Vaginal discharge is a completely natural thing for any woman: it’s responsible for maintaining the protective vaginal flora. Some women have more abundant discharge than others because of cervical and vaginal hypersecretion. The increase in clear vaginal discharge is also a sign of pregnancy. It’s caused by pregnancy hormones affecting the female body during the whole gestation period. Moreover, during pregnancy, the secretory function becomes twice as high as before, so there is no sense in being scared of copious discharge. But sometimes even clear discharge during pregnancy can be a warning sign: there are additional symptoms you should watch out for.
Normal clear vaginal discharge
The female body is designated by nature to bear children and give birth. Thus, a menstrual cycle can be divided into 2 relative periods. During the first one of them, estrogen is regulating the functioning of the uterus in order for the egg to leave the ovaries and meet the sperm. During the second period, the female body is getting ready for the implantation of the fertilized egg into the womb (if the conception’s happened), and this process is regulated by progesterone. This hormone also controls the reproductive system of a woman till the 12th week of pregnancy.
So, at this time sticky clear discharge during pregnancy is typical. After the 13th week, a future mother can notice that the excreta have become more copious. The explanation is simple: now her body is producing estrogen which makes the discharge watery. At this stage, the discharge can acquire whitish color. Such excreta are completely normal if there is no unpleasant smell, itching or burning.
What should you do to feel more comfortable?
If clear discharge during pregnancy brings you discomfort, you can use sanitary pads. Choose the brands without irritants, such as fragrances and synthetic chemicals; otherwise, you can have an allergic reaction. You should also refuse to use vaginal deodorants and intimate hygiene products with fragrances. It’s strictly forbidden to use tampons during pregnancy: the risk of an infection getting into the reproductive tract is very high.
When isn’t clear discharge during pregnancy a good sign?
The color of the discharge can change under the influence of infections, hormonal fluctuations, diseases of the cervix, and other irritants during the whole course of pregnancy. In such cases, the excreta change not only in color but also in consistency, there is an unpleasant odor. In order to detect which infection has caused these symptoms, a doctor will most likely perform a vaginal wet mount. The most widespread health problems, in this case, are candidiasis (or thrush) and vaginosis. Both illnesses respond to treatment well, you just need to turn to your healthcare provider in time.
However, bacterial infections are not the only reason for irritation in the genital area; itching and burning can be caused by non-infectious irritants as well. An itch and unpleasant odor can be a result of wearing tight clothes and undergarments, an allergic reaction to hygiene products, and even too much sex. Taking this all into consideration, future mothers should wear comfortable undergarments made from natural fabrics and use hypoallergenic hygiene products.
Anyway, clear discharge during pregnancy is usually a sign that everything’s alright. If it’s completely clear or slightly whitish, you have nothing to worry about. In the case of changing in color or other characteristics, you’ll just need to go to a doctor. They’ll make out a diagnosis and prescribe a course of treatment if necessary.