Having a baby is one of the most joyous times in a woman’s life. Anticipating the day you will bring your little one home, picking a name and choosing nursery colors can all make you brim with excitement. But no matter how well you prepare for the baby’s arrival, you may not be fully prepared for the myriad of changes your body will go through. In addition to breast tenderness, frequent urination, and food aversions or cravings, you will also be experiencing white discharge while pregnant, which can make you feel quite uncomfortable.
If you have never really paid attention to how your vagina works, the increasing amount of white vaginal discharge may appear out of the ordinary, causing you to worry. Most of the time, vaginal discharge is perfectly normal, but it may sometimes indicate the presence of an infection that might threaten your baby’s health as well as your own well-being.
Is white discharge normal during pregnancy? How do you know when it’s not normal? Our expert is answering your most common questions below.
1. What Is Vaginal Discharge?
Vaginal discharge is an important part of the female reproductive system, serving as an important housekeeping function of the vagina. The discharge is produced by glands inside the vagina and cervix, and it is usually made up of dead cells and bacteria from your vaginal flora. Just as your mouth produces saliva to flush out bacteria, your vagina produces this mucus to keep itself clean, maintain its acidic pH value, and prevent bacteria or other organisms from traveling to your uterus.
2. What Does Normal Vaginal Discharge Look Like?
The hue and consistency of vaginal discharge varies from woman to woman, but as a rule of thumb, normal mucus is either white or clear, and has a texture that ranges from watery and stretchy to thick and clumpy. Your menstrual cycle largely impacts what your discharge looks like. The mucus is white clumpy after your period (these are your “dry days”), creamy white between your dry days and ovulation, egg white and stretchy during ovulation (the middle of your menstrual cycle), and clear watery on the most fertile day of the cycle (the day before the egg is released or the day it’s released).
White vaginal mucus does not bear any odor, and does not cause itching or redness either.
3. Is It Normal to Have White Discharge During Pregnancy?
Hormonal changes are the primary factor that affects the hue, consistency and odor of white creamy discharge. When you get pregnant, your body goes through a lot of these hormonal changes – most notably, estrogen levels increase at a great deal, causing your vagina to produce a lot more white mucus than normally. As a matter of fact, every woman experiences thick white discharge during pregnancy, which is one of the first and most common pregnancy signs.