Womanhood, right after puberty, is a journey loaded with discharges of sorts. Most women often experience a white watery discharge from their vaginas, also known as vaginal leucorrhoea in medical terms. Though the amount of discharge tends to vary from woman to woman and on the basis of what point a woman is in her menstrual cycle, a white watery discharge is in fact a sign of a healthy vagina. Leukorrhea usually consists of sloughed-off dead cells and tissue.
Talking about white and watery discharges, women often experience vaginal discharges of sorts during pregnancy, also known as pregnancy discharge. Though most of these discharges are safe and healthy, there also might be some that signify the possibility of something dangerous during the pregnancy.
Read on this blog to learn and understand your pregnancy discharge better.
First Things First: What Is Watery Discharge During Pregnancy ?
Vaginal discharge during pregnancy is common and in most cases, normal. The cause and type of vaginal discharge during pregnancy highly depends on what stage of pregnancy a woman is in.
1) Vaginal discharge during early pregnancy (First trimester of pregnancy)
Typically, a clear discharge is experienced by most women during the early days of pregnancy and this can also smell slightly funny or pungent so to say. The reason for this discharge is usually the sudden spike in the estrogen levels which increase the blood flow to the vaginal area and cause fluid secretion.
2) Vaginal discharge during the second trimester of pregnancy
Unlike the clear, watery discharge in the first trimester, women typically experience discharge similar to the consistency and color of an egg-white during their second trimester. Though a milky egg white discharge is normal and caused by the hormonal imbalance as compared to pre-pregnancy, it is recommended that you see a doctor if you experience a foul-smelling or blood-like discharge at bloody discharge or foul-smelling discharge in your second trimester, it can indicate a problem. In such a case, you should consult a doctor immediately.
3) Vaginal discharge during the third trimester of pregnancy
Vaginal discharge in the third trimester of pregnancy will be very similar in consistency, color, and odor to that of the discharge in the second trimester. However, it should be noted that the presence of blood stains or a heavy flow of discharge might signify the breaking of water or preterm labor.
You will know your water has broken if the clear fluid tends to be more watery than usual, is colored (pale urine like), and has a mucus-like consistency. When a woman’s water breaks, it basically means that the amniotic fluid that nourishes and protects the baby has started to drip.
Is it Normal to Have a Watery Discharge During Pregnancy ?
As established, it is quite common for women to experience a watery discharge and it is absolutely normal unless it is accompanied by stains of blood or is unusually foul-smelling. Throughout the pregnancy, Leukorrhea is just your body’s way of clearing dead cells out of the birth canal, to promote optimal bacteria levels, and to keep you protected from possible infections.
It is also recommended to avoid douching in order to get rid of the discharge since douching can interfere with the natural balance of bacteria and could probably cause infections.
What is a Bloody Show ?
Towards the final week of the pregnancy, some women might notice stains of blood (called bloody show) and mucus in the discharge which is a sign that the body is preparing to get ready for labor. This bloody show often happens along with loss of the mucus plug. A mucus plug is the body’s natural protection that blocks your cervix, preventing infections.
Excessive Vaginal Discharge During Pregnancy: When To Call A Doctor ?
Though vaginal discharge is normal and nothing to worry about, in some cases, this discharge might signify the need to reach out to a doctor. Please contact your healthcare provider if you happen to experience any of the following.
1) Excessive blood in the discharge
As established, a small amount of blood in the discharge is common towards the last week of the pregnancy or towards the end of the term. However, if you notice blood in the early stages or if you notice a lot of blood towards the end, it could be a sign that you are going into premature labor and you should not ignore this sign.
2) Greenish-Yellow discharge
Though an egg-white-like discharge is normal, a greenish-yellow discharge might mean you are suffering from a yeast infection. Yeast infections are also often accompanied by irritation and redness in the vaginal area.
3) A discharge accompanied by itching or burning sensation
A painful, itchy, burning, foul-smelling, or generally uncomfortable excessive discharge might indicate the possibility of bacterial vaginosis. Such a discharge also usually causes a burning sensation, especially while urinating. Such a condition should be reported immediately as if left unchecked, it could cause a miscarriage or premature labor.
How to treat a watery discharge during pregnancy ?
Ideally, a vaginal discharge requires no treatment because it actually is your body’s natural method of sloughing off the useless, dead cells, and tissues. However, if your vaginal discharge is unlike a normal or a typical discharge and is caused by an underlying condition such as an infection, you will need medical attention to resolve the issue.
Besides, you can manage your vaginal discharge at home by following these tips -
- Ensure vaginal cleanliness by washing the area with clean water every day
- Use panty liners or thin cloths to keep the smell, leakage, and irritation at bay
- Certain kegel exercises can help strengthen the vaginal muscles to avoid leakage
- Always wipe the vaginal area front to back after urination/ excretion
- Avoid sugary and processed foods, especially during pregnancy as such foods can trigger yeast infections
- Hydrate! Hydration can help your body flush out the foul-smelling toxins in the discharge from your body regularly
- Try and consume foods rich in probiotics (like yogurt) as they help avoid the possibility of infections
- Avoid using soap in the vaginal areas as they disrupt the natural pH balance
- Always wash up after sexual intercourse to avoid infections and an aggravated discharge
A clear watery discharge, as you would have understood by now, is normal during pregnancies and is absolutely nothing to be worried about. We understand that a damp feeling down there might be unpleasant and the accompanied occasional smell might want you to throw up, however, hang in there momma! This is just a small price to pay for the beautiful baby you will soon give birth to! It is just necessary to understand the difference between a regular discharge and an unsafe discharge, which, we hope, you have figured out by now.
Pay attention to your watery discharge, maintain good vaginal health, watch your dietary habits, keep an open eye even for the smallest of irregularities, and have yourself medically reviewed if need be.