White discharge in pregnancy, why do they appear? How to interpret them? Here is a guide to getting to know them and giving them the right meaning.
The universe of vaginal discharge that can appear during pregnancy is very large but does not always have to alarm the expectant mother who discovers these small secretions in the various stages of gestation. On the contrary, pregnancy losses must be evaluated under different aspects, first of all consistency and color. The white discharge in pregnancy for example for many pregnant women they have little meaning, while in reality, depending on the gestational age in which they are found, they can serve as a litmus test to understand the changes that their body is undergoing. Here is a small guide to interpret them better and without misunderstandings.
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White discharge in pregnancy, because they appear
White discharge in pregnancy is absolutely physiological if it appears without other symptoms, especially itching and burning. The vagina is not a sterile organ: many microorganisms such as i lactobacilli they make it their home, and to keep the balance and pH correct for the vaginal environment this also has the great ability to be self-cleaning. Self-cleaning the vagina activates a sort of barrier, assisted by the work of the cervical glands and the serum of the vessels that oozes from its walls: in this way lactobacilli like that of Doderlein (which are found in great abundance in the vagina) which are good and help it to stay healthy and with an ideal PH, which in childbearing age is <4.5. Lactobacilli clean the environment and the result of this cleaning are very liquid white secretions, similar to milk and whose consistency varies from woman to woman. The losses in this sense are good: it means that everything is working, that the good lactobacilli are doing their job and that the vaginal environment is healthy. As reported by the NHS document "Vaginal Discarges", however, there are cases in which even white discharge during pregnancy becomes worrying and it is highly recommended to call the gynecologist:
- if they give off a bad smell
- if they turn from white to green or yellow
- if they itch
- if they cause pain while urinating
These four signals can in fact be a symptom of vaginal infection and it is good to consult a doctor to verify how to proceed.
White discharge in pregnancy, all types
Milky white discharge in pregnancy
White losses of this type, which are odorless and do not cause any discomfort, are part of the manifestations of leukorrhea gravidarum. To generate it is precisely the increased production of hormones including estrogen and progesterone which are activated in large quantities at the beginning of a pregnancy. And they work with lactobacilli to keep vaginal balance and flora intact. They are not worrying and absolutely physiological.
Transparent white discharge in pregnancy
These are also part of the physiological signals that appear when the vagina cleans itself to keep itself healthy and with the right PH.
White watery discharge in pregnancy
Once again this consistency represents one of the absolutely physiological forms with which white losses can appear, especially in early pregnancy.
Lumpy white discharge in pregnancy
If the consistency of the discharge is more lumpy and no longer transparent and milky, it could be an ongoing vaginal infection as also reported in the Medical News Today study “What do different colors of discharge mean in pregnancy?”. Better to consult your doctor, at any stage of pregnancy these appear.
Candida in pregnancy with thick white discharge
Candida is an infection generated by a fungus called candida albicans which manifests itself with white but very consistent losses, also accompanied by itching and burning. In particular, the symptoms are:
- whitish discharge similar to cottage cheese
- heartburn when urinating
- vaginal erythema
Infections of this type as well as those of the urinary tract are to be kept under control during pregnancy to avoid complications. Seeing the doctor as soon as they appear is the solution to immediately start the most suitable therapy.
White discharge with bad smell after intercourse
To signal the possible presence of bacterial vaginosis, there are also white losses which, however, tend to gray and have a smell similar to that of fish, a modality that often comes out after sexual intercourse. Also in this case it is good to consult a doctor.
How long does white discharge last in pregnancy?
The gravidic and physiological leukorrhea can last throughout pregnancy, with varying degrees from woman to woman. Generally they are more noticeable in the vicinity of labor and, as it approaches the end, these losses become more liquid: for this reason they are often confused with the amniotic fluid.
How to manage white discharge in pregnancy
Proper intimate hygiene avoids vaginal infections. In this way the physiology of the intimate environments is maintained without problems and by following some very basic tips you avoid that the white losses change consistency and smell, thus becoming a more insistent alarm bell:
- Wipe from front to back
- Change sweaty clothes or wet costumes immediately
- Help the sore vagina by not wearing tight pants or clothes made of synthetic materials
- Avoid choosing hygiene products with prufumo
White discharge in pregnancy quarter by quarter
White discharge in the first trimester of pregnancy
They can be one of the first signs of pregnancy, if accompanied by all the other emblematic symptoms (absence of menstruation, sore breasts, back pain among others). And they are also a sign that the cleansing process that characterizes leukorrhea gravidarum has been set in motion, so that germs and bacteria that can attack the fetus do not pass through the vaginal canal. If they do not itch, do not change color and do not emit a bad smell, they are normal and physiological. If they are annoying because of their reach, the expectant mother can use a panty liner.
White discharge in the second trimester of pregnancy
Even in the second trimester leukorrhea gravidarum can present itself, with its absolutely painless and odorless symptoms, with …