bleeding with pain. Consult your doctor immediately since it can result in lack of oxygen supply and essential nutrients to your fetus.
7. Miscarriage or Abortion
According to the statistics, 10-20% of pregnancy ends up in miscarriage for reasons not known. Miscarriage often occurs during the first trimester 8-20 weeks of pregnancy. It can occur due to weak uterus or chromosomal abnormalities. Miscarriage can cause vaginal bleeding with abdominal cramps. Your doctor would order for ultrasound scan to check the status of uterus.
8. Premature Labor
Labor pain can suddenly start resulting in contractions of the uterus leading to the opening of cervix. This can happen during last trimester or before completion of 35 weeks. Preterm birth children are often weak and unhealthy. Symptoms of premature labor start with backache and sudden pelvic contractions for every 10 minutes which increases gradually and severe cramps in the abdomen. It can cause severe leakage of amniotic fluid from the vagina along with other symptoms resembling flu.
About 5% of pregnant women are likely to develop preeclampsia. This is a severe condition affecting women with uncontrolled blood pressure during pregnancy. Complications can develop in kidney or liver during the second trimester of pregnancy. With proper medical care vital complications can be prevented. Preeclampsia can cause increased blood pressure, high protein in the urine, blurred vision, headache, nausea and vomiting and water retention in the legs.
10. Reduced Amniotic Fluid
Sudden reduction of amniotic fluid can harm the growing baby. This condition is known as oligohydramnios in medical terms. This happens in the final stages of pregnancy and sometimes this warrant for C-section delivery.
This is another serious condition wherein the egg or zygote gets implanted outside the uterus. The egg can get implanted in the fallopian tube and induced abortion is the only option for treating ectopic pregnancy. This can cause internal bleeding and heavy vaginal discharge.
12. Placenta Previa
This is yet another serious condition wherein the placenta lies abnormally low in the womb remaining close to the cervix. This condition can cause heavy vaginal bleeding and depending on the condition of the fetus, the delivery would be induced early.
Tips For Preventing Complications During Pregnancy
- Avoid having unsafe sex during pregnancy since it is liable to infection and STD
- Avoid using scented soap and avoid vaginal douching
- Always keep your vagina clean and dry
- Wear loose cotton undergarments
- Add curd and yogurt in your daily diet
- Wear panty liners to manage occasional vaginal discharge
- Quit smoking and drinking