Vaginal Discharge General Information
The word "change" is synonymous with pregnancy. Some of the changes are beautiful and expected others are not on the list of the top 10 wonderful parts of pregnancy. Vaginal discharge is common in both pregnant women and women who are not pregnant. In pregnant women, however, there can be an increase in vaginal discharge that could either be normal, associated with an infection, or linked to impending labor.
Normal Vaginal Discharge During Pregnancy
For the first two trimesters, thick, white mucus will often be noticed in the panties. This is called leucorrhea and every pregnant woman will see this vaginal discharge during pregnancy. The leucorrhea will have a slight smell and be visibly noticeable. The pregnant women can wear a maxi pad, pantiliner or disposable underwear if she is concerned about the vaginal discharge.
Tampons and vaginal douche are not recommended during pregnancy. Tampons are not sterile and infection is not something a mom wants to introduce to the unborn fetus or the reproductive system. Douche, as well, can rinse away the healthy bacteria of the vagina that prevent infection. With those bacteria gone, infection can grow quickly and could cause pregnancy complications.
Not so Normal Vaginal Discharge During Pregnancy
There are times when infections do become a part of a woman's pregnancy. These can include vaginal yeast and other infections. The symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection include green or yellow vaginal discharge during pregnancy, itching and foul smell. If a pregnant woman notices any of these changes in vaginal discharge during pregnancy, the obstetrician needs to be notified immediately. Do NOT take matters into your own hands and try to treat the infection with over the counter products unless directed to do so by your Ob / Gyn.
Third Trimester Vaginal Discharge During Pregnancy
It is during the third trimester that women often notice their vaginal discharge a bit more. This is not because of a change necessarily, but because of the impending shedding of the mucus plug. This plug is a stopper of sorts for the cervix and when it is released that could signal the last phase of pregnancy before birth.
Many women never notice the shedding of the mucus plug, but may see spotting, bloody discharge of tinted vaginal discharge during pregnancy after the plug has shed. These are all important changes to report to your attending physician.
Safe Sex During Pregnancy
It is exceptionally important to practice safe sex during pregnancy. Vaginal discharge during pregnancy can be a symptom of an STD. While not all STDs are passed on to baby, some of the most severe, HIV included, will pass on.
Vaginal discharge during pregnancy is common and all women will have to deal with the affects at some point during the pregnancy. It is important to remember four very important tips.
- Do not use a tampon
- Do not douche
- Practice safe sex
- Report all changes in vaginal discharge to the Ob / Gyn
With these tips in hand, rest assured the pregnancy will go off without a hitch from the vaginal discharge during pregnancy. After birth, the 4 to 6 weeks of menstruation will clean out the uterus and all vaginal discharge should return to normal.