Vaginal discharge during pregnancy – what’s normal and what isn’t?

Vaginal discharge is perfectly normal in pregnancy, you only need to be concerned if there are noticeable changes in its colour or consistency.

What is normal discharge like?

Women who are not pregnant also have vaginal discharge, but it’s produced in larger quantities by pregnant women because of their higher levels of oestrogen and increased blood flow in the vagina.

During pregnancy, discharge has a gelatinous consistency rather like egg whites and it’s colourless and odourless. Its role is to protect the vagina from infections.

How can I make myself more comfortable?

If your vaginal discharge is causing you discomfort, you can use daily liners. Do not use tampons: microbes can enter the vagina with these, and there’s a risk you might develop infections that could be dangerous for the foetus.

Vaginal douches are banned: they can destroy the vaginal flora and cause infections. Also, air bubbles could get into the blood vessels of the vagina, which are dilated during pregnancy and if the air bubbles reach the blood, they can cause serious damage.

When do you need to be concerned?

During pregnancy, you should consult your doctor if:

  • Your vaginal discharge has become watery or includes traces of blood – this could point to amniotic fluid loss, which can lead to premature birth;
  • The vaginal discharge is accompanied by pain during urination or during sex, by an itching or burning sensation, it has changed consistency, colour (possibly yellowish, greenish or grey) and has an unpleasant smell – these are all signs of infection.

These situations require urgent medical attention. Infections developed during pregnancy are easy to treat if they are detected on time, but an untreated infection can lead to premature birth or miscarriage. If there are any changes to your vaginal discharge then seek medical help immediately.