Tuesday, 1 September 2020

How Much Discharge is Normal in Pregnancy

how much discharge is normal in pregnancy


Vaginal discharge is one common sign noticed during early pregnancy. But how much discharge is normal in pregnancy?

 Let's start by talking about normal vaginal discharge.


What is vaginal discharge?

Vaginal discharge is the normal fluid released by glands in the vagina, uterus, and cervix. The colour can vary from clear to milky white. Consistency can vary from thin to thick white discharge. This variation depends on the time in your menstrual cycle.  

Discharge is thicker when you ovulate, when you breastfeed or when you are sexually aroused. Vaginal discharge can also increase with pregnancy. Normal vaginal discharge performs the function of helping to clean and protect the vagina.

So yes, it is possible for normal vaginal discharge to increase during pregnancy. Almost all women have increased vaginal discharge during pregnancy. The increase is caused by increased estrogen and vaginal blood flow during pregnancy. This discharge helps to prevent infections from moving up from the vagina to the uterus in pregnancy.

Vaginal discharge changes during pregnancy just like in the menstrual cycle. It is usually thin, milky white or colourless. Another name for this is leukorrhea. As the pregnancy progresses, the discharge helps to form a mucus plug which blocks the cervix to prevent infections from travelling up into the uterus. At the end of pregnancy, the mucus plug breaks down and comes out as clumps or pinkish mucous streaks. This is called the "bloody show" and means birth is approaching.

However, it is important to note some types of discharges could be signs of an infection or pregnancy complication. Speak to your health care provider if you notice any of the following:

  • Itching around the vagina
  • Pain or soreness during urination
  • Foul or fishy smell
  • Green or yellow coloured discharge
  • Bleeding
  • Very watery or excessive discharge
It is important to visit your doctor if you notice any of these types of discharge so your doctor can prescribe the appropriate medication and manage any impending complication.
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