When it comes to pregnancy, most women tend to pay attention specifically to common pregnancy symptoms such as breast tenderness, frequent urination, constipation and morning sickness. What they don’t know is that one of the simplest ways to identify a potential pregnancy is white clear discharge. It appears as an early sign of pregnancy that occurs within a few weeks after conception./
So is clear discharge normal during pregnancy? Is it a sign that something more serious is going on? Is it a reason of concern? We’re answering these questions below.
Clear Discharge: Can It Be a Pregnancy Sign?
Women experience sticky vaginal discharge throughout their entire menstrual cycle, so how can clear discharge indicate a possible pregnancy?
To answer this question, we need to delve deeper into the various types of discharge that women normally experience. The color and consistency of the mucus will vary a great deal throughout your menstrual cycle. During the first few days after your period stops, the discharge is white, clumpy and lotion like. As your ovulation approach, the discharge becomes a bit creamier, but is still thick, white and gooey. When ovulation is imminent, the discharge is very similar to uncooked egg white, is very slippery, and color ranges from clear to white. When the ovum (egg) is released from the ruptured follicle, the discharge turns watery, slimy and slippery, then becomes jelly-like as your period approaches. The amount of mucus also doubles when you’re ovulating as compared to the rest of your menstrual cycle, and may come out in gushes, feeling as if you’ve just passed urine.
One of the primary factors that influence the hue, consistency and amount of discharge is estrogen. The more estrogen you have in your body, the more sticky clear mucus you will have. When you get pregnant, estrogen levels increase dramatically, thus resulting in lots of clear discharge, a phenomenon known either as “leucorrhea” or “white flow.” This typically occurs early in pregnancy, oftentimes during the second week, and a lot of women report great amounts of whitish discharge coming out of their vagina instead of their period.
If you experience clear discharge in early pregnancy, don’t panic. If mucus is clear, relatively thin and doesn’t have any odor, there’s nothing to worry about. However, it’s a good idea to see your physician or gyn to ensure that everything is just fine down there and that your pregnancy progresses healthily.
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Clear Discharge During Pregnancy: Second and Third Trimesters
Once your pregnancy reaches the second trimester, you can experience a lot more mucus discharge than normally. This occurs due to the stepped-up levels of estrogen. As unpleasant and uncomfortable as it may be, vaginal discharge serves an important housekeeping function of the vagina, keeping it clean and healthy. It helps prevent bacteria from traveling to your uterus, so you don’t get an infection. Your body is extremely vulnerable to yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy, meaning you should never attempt to remove the discharge.
During the last three months of pregnancy, the amount of mucus will increase at a great deal as delivery approaches. Most notably, there will be lots of white discharge from vagina when the mucus plug (a ball of mucus that blocked the opening of the cervix to prevent bacteria from entering the uterus) comes out, an occurrence known as “show.” This happens due to your cervix dilating as your body gets ready for birth. The mucus plug can be clear, slightly pink or blood tinged, with a consistency ranging from stringy mucus to stretchy discharge. It can come out gradually, looking very similar to vaginal discharge, or all at a time as a ball of mucus with blood streaks. There’s the possibility that you won’t notice the mucus plug if it comes out when you pee, and unless it leaves bloody stains on your underpants, you may as well not know about its existence.
If you have a lot of watery discharge gushing out from the vagina, this may indicate that your water has just broken, so make sure to go to a hospital or get medical assistance immediately as you may soon go into labour.
Clear Discharge While Pregnant: Do I Have an Infection?
As mentioned already, your body is very prone to infections during pregnancy, so there is a chance that the clear discharge is due to an infection. If you notice a bad, fishy odor coming from your vagina, and if there are any symptoms like itching, redness, swelling, burning during urination or lower abdominal pain, seek medical assistance immediately to have the underlying issue diagnosed and properly treated.
Most of the time, abnormal discharge during pregnancy is caused by either yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis, and rarely by trichomoniasis or other sexually transmitted diseases. However, most infections cause discharge that’s white, gray, yellow or greenish in color, so call your gyn and tell her about the clear, itchy discharge you experience. The sooner you treat the root cause, the better it will be for both your baby’s health and your own well-being.
Is There Anything You Can Do to Control the Discharge?
Since it’s hormone-related and not caused by an infection, you cannot control the amount of leucorrhea coming out of your vagina. Your best bet, in this case, would be keeping your intimate area clean and fresh by using specifically water and no soap to wash down below. Wear 100% cotton panties and avoid tight clothing. Also, make sure to avoid the use of tampons or panty liners to absorb the excessive mucus – they will alter your vagina’s environment, creating a breeding ground for bacteria. Use sanitary pads instead, which you can find at pharmacies and some supermarkets too.
The most important thing to do if you have clear discharge during pregnancy is getting yourself checked up every few weeks to ensure that everything is good and there’s nothing to worry about. Regular checkups help identify potential infections, so you can always address them on time and prevent pregnancy complications like as ectopic pregnancy or preterm lab. Ask your doctor for the best preventive measures to take in order to avoid any sort of infection throughout and after pregnancy.