Vaginal Discharge During Pregnancy

One of the first symptoms of pregnancy is leukorrhea. This milky white discharge is common during pregnancy. It usually begins to increase about 13 weeks into gestation. This happens because of the faster production of estrogen. Blood flow rises in the pelvic area and stimulates the production of mucous. As your pregnancy progresses, the amount of mucous will continue to grow.

Causes of Discharge

There are a couple different things that can cause you to need a pantyliner or throw-away underwear. Some of this discharge can be completely healthy, while other types are signs that you need to call your doctor. Most of them can be treated or alleviated in some way.

Yeast Infection

Yeast infections have the same symptoms whether you are pregnant or not. Itching, redness, and soreness are common. You may also feel burning when you urinate or pain when you have intercourse.

A white, odorless, cottage cheese-like discharge accompanies these painful symptoms. Good news is that yeast infections are entirely normal. With the changes going on with your hormones and in other parts of your body, yeast infections are quite common during pregnancy.

Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis is an infection caused by a bacterial imbalance. Because it is an infection, it might be surprising to know that it can be asymptomatic. When you do experience symptoms, a fishy-smelling discharge is accompanied by burning and/or itching. Discharge like this is most noticeable after intercourse.

BV is not something you want to leave untreated. It starts out as a vaginal infection. However, it can travel to the uterus and prematurely rupture the membranes. This also can cause preterm birth.

Sexually Transmitted Disease

Having a sexually transmitted disease is not something you want to have for very long. When you have a sexually transmitted disease, there may or may not be symptomatic discharge. Having one during pregnancy can cause preterm labor or uterine infection. Some can even pass through the placenta and affect your baby or be transferred in childbirth.

Chlamydia produces either no discharge or a somewhat odorous one. Gonorrhea’s discharge can be yellowish and trichomoniasis can have a foamy yellow-greenish and can be itchy. All of these are associated with painful urination or intercourse.


With your uterus growing, you will need to use the restroom more often. Urine can leak because of the increase of pressure on the bladder. This frequently occurs with women to begin with. Pregnancy can make it a little worse.

Leaking urine is completely normal. Noting how often and when it happens is what can help you figure out if that wet spot is urine or something else. If it happens every once in a while, especially when you laugh, sneeze, or cough, it is probably urine. Odor and color are signs as well.

Amniotic Fluid

Amniotic fluid can be a variety of colors. Clear, brown, pink, yellow, and green discharge are all indicators of amniotic fluid. It may feel like urine at first. Put on a pad and rest, laying down, for 30 minutes. When you stand up, if you feel a gush, it could very well be amniotic fluid.

You should not be leaking amniotic fluid. Until you are in labor, consider it something that you need to tell your doctor about.


Seeing blood is almost always a bad sign. After intercourse, a little spotting is normal. Just like with a pelvic exam, the spotting should not last very long. If it does last long, you need to get it checked out.

When to Worry

Bacterial Vaginosis

Seeing your doctor right away is the best thing you can do with this bacterial infection. Some medications will clear it right up. This can decrease the chance of preterm labor without endangering the fetus. The prescriptions will not harm your baby in any way. 

Sexually Transmitted Disease

Getting tested regularly is important if you are sexually active. During pregnancy, any sign of a sexually transmitted disease should be attended to. Your doctor can test you, and many of these diseases can be treated safely with antibiotics.

Amniotic Fluid

Call your doctor right away if you think you may be leaking amniotic fluid. Preventing preterm labor and/or delivery is critical at this point.


Your doctor should also be contacted if there is any abnormal bleeding. You could have a serious problem going on and getting it taken care of is paramount. 

How to Deal

Yeast Infection

With yeast infections, there are always over the counter or prescription kits, creams, probiotics, etc. Talk with your doctor about what is recommended for you. Every body is different, and only you and your doctor know what is best.


Kegels are not just good for keeping your pelvic floor strong; they can also help to control your bladder. These exercises are done by contracting and releasing your pelvic muscles.

There is also something called ‘prophylactic voiding.’ To do this, you go to the bathroom before you need to. Cutting down on drinking water is not a good way to combat this issue.

Pads are also pretty handy. They have particular ones that are just for moments when you leak a little. These are not just for older people; pads are a way to feel comfortable about any leak that may accidentally happen while trying other methods.

There are many types of discharge you can have when you are pregnant. A few are relatively harmless, but others can indicate some complications. Being aware of the differences could save your baby’s life.

Any blood or leaking amniotic fluid should be dealt with immediately by calling your doctor. Other discharge that is not ideal can mostly be treated using medications and/or antibiotics.

Easy fixes for problems that are not inherently problems are readily available. Yeast infection medications and pads are both sold over the counter. Kegels are entirely free. Not only that, they can be beneficial for when it is time to deliver. Strong pelvic muscles are never a bad thing.

Keeping track of what is going on during your pregnancy includes what is discharged. Discharge is a good indicator for if things are going well or that something is wrong. Ensure that you are keeping healthy and taking it easy for your baby.