Early Pregnancy Discharge (Leukorrhea):Should Pregnant Women Be Concerned?


Early pregnancy discharge can be white color or yellow with offensive smell. Some pregnant women have a lot more early pregnancy discharge or vaginal discharge than others. If you are one of these pregnant women and are concerned about it, you should know that this occurrence is quite normal.

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This early pregnancy discharge is known as Leukorrhea. It is a mild smelling or odorless mucous-based discharge that is clear or milky in consistency. The amount of discharge during early stages of pregnancy is generally greater as compared to before conceiving. This is the result of the increased production of estrogen and enhanced blood flow to the vagina. A normal early pregnancy discharge contains about 4 ml per day of transparent or white discharge ranging in consistency from thin to thick. The discharge is made of secretions from the vagina and cervix, bacterial flora normally found in the vagina and the old cells that came from the vaginal wall.

At the onset of pregnancy, expectant mothers may have early pregnancy discharge that is tinged with blood or spotting. Spotting is an early symptom of pregnancy in many women. This is called implantation bleeding as the fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterus.

It is also likely that pregnant women will notice that there is another type of discharge when they are nearing labor. But this discharge may look different from the usual pregnancy discharge expectant mothers are accustomed to. Early pregnancy discharge or cervical excretions will fill the cervical canal and create a protective barrier during very early pregnancy days. This is otherwise known as mucus plug. As the cervix of the woman begins to thin out and then open up, this will likely result to the expulsion of the mucus plug. Pregnant women nearing childbirth will notice these secretions resembling egg white or mucus. Sometimes the discharge maybe tinged with small spots of blood.

Is early pregnancy discharge something to be concerned about?

There are a lot of questions from women concerning the discharges they see when they are pregnant. When you see thinner and clearer discharge, this can be hard to discern if it is simply mucus or if you are discharging amniotic fluid. If you have the slightest doubt, you should seek your doctor or midwife. Contact them right away if you are pregnant and have not reached the 37th week of pregnancy yet and you notice this type of discharge or if there is any change in the appearance of your discharge. This is imperative if you notice your discharge has become watery or bloody, or even slightly tinged with pink or brown, as this may indicate preterm labor.

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If you suspect infection, contact your OB/GYNE right away. If the discharge you have is odorless and whitish but you feel pain during intercourse or urination, itching, soreness or burning, these may be signs of yeast infection. If the discharge is grayish or thin white coupled with a fishy smell after a sexual intercourse, this could be a sign pointing to bacterial vaginosis.

If the early pregnancy discharge is greenish or yellowish and frothy with unpleasant odor, it could be a sign of trichomoniasis which is a kind of sexually transmitted disease that is fairly common. Other symptoms that could be associated with trichomoniasis include itchy or irritated vagina or vulva, and discomfort during urination or intercourse.

If the early pregnancy discharge you are experiencing causes you worry, do not hesitate to consult your health care provider. It is not advisable to self-treat using prescription or even over-the-counter medicines as some of these may only worsen the infection, or cause harm to you and your unborn child. The symptoms of such infections are not easy to distinguish so it is important to seek professional medical help in order for you to get the appropriate treatment.

Early pregnancy discharge: Things to Do

If the early pregnancy discharge has got nothing to do with any infection then this is normal although it can be quite discomforting to some pregnant women who are not used to this kind of flow and there is nothing they can do about it. Panty liners can be an option in order to absorb the discharges if needed be. Note that you should not use tampons when you are pregnant.

To keep the area of the genitals healthy particularly during early pregnancy discharge, keep the area clean with water – from the back to the front and wear underwear made of cotton. Avoid materials that will irritate such as nylons, tight pants, sprays for feminine hygiene, deodorant or scented soaps, toilet paper or scented pads and bubble bath. Do not do douche since douching can alter the normal balance of the vaginal flora and increase the risk of infection of the vagina. Midwives and doctors do not encourage women douching when they are pregnant because there are certain cases it will give access of air into the circulatory system via the vagina which results to various serious complications.

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