Vaginal discharge may start from around the middle to end of the first trimester and proceed till the end of your delivery. Normal vaginal discharge during pregnancy is harmless and has a mild smell. This is called leukorrhea. The discharge may become heavy as labour approaches.
The fluids produced by the cervix clean the vaginal canal and protect it from infection. However in some cases, you may suffer from a yeast infection or your genitals may be infected. Contact your doctor if the vaginal discharge includes a foul odour, a color other than usual, itching, or warts. Also let your doctor know if you have other symptoms such as fever or flu along with the discharge.
Remember to call on your doctor if the discharge shows traces of blood or if it contains lot of water. These may indicate signs of preterm labour.
Some causes for vaginal discharge are:
Greater blood flow in the genitals
Higher production of estrogen in the body
Normal vaginal discharge is common during the entire pregnancy life cycle. Every woman experiences it at one point of time and it cannot be prevented. However with proper care and treatment, it can be prevented from becoming a vaginal infection.
Some tips to combat vaginal infection due to the discharge are:
- Eat a healthy diet and keep off junk food.
- Keep the vaginal area dry and clean. To clean this area use warm water and a cloth. Applying soap will make the skin brittle.
- Avoid wearing tight fitting clothes around your anus. This pushes fluids back into the vagina.
- Do not use tampons as these can help unwanted germs to enter the vagina.
- Prefer to use cotton panties and sanitary towels as they absorb the vaginal discharge and make you feel more comfortable.
- Use panty liners to reduce moisture.
- Try going to bed without a panty. This helps the skin surrounding the vagina to dry in cases such as after trips to the bathroom.
- After passing urine or stools, always remember to dry the area from front to back after washing.
- Stay away from douching. This upsets the tolerable balance of of microorganisms in the body and cause serious vaginal infection. A douche is a syringe with removable nozzles and is used to wash the inside of the vagina. In some cases, douches force air inside the vagina which is harmful during pregnancy.
- Avoid getting stressed out.
- Take bath often and pay attention to personal hygiene.
- If you get a yeast infection, contact your doctor immediately to begin the treatment right away. Remember that yeast infections can pass on to your baby during birth.