Warning: The following post contains information that some readers may consider TMI.
When I was between eight and ten weeks along during my first pregnancy, I lost the baby to a miscarriage. During week 15 of pregnancy with my daughter, I experienced a moment of panic that harkened back to the loss of my first pregnancy. During yet another trip to the bathroom, I discovered that I was experiencing white discharge during pregnancy. I immediately freaked out because the loss of my first pregnancy the year before had begun with some brownish white discharge. As I know now, that particular discharge was the beginning of the miscarriage. And, even though I know that discharge during pregnancy is usually normal, any amount in any color during my pregnancy with my daughter left me feeling a little unsettled.
As I know from my almost obsessive research on pregnancy, white discharge during pregnancy is usually completely normal. In fact, most women experience an increase in vaginal discharge during pregnancy. Leukorrhea — the medical term for a thick, whitish or yellowish vaginal discharge during pregnancy — occurs because of an increase in estrogen in the body. The purpose of the increase in vaginal discharge during pregnancy is to protect the vagina and ultimately the uterus and developing baby from infection and other foreign substances. Thus, white discharge while pregnant is healthy as well as normal. A pregnant woman should worry only if her vaginal discharge is green or yellowish, strong smelling, and accompanied by redness or itching, all of which are signs of an infection including candidiasis, or a yeast infection.
However, my knowledge of the purpose and importance of white discharge during pregnancy did little to lessen my worries in the heat of the moment. For example, once while visiting the bathroom yet again (pregnancy increases the need to urinate due to hormones and an expanding uterus), I was startled to discover a blob of yellow-tinged white discharge. After finishing up in the bathroom and washing my hands, I ran to my husband. I was freaked out for obvious reasons but attempted to get my frantic emotions under control.
As calmly and as unemotionally as I could, I told my wonderful husband about the white discharge during pregnancy that I had discovered during my latest trip to the bathroom. I asked him to confirm my knowledge that discharge during pregnancy is usually normal and healthy. We discussed the worrisome situation and came to some conclusions. First, because I was not experiencing any cramping, nothing was probably wrong. Second, because the discharge was white with only a slight yellow tinge, nothing was probably wrong. Third, I had been experiencing an increase in watery discharge lately (enough that I opted to use a panty liner), another increase in discharge meant that nothing was probably wrong. I was also not experiencing any other symptoms of a problem such as redness, itching, or unusual odor.
As I know now, nothing was wrong. The white discharge during pregnancy that I experienced during week 15 of pregnancy, although a little worrisome given my unlucky history, was just the normal white discharge during pregnancy that many women experience. In fact, as I later learned after doing a little more research, my most recent increase in vaginal discharge was a good sign. My body was doing her best to protect the precious baby growing inside me. Ultimately, I just need to learn to relax should I have discovered (and I did) any more white discharge during pregnancy.
Did you experience an increase in discharge during pregnancy?
Vaginal Discharge During Pregnancy: http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/vaginaldischarge.html
Woman Wearing Stripped Socks Laying on Her Belly: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Striped_socks_and_panties.jpg