The Truth about Vaginal Discharge during Pregnancy

Some women experience an increase in vaginal discharge during pregnancy.

Granny panties not only accommodate your growing belly but are also guilt free “throw aways”considering all the unexpected things that may happen “down there” during pregnancy.

Let’s look at some of the most common leaks and whether they are mere annoyances or signs of a problem that requires medical attention.

#1. Seeing red

This is not unusual for pregnant women, especially after intercourse or a pelvic exam. However, any bleeding during pregnancy is a good reason to call your doctor or midwife, just to be safe.

#2. Yeast infection
  • Symptoms

If you experience itching, redness and soreness in the vaginal area whether or not you are pregnant, these could be symptoms of a yeast infection. Yeast infections are also characterized by an odorless, white, cottage cheese-like vaginal discharge. You may also experience burning while you urinate or pain during intercourse.

  • Is it normal?

Yeast infections are normal during pregnancy because of the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy.

  • How to deal

Consult your doctor.

Medical prescriptions, over-the-counter vaginal creams or suppositories may be necessary. However, if you catch early enough probiotics and a clove of fresh garlic may be all you need!
#3. Leaking

If you’re not sure if you’re leaking urine or amniotic fluid, you may need a visit to the doctor or midwife. Other than that, the only way to tell whether it’s urine or amniotic fluid leaking is to note how often it happens. If you only leak occasionally, such as when laughing, coughing or sneezing, its probably pee.

  • Normal?

Yes. Leaking urine occurs due to pressure on the bladder caused by the growing uterus.

  • How to deal

Kegels exercises.

Contracting and releasing the pelvic floor muscles helps some women with bladder control issues. Try the kegels in a squat position to make them more effective.

#4. Amniotic fluid
  • Symptoms

If you’re leaking fluid continuously and it’s clear, green, brown, yellow or tinged pink it’s probably amniotic fluid.

If you aren’t sure, put on a pad and lie down for 30 minutes. If you feel a small gush when getting up, it’s amniotic fluid.

  • Normal?

Not until you’re in early labor. You should never leak amniotic fluid unless your days away from giving birth.  Keep in mind, it’s also normal to have your water break and not go into labor immediately so it’s not necessarily cause for panic.

  • How to deal.

Call your doctor or midwife.

#7. Bacterial vaginosis
  • Symptoms

This is an infection caused by a bacteria imbalance. It can produce a fishy smelling vaginal discharge most noticeable after having sex.

This infection may be accompanied by burning and itching.

  • Normal?

No. Bacterial vaginosis can ascend into the uterus and cause preterm birth due to ruptured membranes.

  • How to deal

Consult your doctor immediately. Prescription medication can clear up the infection without endangering the fetus.

#8. Sexually Transmitted Diseases


  • Chlamydia

Chlamydia may produce a discharge that is slightly odorous or none at all.

  • Gonorrhea

A yellowish vaginal discharge is sometimes the symptom of a gonorrhea.

  • Trichinosis

A foamy, yellowish green discharge accompanied by itching is associated with trichinosis or trich.

All these infections cause painful intercourse and urination.

  • Normal?

No. An STD during pregnancy can lead to a preterm birth and uterine infection after delivery. Some organisms causing STDs can pass through the placenta into the fetus.

  • How to deal

Get tested. Most STDs can be treated safely during pregnancy with antibiotics.

If you absolutely need to take antibiotics during pregnancy, make sure to take probiotics immediately after to replenish all the good bacteria you need to keep you and Baby healthy!


For more information on health during pregnancy read our other articles:


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