Pregnancy should be a time of wonder and joy. You created a beautiful little human and that human will soon be joining your family. Unfortunately, not all aspects of pregnancy are roses. In fact, some are downright gross.
Watery discharge is one of those gross aspects. There are many different possible causes of watery discharge during pregnancy; some are normal and some are not. Please read on to see which signs are normal and healthy, which signs are cause for concern, and what you can or should do about it.
Is Watery Discharge During Pregnancy Normal?
The short answer is: usually. Some discharge is quite common in all women but may be more prevalent in women who are pregnant. A little bit of watery discharge can actually be a sign that you are healthy, clean, and free from infection.
Watery discharge usually means that the good bacteria that live down there is doing its job by making your secretions acidic. When your secretions become acidic, they can fight off bad bacteria and get rid of dead cells.
Normal Causes of Discharge During Pregnancy
If you are pregnant, there are several other normal causes behind the discharge and some that might signal you have a complication.
Leukorrhea is fairly common explanation behind watery discharge and usually occurs around the first trimester. This discharge is usually very watery or milky white and is almost always completely harmless, even though it does have a mild odor.
It is perfectly normal to have up to a teaspoon worth of leukorrhea every day. The surge in estrogen during the first trimester helps your body make this discharge, which helps maintain a healthy acidic pH.
Unfortunately, leaking a little bit of urine is quite common in pregnancy, especially in the third trimester. When your baby gets bigger and starts darting around in there, a pressure is added to your bladder and can sometimes squeeze a few drops out.
The best way to determine whether or not it is urine is to pay attention to when it happens. If you are only leaking fluid when your baby moves positions or you cough, sneeze, or laugh, it is probably urine and nothing to worry about.
You can combat this leaking urine by doing some Kegel exercises. These exercises involve contracting and releasing the muscles around your bottom region This process will strengthen your muscles and help you control your bladder.
3. Amniotic Fluid
Amniotic fluid is usually odorless and clear, but may also be yellow or pink. Unlike urine, leaking amniotic fluid doesn't always happen sporadically. If your membranes have ruptured, you will generally continue to leak fluid.
If you are unsure if it is amniotic fluid or urine, put on a pad and lie down for approximately 30 minutes. Stand up and see if you feel a small gush. If you do feel a gush, you are probably leaking amniotic fluid and should contact your doctor immediately.
If the amniotic fluid is brown or green you should also contact your doctor right away. This could be a sign of complications in your pregnancy.
What to Do and What Not to Do
While you might be breathing a sigh of relief now that you know that most discharge is normal, it is still pretty gross to have cold and damp panties on or to emit a nasty odor from your body, especially if you are in the middle of getting intimate with your man.
Luckily, there are some things that you can do to feel more comfortable although there are also some things you should definitely never do during a pregnancy:
Line your panties with breathable pads to absorb the fluid and keep your panties dry.
Change your panties often. I'm sure you've already purchased some roomy maternity panties, but you might want to invest in a few extra ones.
Wash the surface of your entire bottom area with wipes or warm water to reduce the bacteria.
Keep (or start) taking those pregnancy vitamins to boost your system and protect your body against infections.
AVOID using soaps (internally) or douches. A little bit of discharge is necessary to keep you clean down there. Douches can kill off that good bacteria that your body needs to fight off that bad bacteria.
Abnormal Causes of Watery Discharge During Pregnancy
As I mentioned earlier, most causes of watery discharge during pregnancy are really nothing more than your body doing natural things to keep you healthy. There are, however, a few of those rare occasions that something could be wrong. Abnormal causes of watery discharge include the following:
1. Yeast Infection
A yeast infection occurs when your your bottom region’s normal levels of acid and yeast are out of balance, allowing the yeast to overgrow into a yeast infection. During pregnancy, especially in the second trimester, a yeast infection is more common than at any other time in a woman's life.
The discharge during a yeast infection can be identified by its white, cottage cheese appearance and its odd smell that is similar to yeast or bread.
A yeast infection may cause slight redness, irritation, or itching. You should contact your doctor to get a prescription for oral medications or topical ointments and to rule out sexually transmitted infections as the signs are very similar.
2. Sexually Transmitted Infections or Sexually Transmitted Diseases
While a clear and watery discharge is usually not a symptom of a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or a sexually transmitted disease (STD), it could be an early tell-tale sign if it is slightly odorous, yellow-green, or painful.
Having an STI or STD, such as chlamydia, can cause you to go into preterm labor or uterine infection. Some organisms that cause infections or diseases can pass through the placenta and affect your unborn baby, while others can be transmitted to the baby during delivery.
It's best to see your doctor right away if you think you could have an infection or disease.
3. Bacterial Vaginosis
When there is an extreme imbalance in the bacteria down there, it can be due to bacterial vaginosis (BV). BV is often present without any signs or symptoms other than a slight itching or burning and a fish-like odor that is most noticeable after intercourse.
While BV starts out as an infection, it can occasionally ascend up into the uterus and cause a premature rupture of your membranes, causing your baby to be born prematurely.
If you think there is any possibility that this has happened to you, you need to see your doctor ASAP so he or she can give you medicines that will clear it up without endangering your baby.
When You Should Contact Your Doctor
There are some signs and symptoms that you should never ignore during any trimester of your pregnancy. The following signs could mean there is something seriously wrong with your body or that your baby is in danger. You should notify your doctor immediately if any of the following things occur:
Strong Gush of Liquid
Strong Odor (Like Fish or Bread)
Unusual Color (Green or Brown)
Blood or Blood Clumps in Discharge
To Wrap Up…
You should now have a better understanding of which types of discharge mean you are healthy and normal and which ones could mean there is something very wrong. I wish you the best of luck throughout your pregnancy and would like to encourage you to leave a comment below introducing yourself.