Vaginal discharge is a common occurrence for any woman because the cervix is secreting mucus all the time. But the nature of the excreta depends on which time of the menstrual period it is. During the first half of the period, discharge is regulated by estrogen and has watery consistency in order to make it easier for the sperm to reach an egg and fertilize it, and then – for the fertilized egg to get to the uterus. After the ovulation, discharge is regulated by progesterone: it becomes thicker and mucous so that germs won’t enter the uterine cavity and interfere with the process of implantation.
If the conception has happened, the hormonal background will be constantly changing. Some of these changes can cause watery discharge during pregnancy.
Normal watery discharge during pregnancy
During the first trimester, vaginal excreta are still affected by progesterone: its level has increased so that the pregnancy can develop normally. However, after the 12th week, estrogen enters the game, and we’ve already mentioned that it makes the discharge more watery. Thus, since the beginning of the second trimester, future mothers notice watery discharge during pregnancy in the majority of cases. The excreta are clear or whitish, don’t have any scent (at least, nothing sharp or unpleasant) and don’t cause any discomfort – the only thing is the feeling of moisture in the genital area.
Such watery discharge during pregnancy is completely normal, they shouldn’t become a reason for concern and don’t require any specific ways of coping – just make sure you strictly observe the rules of hygiene. Take a shower more often, regularly change your underwear. You can use sanitary pads if you feel the need – but choose quality products without fragrances. Those ones won’t irritate the genitals.
We should mention that some of the gynecologists don’t approve of using sanitary napkins every day during pregnancy because, provided with high humidity and temperature (they are a common consequence of watery discharge), the reproduction of pathogenic microorganisms is going on very fast. And daily use sanitary pads only contribute to this process. So, it’s better to just change the underwear more often, and choose only natural fabrics.
Speaking of tampons, they are contraindicated during pregnancy.
Pathological watery discharge during pregnancy
Frequently changed underwear should be the only unpleasant thing about watery discharge during pregnancy. If the excreta are accompanied by itching, burning, edema, reddened skin and other irritations in the genital area, you need to urgently consult a gynecologist in order to detect possible infections in time.
Vaginal microflora becomes especially sensitive to germs when you are pregnant. Oftentimes thrush or colpitis occur. Other illnesses are also not excluded.
Watery discharge during pregnancy followed by other symptoms can indicate, for example:
- Bacterial vaginosis: white or grey watery discharge has an unpleasant odor. Later it becomes thicker and viscous, sometimes even sticky or foamy, and changes its color to yellowish-green. The excreta are accompanied by itching, urination disorders.
- Genital herpes: scarce watery discharge can be the only sign. The most common symptoms are small painful blisters on the skin of the groin, pain in the sacrum, lower back and lower abdomen.
You should pay attention to any changes in the color, consistency or scent of the vaginal discharge during pregnancy. The appearance of other symptoms (raised body temperature, various pains in the groin, discomfort) should immediately become an alarm signal. In any of the aforementioned cases, it’s necessary to visit a clinic because any sexually transmitted infection is dangerous for the expectant mom and the fetus.
Besides possible infections, another reason for concern is the leakage of amniotic fluid – a pregnant woman with such a diagnosis needs urgent hospitalization. You can be leaking only a few drops of amniotic fluid and mistake it for normal watery discharge. That’s why pharmacies sell specific tests in order that you can find out what’s the problem. The amniotic fluid has a slightly sweet scent and a yellowish tint which make it different from normal vaginal discharge.