Do you have vaginal discharge with a mild smell? Is your discharge thicker?
Why am I having so much vaginal discharge?
Vaginal discharge is very common in pregnancy and generally harmless. This is called leucorrhoea. It is similar to the discharge that you might experience between periods but heavier. This is due to the increased blood flow to the cervix and vaginal area and is a form of protection by maintaining the normal bacterial environment in the vagina.
How do I deal with the increase in vaginal discharge?
This is a normal physiological change that occurs in pregnancy and nothing special is required to deal with it. You might like to follow these simple tips:
- keep the vaginal area dry & clean
- use soap only on the outer area of the vagina
- wear loose clothing
- wear cotton underwear
- wear a panty liner if this makes you feel more comfortable and dry
DO NOT douche (washing or cleaning with water or other fluids) the vagina as this may irritate the surrounding skin and upset the natural bacterial environment in the vagina. It can even lead to vaginal infections during pregnancy.
When should I worry about my vaginal discharge?
If your discharge has the following changes, you should seek medical attention and have it assessed for any possible infection:
- Unpleasant and fishy smell
- Frothy and the colour is yellow or green
- Thick and curd-like discharge
- Discharge is associated with pain while passing urine
- Vagina/vulva area is sore
These may be symptoms of a vaginal infection, either bacterial or a yeast infection. It is best to have it looked at and treated if required. Another important thing to note is that if the discharge becomes brown or is blood-stained, this might mean that you have some light spotting or bleeding. You should seek medical advice from your doctor if this happens.
By Dr Claudine Tan, Specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, SBCC Women’s Clinic.
*Update: Dr Claudine Tan is no longer practising at SBCC Women’s Clinic
This article was first published in The New Age Parents e-magazine.
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