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Discharge in pregnancy

Discharge in pregnancy

You’re likely to experience more discharge in pregnancy as more blood flows to the area. You should let your doctor or midwife know if the discharge changes appearance or smell.

At a glance

  • Discharge in pregnancy is normal
  • Discharge will usually increase during pregnancy

What is vaginal discharge?

Vaginal discharge is completely normal and usually harmless. It originates from the cervix and is usually a mild or musky-smelling milky fluid that helps to keep your vagina clean. It’s normal to expect discharge whether you’re pregnant or not, but it’s normal for the amount of discharge to increase in pregnancy especially as you approach labour.

Why do I have more discharge in pregnancy?

During pregnancy the virginal walls and cervix become softer with increased blood flow and discharge increases to help prevent any infection from travelling from the vagina up to the womb.

It’s likely that discharge will increase as you get closer to your labour date and the appearance of the discharge will change in appearance. It may contain streaks of blood and thick mucus known as a ‘show’ and is a sign that your body is preparing for the labour. These ‘shows’ may increase in the days leading up to the birth.

Can I do anything to treat increased discharge?

Increased discharge in pregnancy is normal and you shouldn’t need to do anything, however with increased discharge you’ll be more susceptible to infection so the following tips may help:

  • Keep the area around the vagina clean
  • Wash with a soap substitute

Should I be worried about discharge in pregnancy?

Increased discharge is a normal part of pregnancy, but it’s best to be aware of any changes to discharge and tell your doctor or midwife if any of the following occurs:

  • Changes colour from milky to yellow or green
  • Smells strange or unpleasant
  • The area around the vagina become itchy or sore

Certain symptoms may mean you have Thrush which will require treatment from your doctor or midwife.

At a glance

  • Discharge in pregnancy is normal
  • Discharge will usually increase during pregnancy

Pregnancy conditions