Is it normal to have vaginal discharge during pregnancy?

Is it normal to have vaginal discharge during pregnancy?
Vaginal discharge is normal and all women have a degree of vaginal discharge.

This discharge starts around about a year or two before puberty starts and ends just after the menopause.

The amount of discharge you have changes at different stages in your life and it is quite normal for it to be heavier just before your period starts. A normal vaginal discharge is clear, creamy or white and can smell a little musky but the discharge should not smell unpleasant.

It is common for the amount of vaginal discharge a woman has to increase during pregnancy. There are a few reasons for this. The cervix and vaginal walls soften and discharge increases to prevent infections moving from the vagina to the womb.

When you get near the end of your pregnancy, you can get more discharge. This is caused by the baby's head pressing on the cervix. Sometimes this is quite heavy, and it can feel like you've just had a wee.

Your discharge may contain a few streaks of thickish mucus and some blood in the last week or so of pregnancy. This is called a 'show ' and it happens when the cervical plug comes away. The plug is a kind of ball of mucus which fills the cervix while you are pregnant. This is a sign that the body is preparing for birth, and many women have a few small 'shows ' in the days before going into labour.

Increased discharge is a very normal part of pregnancy, but it is really important to keep an eye on it and tell your midwife or doctor if you think it smells or looks unusual. If you have itching or soreness in the vaginal area or pain then it is possible that you could have an infection like thrush, which is easily treated.

If ever you have any bleeding from your vagina when you are pregnant then it is important that you contact your midwife or doctor immediately. Many women lose a small amount of blood at some point in their pregnancy, and normally this is nothing to worry about. Nonetheless occasionally it can be be a sign of an imminent miscarriage or a problem with the placenta.

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