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Discharge during pregnancy: This can mean it

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 156 views

Increased vaginal discharge during pregnancy is normal and can be attributed to hormonal changes: it often leads to increased, clear to white and odorless discharge. However, if the discharge during pregnancy is green, brown, gray or yellow in color, smells bad and is possibly accompanied by itching or pain, an infection could be behind it. Read more about pregnancy & discharge.

Pregnancy: Discharge is often the first sign

Increased vaginal discharge is often the first indication of pregnancy. As soon as the egg cell is fertilized, the hormone estrogen, among other things, is increasingly produced. It increases the blood flow to the vaginal mucosa, which is why more fluid is released to the outside. The glands in the cervix and the so-called Bartholin glands on the inside of the labia minora are also more active and secrete more secretions.

This normal discharge during pregnancy is thin, clear to white and odorless. The largest part is made up of shed cells of the vaginal wall. In addition, there are electrolytes , urea , free fatty acids and various immune cells in the discharge.

Pregnancy: Increased discharge as protection against germs

The increased discharge during pregnancy cleans the vaginal canal to a certain extent and thus protects against invaders such as pathogenic bacteria or fungi. “Good” bacteria of the normal vaginal flora also contribute to this: This consists of countless important bacteria – above all lactic acid bacteria (lactobacteria). They bind to certain surface molecules (glycoreceptors) of the cells in the vaginal wall and thus prevent disease-causing bacteria from docking and settling. In addition, lactobacteria produce hydrogen peroxide and other substances that inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria.

The natural bacterial flora of the vagina keeps pathogens from spreading. However, if the balance shifts and pathogenic germs gain the upper hand, an infection occurs. During pregnancy, women are somewhat more susceptible to such vaginal infections due to hormonal changes. The color of the secretion often changes – for example, a greenish or brown discharge develops.

Pregnant: discharge from diseases

If the discharge changes consistency or color (yellow-greenish, green, brown, or gray), smells bad, and/or is accompanied by itching or pain, you should seek urgent medical attention. Then there is a high probability of an infection behind it that needs to be treated. Because some infections can be associated with complications such as premature labor, premature rupture of membranes and premature birth , such as bacterial vaginosis. This is not uncommon: it occurs in about every fifth pregnant woman.

Tips for vaginal discharge during pregnancy

  • Avoid tampons because they can increase the risk of vaginal infections, especially if the tampon is not changed regularly.
  • Prefer non-plastic panty liners or pads.
  • Wear cotton panties and avoid tight pants.
  • Pay attention to regular intimate hygiene with water. You can also use a pH-neutral and fragrance-free cleaning product for the intimate area.
  • Do not overdo it with intimate hygiene, otherwise you destroy the natural bacterial flora and thus encourage infections.
  • Vaginal douches or intimate sprays must not be used to protect the child.
  • Eat probiotics . The healthy vaginal environment can benefit from this.

This advice will help you deal with the sometimes annoying increased discharge of pregnancy and prevent vaginal infections.

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