White, milky vaginal discharge is sometimes the first sign and symptom of pregnancy that a woman observes. It is common to notice an increase in white, milky discharge, especially if pregnancy is likely. This kind of vaginal discharge is very normal and often referred to as leukorrhea, or "white flow." It is typically odorless or has only a mild odor. It is generally milky white in appearance. If you notice an increase in discharge and there is a possibility that you might be pregnant, take a home pregnancy test. Discharge is typically normal when colorless and odorless, and has been reported by many women as a sign of early pregnancy.
Aside from the "normal" leukorrhea associated with pregnancy, however, there are other possible reasons for vaginal discharge. Some of these reasons are normal, while others may require further diagnostic tests and treatment. As long as the vaginal discharge you are experiencing has no odor, and is not accompanied by burning or itching, it may be an early pregnancy sign. However, if your vaginal discharge is foul-smelling, itchy, and/or is a color other than clear or milky white, you should see your gynecologist immediately. Your doctor will need to examine you because you could have a viral or bacterial infection or a sexually transmitted disease that must be treated. Read here for more information on causes and treatment of vaginal discharge.
The vaginal discharge that you might see in your underwear or when you wipe could range in color from milky white to pinkish-brown. It is caused by the increase in your estrogen levels and more blood flow to your vagina. It may look like you are spotting, especially if you see it around the time your normal menstrual cycle would begin. The pinkish brown color is a little bit of blood that could be left over from your previous menstrual cycle and is nothing to become alarmed about.
While some women watch their vaginal discharge as an indicator of ovulation, others notice it when they are trying to determine if they might be pregnant. This discharge associate with pregnancy is comprised of secretions from the vagina and the cervix, as well as cells from the vagina walls and normal bacterial from the vagina. The cervical secretions actually increase in order to create a mucus plug, which creates a protective door to your womb, and will stay there until shortly before labor begins. If you typically pay attention to how much discharge you usually have throughout the month, you may not have any trouble noticing an increase in vaginal secretions, and this could be your first indicator that you might be pregnant.
Not every woman experiences this type of vaginal discharge, so not seeing the discharge does not mean that you aren't pregnant. Not all women experience the same pregnancy symptoms; you could be pregnant and not have this particular early symptom. The surest way to determine whether you are pregnant is to see your doctor for a pregnancy test.