White discharge in pregnancy: what to do

White discharge during pregnancy is called leucorrhoea of ​​pregnancy. The term leucorrhoea derives from the Latin leucos, which means precisely white, shiny.

Leucorrhoea of ​​pregnancy

A leucorrhoea of ​​pregnancy is nothing but the vaginal emission of whitish discharge that occurs during a pregnancy.

These losses are not the symptom of any disease but are completely physiological.

Their presence, in fact, despite not being pleasant, protects the vagina from infections and maintains normal bacterial balance for the duration of pregnancy.

Leucorrhoea resembles normal vaginal discharge that occurs during the menstrual cycle, but is heavier.

You may also notice the discharge take on a slightly pink or brown color and – unless you are obviously bleeding – this vaginal spotting is, especially after intercourse, very frequently a normal symptom of an ongoing pregnancy.

However, if your discharge is yellowish, green, or smells like cottage cheese, see your doctor, as you may have a vaginal infection that needs to be treated.

What to do in case of white discharge

If it makes you feel better, wear external pads or liners (not internal tampons) that absorb the discharge.

Try to keep your vulva dry and clean to prevent the unpleasant smells associated with these discharges.

White losses are not eliminated.

You don’t need to do vaginal douching to eliminate them.

This would be highly counterproductive, as this would only lead to less protection for your body: in other words, you would remove those immune defenses that try to protect you and your baby.

To keep the external genitalia clean and dry, use a mild, fragrance-free soap to wash yourself. Do not use scented toilet paper, or vaginal deodorants.

When to Worry

You may need treatment when the appearance of the discharge suddenly changes. If you notice any of the following types of discharge, contact your doctor:

  • foul-smelling secretions  , similar to the stench of fish;
  • white or gray and watery secretions  ;
  • frothy  yellow or green secretions  ;
  • copious secretions   and like cottage cheese.

Also, contact your doctor even when,

  • you feel pain when urinating or when you have intercourse;
  • you feel pain in the genitals;
  • feel itchy in the genitals.

Depending on the symptoms you may have candidiasis, bacterial vaginosis, or trichomoniasis which is an infection caused by the protozoan Trichomonas.

Candidiasis is not a very problematic condition for pregnancy, but it can be extremely annoying. Your doctor will be able to prescribe the correct treatment for you.

You should start treatment as soon as possible, as some vaginal infections are linked to an increased risk of miscarriage or stillbirth.

Contact your doctor even if you have brown secretions, as these indicate the existence of a little bleeding: this is an event that is quite common in the first part of pregnancy, but it is still good to tell your doctor so that he can rule out other possibility.

Katherine Johnson, M.D., is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist with clinical expertise in general obstetrics and gynecology, family planning, women’s health, and gynecology.

She is affiliated with the Obstetrics and Gynecology division at an undisclosed healthcare institution and the online platform, Maternicity.com.

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