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Green Discharge While Pregnant? Here’s What You Need to Know About It

Written by Elizabeth Buescher, Gynecologist

Pregnancy is one of the most wonderful and exciting periods in a woman’s life while at the same time one of the most stressful and challenging due to the myriad of hormonal changes it implies. One of the most common annoyances pregnant women deal with is vaginal discharge, medically known as leucorrhea, which often causes discomfort if expelled in great amounts. Most of the time, the discharge is normal and indicates that the pregnancy is going well.

However, if you experience yellowish green discharge during pregnancy, you may have an infection that requires immediate medical attention to prevent potential complications that may arise.
In this article, we will be covering all the things a pregnant woman should know about vaginal discharge, and how to say whether this is a sign of pregnancy.

What Causes Leucorrhea During Pregnancy?

Many women ask why the amount of vaginal discharge increases during pregnancy. From a hormonal standpoint, estrogen is the primary hormone that impacts how much mucus your vagina expels, whether during your menstrual cycle or pregnancy. While your menstrual cycle does involve increased levels of estrogen when you reach ovulation, pregnancy is several times as worse, stepping up estrogen levels at a very great deal. As a result, your vaginal mucus increases, sometimes to the point that you need to wear panty liners or change your underwear a few times a day to prevent wetting your clothes and impregnating them a bad odor.

As pregnancy progresses, the amount of discharge also increases. During the last week or so before birth, you may have a “show,” an occurrence in which the cervical plug is expelled in the form of thick vaginal mucus, sometimes with streaks of blood.

Please note: if you experience water gushing out of your vagina all of a sudden, call the ambulance or go to the hospital as soon as possible, as your water must have broken.

Is It Normal to Have Green Discharge While Pregnant?

Green discharge during pregnancy is never a good thing – it indicates that something’s wrong down there and that your baby might be threatened. Yellowish green vaginal mucus occurs as a consequence of vaginal infection, most commonly bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis. If you have recently engaged in unprotected sex, there is a good chance that you have contracted a sexually transmitted disease like gonorrhea or Chlamydia. In addition to these, another possible cause of green discharge may be an infection with the Human Papillomavirus (or HPV). If you have recently used tampons or scented panty liners to absorb excessive discharge, this might have caused the bacterial flora of your vagina to change and upset the balance between good and bad bacteria.

Most of the time, green discharge is accompanied by itching, swelling, redness, and soreness, as well as pelvic pain, burning when urinating, pain during intercourse, spotting, fever, and conjunctivitis. You may notice a bad, fishy odor coming from your vagina, as well as a significantly thicker consistency as compared to normal leucorrhea. Moreover, the amount of discharge tends to increase after sex, and the smell might become significantly stronger.

If you experience any of these symptoms, we urge you to go to a sexual health clinic and have the underlying cause investigated to identify what’s causing them, and receive appropriate, safe pregnancy treatment.

Read also:

Green Discharge – Questions and Answers

What If the Discharge Is Not Due to an STD?

Many pregnant women report green discharge despite not having engaged in sexual intercourse over the past few months. If this is your case too, another potential cause of abnormal discharge is bacterial vaginosis, which is typically triggered by a number of factors such as hormonal changes, use of feminine hygiene products, foreign object (such as a forgotten tampon) in the vagina, or douching. In some cases, bacterial vaginosis may be contracted due to stimulation during sexual intercourse. If it’s BV, you will likely notice a lot more discharge after intercourse, but no itching may be present. Usually, bacterial vaginosis goes away on its own.

If you notice no smell, itching, or other symptoms mentioned above, there is a 50% chance that the discharge is perfectly normal. As specified before, discharge varies from woman to woman – yours may happen to be yellowish or slightly green. Even in this case, you should have a few vaginal swabs taken for analysis to ensure that there is no infection. As an additional preventive measure, you should ask your doctor to scrape cells from your cervix and do a Pap smear to see whether you have HPV.

Green Discharge Before Period – A Sign of Pregnancy?

In addition to breast tenderness, frequent urination, and fatigue, one of the earliest signs of pregnant is vaginal discharge (see above). The discharge can be clear or white, watery or thick, but shouldn’t bear a strong odor. If also accompanied by other pregnancy symptoms, then you should consider taking a pregnancy test to be sure.
If you experience green discharge before period and your period is late, then you may have an infection. Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, trichomoniasis, yeast infection, even Human Papillomavirus can result in either late or missed periods. Instead, the bleeding is replaced by greenish discharge with a foul smell, which can continue even after period. If you have recently engaged in unprotected sex, there is a good chance that you have contracted an STD.

Other causes of abnormal discharge are bacterial vaginosis, foreign objects in the vagina and hormonal changes. See this guide here “Quick Guide to Light Green Discharge: Causes, Treatment & Prevention” to discover more about the causes of green vaginal discharge.

What to Do If You Have Green Vaginal Discharge?

Instead of waiting several days for it to go away, you should seek immediate medical assistance to cure the underlying cause. In case of pregnant women, the discharge may continue after birth, especially after C section, so you should see your gynecologist regularly to ensure that there is no reason of concern. Appropriate medication will be prescribed to treat the infection (if any). See our list of best hygiene practices and prevention methods “Complete Guide to Yellow Vaginal Discharge: What Do You Need to Know?”