Pregnancy days are the worst for your anxiety. You tend to worry about everything under the sun – is my baby getting enough nutrition, is my baby comfortable, is my body supposed to be this big, is my belly okay, will I be able to get back to normal? Sigh. You’ll probably have 100 questions.
One of those burning questions that moms always have is about their vaginal discharge. What color is normal? What does this color mean? It is supposed to smell this way?
Well, don’t you worry your head about this. Obstetrician-gynecologist Dr Christopher Chong says that in women who are not pregnant, their normal discharge is usually clear, or white, without any smell or curd-like materials.
But when you’re pregnant, you need to pay attention to what comes out of your down-there. If you happen to see anything that you think is abnormal, then you might have to visit your doctor and bug them about it.
However, here are some common leaks and what problems they might signal:
1. White or curd-like
A cheesy discharge could possibly mean a yeast infection. Your hormonal changes can cause extra sugar to be produced in vaginal secretions, and yeast likes sugar. So yeast infection is definitely possible, and it may even itch and become red and sore to the point where you might feel pains when you pee.
While this might not be harmful by itself, yeast infections can cause your immunity to drop. This can cause more infections to come in, so you need to be careful about that.
You’ll have to be upfront with your doc and take any medication they give. Drinking curd or yogurt can also help – probiotics keep yeast away.
2. Bad smell
You can have a funky smell in your vaginas, which might indicate an infection or even just bleeding. If your discharge smells fishy, though, it can be caused by a bacterial infection. The smell may become more obvious to you after sex. Bacterial vaginosis happens due to an imbalance of bacteria in the vag!na, accompanied by an itch or a burning sensation.
If the infection escalates, it can induce premature labour, causing membranes to rupture. It would be best to visit your gynaecologist and get it checked.
3. Yellowish/Greenish discharge
These are colours you normally don’t see in your discharge, so you might be alarmed to see them. Yellow/green discharge can be due to an infection known as UTI or even a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
For example, gonorrhea causes people to have a yellowish discharge, while trichomoniasis can produce a frothy, yellowish green discharge. These infections are totally unsafe for your baby and can be passed to them via the amniotic fluid, so visit your gynae right away if you suspect you have picked up an infection. Most can be treated.
4. Bloody discharge
In some cases, bloody discharge or spotting can mean a miscarriage in early pregnancy, whereas it can be a sign of early labour in late pregnancy. “Any blood in the discharge is abnormal till proven otherwise, so you will need to visit the gynaecologist for an assessment,” Dr Chong says.
But it’s also normal to spot after you’ve had sex, since the cervix can be raw and bleed easily. “If the foetal heartbeat is obvious, and the bleeding doesn’t persist, most pregnancies will progress normally,” he notes.
5. Amniotic fluid
This one is a little tricky. An amniotic fluid leak doesn’t have to be a huge leak. It can just be a small trickle or a slow leak. Since your bladder becomes full faster during pregnancy, you may sometimes even confuse this with your urine leak.
It’s advisable to empty your bladder and then put on a new pad, examine the discharge in half an hour. It it is amniotic fluid, it will be colorless or a slight pinkish tinge. It is also odourless, so it’ll be easy to detect.
There are a few tests that your doctor might advise you to take to check if it really is an amniotic fluid leak.
This one’s pretty easy to figure out. If you feel like you’re leaking fluid every time you laugh, sneeze, cough you might be leaking urine. Many moms experience this as your urinary muscles would be weaker when you’re pregnant, and you might have lesser control over your bladder. Kegel exercises are known to help you improve your bladder control.
The most important point, though, is to keep yourself hydrated. Water is super important and is responsible for most of your bodily functions being okay.