We know that vaginal discharge is very useful for our body, but sometimes it is a bit annoying because from time to time it surprises us by staining our underwear. But, in turn, vaginal discharge is a valuable source of information on changes or alterations that may be occurring in our body . It helps us to know which days of the month are the most fertile, it also tells us when we are pregnant, warns of possible infections, when our menstruation is going to arrive, etc.
This time we are going to talk about vaginal discharge during pregnancy. Just as secretions vary throughout the menstrual cycle, and also as the years go by, because during the gestation period it is also different, so we should not be alarmed if we see that it has a different texture than normal.
VAGINAL DISCHARGE WHEN WE ARE PREGNANT
Throughout the menstrual cycle, there are times when we notice a heavier vaginal discharge, corresponding to the days of ovulation. Well, at the beginning of pregnancy we will notice that these secretions are more common , and there is talk of leucorrhea. Leucorrhea refers to when we have an excess of vaginal discharge , and it is whitish and odorless (or with a slight and mild odor).
During pregnancy it is normal for it to increase because there is a greater production of estrogens, and also the vaginal area receives a greater blood risk during this stage. Vaginal discharge during pregnancy also has a pH that is more acidic than normal , to prevent the entry of infectious agents, but it can also promote the development of vaginal yeast infections (also known as fungi).
At the beginning of pregnancy, as a measure to protect the womb or uterus, the so-called mucous plug is generated . It is a secretion generated by the cervix as a barrier to protect the uterus. The objective is that the uterus or womb does not communicate with the vagina, and thus protect it from infections.
This secretion or barrier is maintained throughout the pregnancy, but as the time of delivery approaches, that mucus is shed, either at once or gradually. Thus, the woman close to delivery will notice an increase in vaginal secretions, which is nothing other than this mucous plug that is being expelled. This mucus is thicker and stickier than normal; It may appear transparent, like egg white , or slightly yellowish or brownish, or present with streaks of blood. However, the mucous plug does not have much volume, so there are women who expel it without realizing it, for example, while urinating.
HOW TO MAINTAIN INTIMATE HYGIENE DURING PREGNANCY
First of all, we should not try to mask vaginal secretions with tampons, as these can increase the risk of developing an infection. Nor will we take vaginal douches in excess, that is, if we wash the vaginal area very frequently, we alter the natural flora and make it more vulnerable to the proliferation of infections. What it is advisable to do is:
– Use hygienic wipes to keep the area clean and dry, or else toilet paper. But these products must not be perfumed, nor will we apply soaps or sprays. We can in a pharmacy what type of wipes they recommend us so that they are soft and do not irritate.
– Use thin compresses or cotton protectors (panty liners) to avoid stains on underwear. Again, we can check in the pharmacy which products are most recommended for pregnancy.
– When we go to the bathroom , we will clean ourselves from front to back, to avoid contaminating the vaginal area.
– The underwear that we use must be made of cotton .
WHEN TO WORRY ABOUT THE APPEARANCE OF VAGINAL DISCHARGE
The times when we should be concerned when vaginal discharge appears are similar to when we are not pregnant: vaginal infections. When there is an infection, the vaginal discharge appears with an altered texture, smell and color:
– If it appears greenish, intense yellow or brown .
– If it is too watery or, on the contrary, with a lumpy appearance, similar to cut milk.
– If you notice a bad smell.
– If the flow alteration is accompanied by symptoms such as itching, irritation or burning.
In these cases, it is usually due to an infection, such as vaginal yeast infection, trichomoniasis (which is a sexually transmitted disease), or bacterial vaginosis . Before any suspicion, we must go to the doctor without letting time pass, and it is totally forbidden to self-medicate . In addition to the fact that each type of infection has a different treatment, during pregnancy we must be very careful with the medications we take, so we must always consult it.
If the discharge is brown or seems to be accompanied by blood, we should not be alarmed, but we do have to consult a doctor. It may be possible during the first weeks of pregnancy, but not because it has a certain frequency should we ignore it.