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Vaginal discharge: what to expect

During the menstrual cycle and during pregnancy, the consistency of vaginal discharge and cervical mucus changes. Women frequently search for physical symptoms, like changes in cervical mucus, as a sign of early pregnancy or to determine if the time is good to try to conceive. Because these early pregnancy physical indications are often mild, they should not be interpreted as indicators of fertility or pregnancy in the first few weeks following conception. A pregnancy test is a more reliable way to confirm pregnancy. However, if you are pregnant, you can expect to have vaginal discharge throughout your pregnancy.
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What is leukorrhea, often known as pregnancy discharge?

Leukorrhea is the medical word for the thin, milky white, mildly scented (occasionally odourless) vaginal discharge that many women experience during their first pregnancy.

The number will almost certainly rise as your pregnancy progresses. Leukorrhea is similar to vaginal discharge between periods, however it is more severe.

What is the cause of leukorrhea during pregnancy?

When you're pregnant, your blood flow to the pelvic area increases due to an increase in oestrogen levels. More blood flow stimulates the mucous membranes of the body, resulting in an increase in vaginal discharge in early pregnancy and afterwards.

And it serves a vital function: Pregnancy discharge cleanses the vagina, protects the birth canal from infection, and maintains a healthy bacterial balance.

Is white vaginal discharge normal during pregnancy?

Throughout your pregnancy, thin, white vaginal discharge is common and healthful. However, if it is lumpy or thick, it could be an indication of an infection, especially if it is accompanied by other symptoms (like itching or a fishy odor).

Your vaginal discharge may also be brown or pink. In the early stages of pregnancy, this could be an indication of implantation haemorrhage. Later on, vaginal spotting (not significant bleeding) during pregnancy is common, especially if it occurs after intercourse or a pelvic exam.

However, if you are concerned, do not hesitate to consult with your doctor.

What is early pregnancy discharge?

The term "early pregnancy discharge" refers to vaginal discharge that occurs early in pregnancy. It's entirely normal, because leukorrhea usually appears during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Cervical Mucus and Vaginal Discharge

During the menstrual cycle, your body naturally secretes fluids, and cervical mucus is one component of this vaginal discharge. Cervical mucus, despite its name, is produced by glands located near the cervix rather than the cervix itself.

Cervical mucus is essential to your reproductive system. To avoid infection throughout the non-fertile parts of the menstrual cycle, it thickens and becomes sticky. When you're about to ovulate, your uterus becomes more liquid and abundant, allowing sperm to swim and survive more readily. 2 Right before your period, you may notice an increase in vaginal discharge. Increased blood flow, altering oestrogen levels, and the cervix preparing for menstruation all contribute to this alteration.

Changes in Vaginal Discharge During Pregnancy

Vaginal discharge changes throughout the menstrual cycle and also during pregnancy. It is often thin, milky-white or colourless, and has a light odour (or no odor). This discharge is known as leukorrhea. Leukorrhea is most commonly associated with vaginal discharge during pregnancy, however it can also occur in non-pregnant women. Leukorrhea production increases during pregnancy because of increased oestrogen and blood flow to the vaginal region. This rise, however, is often not evident until the eighth week, after other, more conclusive indicators of early pregnancy, such as a missed menstruation, have occurred.

Vaginal discharge increases during the first trimester of pregnancy in an effort to eliminate dead cells and bacteria from the uterus and vagina to help prevent infections. As your pregnancy advances, the amount of vaginal discharge you receive will steadily rise. It is typical and not cause for concern as long as it remains generally colourless and odourless.

This discharge also contributes to the formation of the mucus plug over time. This plug closes the cervix opening, preventing an infection from entering the uterus and damaging the baby. Discharge in Brown or Pink Throughout Pregnancy

During pregnancy, brown or reddish vaginal discharge is possible. When you wipe, this could look as light streaks or spots of colour on your underwear or toilet paper. It could be spotting if the bleeding is extremely faint. This brown- or pink-tinged discharge does not usually signal a concern.

Among the most common causes are:


Some women (but not all) have a small quantity of brown or pink discharge or spotting at the time their period is due during the start of their pregnancy. This could be an indication of implantation, which occurs around 10 days after fertilisation when an embryo attaches in the uterine lining. It's doubtful that implantation is the source of the spotting or bleeding. The name is derived from the timing.

Intercourse or vaginal examination

You may have brown- or pink-tinged discharge after intercourse or an internal exam at any time during your pregnancy. Because of the increased blood flow in the area during pregnancy, the cervix and vagina are easily inflamed.

Exercising vigorously

A strenuous activity might result in spotting or coloured discharge at any stage of pregnancy. As long as it does not lead to bleeding, it is usually only an indication that you should take it easy on the workout.

As your cervix dilates toward the conclusion of your pregnancy, the mucus plug gradually breaks down and may come out in minute chunks, huge clumps, or mucousy streaks. Vaginal discharge may seem brownish or reddish as a result of this. Not everyone witnesses or notices the "bloody show." While it indicates that birth is near, it could occur hours, days, or even weeks before actual labour begins.

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When Should You Consult Your Doctor?

Some changes in vaginal discharge during pregnancy may indicate infection. Consult your doctor if you detect any of the following symptoms in the vulva: redness, itching, swelling, or changes in discharge:


yellow, green, or grey as opposed to colourless or white; vivid red (indicating bleeding)


Strong or foul smell rather than mild or odourless


Frothy or chunky/cottage cheese-like instead of stringy

If the discharge is extremely watery and appears to be excessive, it could be amniotic fluid (or even urine). Because leaking amniotic fluid could be a symptom of premature labour, it's critical to consult your doctor. Call and book your appointment with Dr. Amita Shah is one of the best gynae in Gurgaon.

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Dr. Amita Shah

Dr. Amita Shah has spent the last 30 years of her life mastering the art of Laparoscopic Surgeries for complex gynae problems like ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, blocked fallopian tubes, and gynecological cancers.

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