Most women will experience vaginal discharge at some point during their lifetime. What happens if this problem occurs during pregnancy? Is vaginal discharge during pregnancy a reason to worry? Here are some of the things that all women should know about the difference between normal and abnormal vaginal discharge during pregnancy.
Normal Vaginal Discharge During Pregnancy
According to the American Pregnancy Association, many pregnant women experience a vaginal discharge called leukorrhea. This vaginal discharge is thin, white and milky. It does have a mild odor. If you experience this type of vaginal discharge, you will not notice any signs of itching, irritation or other discomforts. While you may notice it, normal vaginal discharge during pregnancy may not seem serious enough to cause alarm.
Abnormal Vaginal Discharge During Pregnancy
It is important to be aware of the signs of abnormal vaginal discharge. Be aware of vaginal discharge which is green or yellow in color, cottage cheese-like and/or strong in odor. Also be aware of other symptoms, such as vaginal itching. Women who experience any of these symptoms during pregnancy should seek medical attention from their doctor because there is a good chance that a yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis or a sexually transmitted disease (STD) could be to blame.
Also note that any time you experience what seems like a bloody discharge during pregnancy, it is important to visit your doctor or an emergency care facility. While there are many instances in which women experience bloody discharge which does not result in miscarriage, it is one of the most recognizable signs of a loss of a baby. It is especially a reason to worry if it is accompanied by cramps. Bloody vaginal discharge, no matter how minimal, should never be taken lightly.
Avoid Treating Vaginal Symptoms without a Diagnosis
Before you turn to over-the-counter yeast infection treatments, it is important to get a proper diagnosis from a doctor. What may seem like a harmless yeast infection could be bacterial vaginosis or a STD. Even if the problem seems harmless, it can cause problems during pregnancy which can be avoided with treatment.
Bacterial vaginosis and certain STDs are thought to cause pregnancy complications, such as premature labor and low birth weights. If you do have a yeast infection, your doctor will tell you that only topical medications can be used to treat the problem, as oral medications are thought to be harmful during pregnancy. Bacterial vaginosis, which is the most common type of vaginal infection that affects women in the United States, must be treated with an antibiotic.
It is important to note take any type of discharge during pregnancy lightly. While it may not indicate a serious problem, there are some cases in which treatment may be necessary. Any time you experience vaginal discharge or changes which do not seem normal during pregnancy, the best thing that you can do is notify your doctor. While the problem is most likely harmless, there is also a possibility that you may have a vaginal infection which needs to be treated right away.
American Pregnancy Association, “Vaginal Discharge During Pregnancy.”