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Vaginal discharge during pregnancy – what you should know

Know what does your vaginal discharge say about your health during pregnancy.

While every part of your body experiences change during pregnancy, your vagina is no different. In fact, excessive vaginal discharge during pregnancy is a common occurrence. This happens for a reason: bacteria in the discharge helps keep infection at bay and protects the delicate area from symptoms like itching, burning or swelling. However, vaginal discharge during pregnancy could predict a lot about your health status too. Here are a few signs of vaginal discharge that you should be watchful of.

Clear white and odour-free discharge

This is common during pregnancy due to various hormonal changes happening inside the body. In fact, a clear white and odour-free discharge indicates that the vaginal area is lubricated enough to save you from excessive dryness which could lead to painful itching and burning sensation in the area.

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When to worry: If you notice excessive clear liquid flowing out of your vagina, chances are it could be amniotic fluid leaking or even urine. In that case it is important to seek medical intervention promptly as leaking of amniotic fluid or even urine before going into labour could indicate a medical emergency. Here is what you need to know about excessive vaginal discharge.

Thin greyish-white discharge

The vagina houses good bacteria that keep the area safe from infections and allergies. However, during pregnancy due to shift in hormone secretions. there can be an overload of bacterial accumulation in the sensitive area. This excess of bacterial accumulation can disrupt the normal balance of good bacteria and give rise to a type of infection called bacterial vaginosis. This condition is characterised by thin greenish-white discharge along with pain during urination and itching around the vagina.

When to worry: This condition usually settles on its own. If you are in your first trimester, your doctor might want to wait for a while before prescribing antibiotics. However, delaying a treatment for bacterial vaginosis could be fatal as the infection can travel through the birth canal and affect the health of the fetus, leading to low birth weight. Recurring bacterial vaginosis can also lead to infertility or damage the fallopian tube in women who are not pregnant. Here are seven tips to keep the vagina clean and healthy.

White-yellowish discharge

This kind of discharge is indicative of a yeast infection in the vagina. Like bacteria, yeast called Candida is also present in the vagina naturally. However, due to an increased production of estrogen and progesterone in the body, the vaginal area creates a cosy environment for the yeast to thrive and grow, hence the yellowish discharge. Apart from this, the yeast infection could also lead to pain and swelling in the vagina, discomfort during intercourse, redness and swelling around the labia and a burning sensation while urinating.

When to worry: The symptoms of yeast infections are very common to those of sexually transmitted diseases or STDs. So beware of the symptoms during pregnancy when your immunity is low. If your symptoms don't settle down within three days after experiencing them, talk to your doctor for better evaluation. Such type of infection can be easily passed to the baby during birthing, especially if you deliver your baby through normal delivery. Here is all that you need to know about yeast infections.

Frothy greenish-yellow foul-smelling discharge

This kind of discharge should make you concerned. A frothy greenish-yellow foul-smelling discharge is usually due to a parasite called trichomonas vaginalis. This is transmitted sexually and typically lives in the vagina. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), trichomoniasis is very common during pregnancy and is also curable. Apart from a greenish-yellow discharge, the infection also leads to itching, burning and irritation during sexual intercourse.

When to worry: With an STD infection during pregnancy, you shouldn t delay getting medical help. In fact, the infection can interfere with the growth and development of your baby and lead to other complications. Also, there are quite high chances that you pass the infection to your baby during labour. So get treated for the same before it is too late. To limit such infections during pregnancy, practise safe sex and use a condom every time you have an intercourse.

Image source: Getty images


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