Pregnancy symptoms can be as confusing as they are grotesque. Sure, your boobs are sore, your stomach is growing practically tenfold overnight, your sense of smell is beyond insane. But one thing you probably didn’t anticipate is having a veritable swamp of fluid between your legs at all times. Welcome to discharging during pregnancy!
One of the earliest signs of pregnancy is increased discharge, and like or not, this will continue throughout pregnancy. It will often vary in thickness or frequency. Just know what to expect, so you’re not stressin.’
Normally vaginal discharge (aka leukorrhea) takes on a thin, clear or milky white consistency, which rarely smells. Changes in your vaginal discharge can begin as early as one to two weeks after conception. As your pregnancy goes on, it becomes more noticeable and will continue this way throughout the duration of your pregnancy. This is due to changes in your hormone levels as well as changes to the cervix. As the cervix and vagnial walls soften, your body will produce more discharge to help prevent infection. Additionally, your baby’s head might also be pushing up against your cervix, which leads to increased vaginal discharge.
It’s important to let your healthcare provider know about any abnormal discharge, as it could signal an infection or problem with your pregnancy. like a yeast infection, which is super common.
Here are some signs of abnormal discharge:
- yellow, green, or gray color
- strong and foul odor
- accompanied by redness or itching, or vulvar swelling
If you develop a yeast infection during pregnancy, your doctor may recommend a vaginal cream or suppository. To avoid a yeast infection, remember to wear loose, breathable clothing, easy cotton undies (bc are we really wearing anything else right now? Lacey thongs, we’re looking at you), dry your genitals after showering, swimming, or exercising and add yogurt and other fermented foods to your diet to promote healthy bacteria.
Abnormal discharge could also signal a complication in your pregnancy. Call your medical provider ASAP if you see bright red discharge that exceeds an ounce. This could be a sign of placenta previa or placental abruption.
If you do call your doctor, just remember when the changes to your vaginal discharge began as well as any defining characteristics. This will help your doctor determine if your discharge is cause for concern.