Mucus Discharge During Pregnancy
Submitted by Pregnancy and Baby Care team on January 31, 2012
During pregnancy, an expectant mother's body undergoes numerous physical, emotional and hormonal changes. One such change is the increase in the amount of vaginal discharge and this absolutely normal occurrence during pregnancy is termed as leukorrhea. The mucus is a mixture of vaginal secretions, cervical secretions, old vaginal wall cells and natural bacterial flora present in the vaginal area. This mucus discharge during pregnancy is generally odorless and may have a whitish tinge. In some women, the discharge is milky white in color with a mild odor. The increase in mucus discharge during pregnancy is mainly due to...
Pregnancy And Baby Care Questions
...changing hormonal levels within the expectant mother's body. During pregnancy, the production of the hormone estrogen increases and this is one of the main causes of increased vaginal discharge. This phase also brings with it an increase in the flow of blood to the lower abdomen and vaginal area resulting in increased discharge.
Mucous discharge during early pregnancy is usually the outcome of the implantation process. The discharge may be accompanied by spotting or streaking and is completely normal. Soon after successful implantation, cervical secretions form a mucus plug or a protective barrier at the mouth of the uterus to ensure the safety of the little baby developing within the uterus. As the body prepares for labor, this protective barrier is expelled either in the form of a blob of mucus or in the form of a thick mucus discharge, similar to egg white or the result of a runny nose. This discharge may also contain a hint of blood. Read more on green discharge during pregnancy
Vaginal Discharge During Pregnancy
Any change in texture or quantity of vaginal discharge during pregnancy, especially if accompanied by abdominal pain or cramping, should not be ignored as it may be pointing towards complications in the pregnancy. At times, the amniotic sac develops a slight tear and amniotic fluid starts leaking out through the vagina. In spite of being very watery, amniotic fluid is often mistaken for a slightly heavy vaginal discharge. If the discharge becomes thick or is blood stained, it could be indicative of preterm labor if you are not at the end of your pregnancy term. Brownish or reddish blood could also be pinpointing to a miscarriage in progress. Discharge that resembles cottage cheese and is accompanied by an itchy or burning sensation could be the result of a yeast infection. If the discharge emits a bad odor or is yellowish or greenish in color, it could signal other vaginal infections that could threaten the safety of your unborn baby.
Thick mucus discharge during pregnancy is generally experienced throughout the nine month long term. The texture and quantity of pregnancy mucus discharge changes at different stages of the pregnancy. The production of mucus discharge during pregnancy - first trimester is mainly triggered by hormonal changes that take place within the body during pregnancy and a thick mucus discharge is a sign of pregnancy. This is mainly a result of an increase in the estrogen levels. The increase in the hormone estrogen also causes an increase in the flow of blood to the pelvic region. This further increases the quantity of mucus discharge during pregnancy. The milky white discharge in early pregnancy is normally odorless. At times, it may bear a slight odor which is not repulsive. Mucus discharge in early pregnancy may be blood streaked at the time of implantation. This happens because the fertilized egg embeds itself in the uterine wall. During this burrowing process, slight bleeding is normal resulting in the expulsion of brown mucus discharge during early pregnancy. Since this takes place just before the expected menstrual period is due, most women do not realize that they are pregnant at such an early stage and mistake this for an irregular period. Mucus discharge during pregnancy - second trimester is also common.
As the pregnancy progress, thick mucus discharge with blood may be a sign of a threatened miscarriage or preterm labor. Since menstrual bleeding stops on becoming pregnant, any form of vaginal bleeding could indicate a pregnancy complication. Hence, it should not be ignored. In most cases, the bleeding has no cause for worry as the blood vessels in the cervix rupture because of the strain exerted on it by the expanding uterus. This causes a slight amount of bleeding and is normal. This, in no way affects the success of the pregnancy as the bleeding takes place outside the uterus. It normally occurs due to the friction caused by intercourse or an internal ultrasound. However, if in doubt, consulting a doctor is highly recommended so as to avoid pregnancy complications.
Mucus discharge during pregnancy third trimester may be in the form of a prolonged expulsion of sticky, blood stained, fluid or the expulsion of a blob of mucus. At the onset of the pregnancy, a mucus blob plugs the opening of the uterus. This acts as a barrier and prevents the entry of infection causing germs into the uterus, thus safeguarding the developing baby. Thick mucus discharge during late pregnancy is generally an expulsion of this mucus plug in preparation for labor and child birth. Mucus discharge during pregnancy 39 weeks is generally a sign of inevitable labor. When accompanied by bleeding, it is referred to as a bloody show.
Yellow mucus discharge during pregnancy or green mucus discharge during pregnancy must not be ignored. It could be an indicator or an infection that could lead to pregnancy complications. In such cases, the discharge may have the texture of cottage cheese or look like froth. It usually has a repulsive odor. If neglected, the condition may worsen leading to a spread of infection to the uterus. This must be avoided completely. A urinary tract infection is the most common cause of discolored vaginal discharge during pregnancy. Yellow or green vaginal discharge may also be caused by sexually transmitted diseases such as trichomoniasis and Chlamydia. These can cause pregnancy loss, preterm labor as well as health concerns in the unborn baby. The emergence of cervical polyps is another cause of altered vaginal discharge.
The emission of mucus discharge from vagina is an absolutely normal part of a woman's life. This discharge is a combination of worn out vaginal wall cells, natural flora from the vagina and cervical and vaginal secretions that help to keep these parts moist and lubricated. This discharge is generally odorless and colorless. At times, it may have a mild odor and may be milky white in color. This is completely normal and is referred to as leucorrhea. During the normal course of life, an increase in the quantity of vaginal discharge between two menstrual periods indicates ovulation. Hence, vaginal discharge acts as a signal to prepare a woman for the most fertile phase of her menstrual cycle. Thick mucus discharge before ovulation is commonly seen. The mucus is tested to check for the most fertile phase of a woman's menstrual cycle. During the days leading up to ovulation, the discharge changes in quantity, consistency and texture. At the time of ovulation, the volume of vaginal discharge is the most. It is clear and resembles the white of an egg. The flexibility of the discharge increases during ovulation. On stretching a small quantity of vaginal discharge between the thumb and the index finger, the mucus goes a long way before snapping. Unprotected lovemaking during this period can result in pregnancy. Thick mucus discharge before a period is also common. Some women may experience light blood stained discharge at this time, signaling the onset of menstruation. This is followed by a normal menstrual flow. Some women also end their menstrual period with brownish blood stained discharge. During such times, women may choose to use panty liners.
Sometimes, expectant mothers mistake a leak in the amniotic sac for a heavier than normal discharge. In this case, there is a constant trickle of fluid from the vagina. Some experience a gush of fluid through the vagina. This should not be ignored under any circumstance as a tear in the amniotic sac can lead to pregnancy loss if it occurs way before the baby's expected arrival date. It can also lead to a spread of infection to the baby if this protective bag is damaged. In case of a minor tear, medication may be administered and the pregnant woman would be advised bed rest and minimal exertion. If the tear is significant and cannot be mended, preterm delivery becomes inevitable. If this occurs closer to the end of the pregnancy term, it may not pose any danger to the baby. After the 36th week of pregnancy, this is a welcomed sign of labor.
Read more articles from the During Pregnancy Category.