Vaginal Discharge during Your Pregnancy

By Joanne Stone, Keith Eddleman, Mary Duenwald

During pregnancy, your vaginal discharge normally increases substantially. Some women find that they need to wear thin panty liners every day. The discharge tends to be thin, white, and virtually odorless, technically known as leucorrhea. Vaginal douches aren’t a good idea because they may alter a woman’s natural ability to fight off vaginal infections.

The type of vaginal discharge common in pregnancy is called leukorrhea. You can use this term when discussing your condition with your practitioner and really show her you’ve done your pregnancy research!

If your vaginal discharge takes on a brown, yellow, or green color, or if it develops a noxious odor or causes itching, let your practitioner know. (Be sure to use your judgment about how much of an emergency this is — it isn’t the sort of problem that requires a 3 a.m. phone call to her office.)

Pregnancy doesn’t prevent you from getting a vaginal infection, and the high levels of estrogen in your blood may predispose you to developing a yeast infection. A yeast infection usually produces a thick, white-yellow discharge, and it may, in some cases, cause itchiness or redness.

Topical vaginal creams should solve the problem, and they pose no risk to the fetus. Most over-the-counter preparations come in 1-, 3-, and 7-day dosages and are completely safe for the baby. For hard-to-beat yeast infections, talk with your doctor about oral fluconazole, which may be used safely in pregnancy.