What is yellow discharge during pregnancy?

(June 26, 2010)

Yellow Vaginal Discharge During Pregnancy

Vaginal discharge during pregnancy
is very common, because of the increase in the levels of estrogen and the additional flow of blood to the vaginal region. However, the appearance of the discharge can differ in consistence and color and could occur for various reasons. A white discharge which has the consistency of egg whites is normal, as is a light yellow discharge. However, a thick yellow discharge during pregnancy that usually has a foul odor could be the symptom of a disease or an infection and could probably be caused by one of the following factors:

•    Bacterial Vaginosis – Commonly known as BV, this condition refers to an infection that is the result of an imbalance of organisms, in the vagina or cervical canal. It can be transmitted through sexual intercourse, just like a yeast infection. Some symptoms associates with BV are a burning sensation while passing urine or a yellow discharge that has a fishy odor. Pregnant women who are affected by BV are likely to have preterm labors, or deliver babies that are too small.

•    Cervical Polyps – These are smooth, red, finger-like appendages, appearing in the passage that extends from the uterus, to the cervical canal. Cervical polyps usually occur without displaying any symptoms. However, they can get infected or inflamed, resulting in a change in the color and smell of the discharge. Read more on green discharge during pregnancy

•    Trichomoniasis: This is a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) that can lead to abnormal yellow discharge during pregnancy. Trichomoniasis is a parasite that affects the vaginal discharge of the expectant mother. It can also lead to other serious concerns like an infection in the amniotic fluid, or a pre-term birth.

•    Chlamydia: This is also an STD, with leads to either a thick yellow discharge, or a green one, in women who are pregnant. If left untreated, this condition can cause a miscarriage or complications during labor. Chlamydia can be passed on to a baby, when the mother is going through the labor and this can be very harmful to the newborn.

•    Candidiasis: It is a kind of yeast infection, occurring in quite a few pregnant women because of hormonal changes. This yeast infection can be treated by using anti-yeast vaginal creams, which should be prescribed by a doctor.

As some cases of yellow discharge during pregnancy can be a cause for concern, it is best to adopt precautionary hygienic measures to avoid any kinds of infections. Get to know about mucus discharge during pregnancy

There are several changes that a pregnant woman’s body undergoes, because of the surge in hormones. Since there is an increase in the levels of estrogen within the body and because there is an additional flow of blood to the vaginal area, it is not uncommon for a woman to experience vaginal discharge during the course of pregnancy. Leucorrhea is the term that is used to describe the discharge that can be seen during pregnancy, which is generally made up of secretions from the cervix as well as the vagina, the normal bacteria flora from the vaginal walls and old vaginal cells. The frequency of the discharge as well as the amount can differ from one woman to the other. Moreover, as the pregnancy progresses, it is natural for amount to increase. In most cases, the discharge can be described as being odorless or mild-smelling and sticky. If vaginal discharge resembles the consistency of egg whites there is usually no cause for concern. However, if a woman experiences thick yellow discharge during pregnancy, which has a foul odor, it is important to get it checked immediately. This is because an odorous, thick and light yellow discharge during pregnancy could be the sign of a disease or an infection. However, if a woman experiences a yellow discharge, without any odor, then it is not necessarily a cause for concern.

It is not very common for women to experience a yellow discharge during pregnancy first trimester or second trimester. However, an odorless or mild-smelling light yellow discharge during pregnancy third trimester is regarded as being harmless. As the woman’s delivery due date approaches, it is also normal for the amount of pregnancy yellow discharge generally increases too. However, during any time of pregnancy, if the yellow discharge is accompanied by a foul odor, it is imperative for the pregnant woman to inform her medical health care provider about it immediately, as it could be the symptom of an infection. Some women believe that yellow discharge is a pregnancy sign, if it is seen during the early stages of pregnancy. However, in case of most normal pregnancies, the discharge, which acts as one of the early symptoms of pregnancy, is actually white in color.

How to prevent yellow discharge during pregnancy?

Fortunately, there are several measures that pregnant women can take, in order to avoid the dreaded pregnancy yellow discharge. Some of the practices that can prevent the thick yellow discharge during pregnancy are:

  • Keeping the genital area clean and dry at all times
  • Wearing clothes and especially undergarments that are loose fitting and will not irritate the skin
  • Avoiding practices such as douching, as they worsen the problem of vaginal discharge.
  • Following a healthy diet and including a good amount of yogurt in it.
  • Controlling stress through various practices, like yoga or meditation
  • Regulating the levels of sugar in the blood, especially in case of women who are diabetic.

These measures can only help reduce the risks of yellow discharge in pregnancy to a great extent. However, in case a yellow discharge is noticed in spite of following all these practices, it is best to consult a gynecologist without any delay.

Yellow Discharge and Menstrual Cycles

There are many women who notice a yellow discharge before periods every month. This is not a problem and neither is a yellow discharge after periods, as long as there is no foul odor that accompanies the yellow discharge. This is because a woman’s body does remove dead cells as well as bacteria from the vagina, as part of a self cleansing mechanism. The amount of discharge for varies for every woman. However, it has been seen that a discharge before periods is generally thinner and towards the whiter side.  The discharge after periods is normally thicker and is more yellow in color.

However, if a woman finds this problem to be an embarrassing one, it is best for her to undergo a checkup and determine its cause, especially if she is pregnant. 

Submitted by N on June 26, 2010 at 07:51

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