Vaginal Discharge

Why do I have so much discharge?

It is common to have more vaginal discharge in pregnancy. It is due to the impact of hormones on the skin of the vagina and cervix. It is clear to yellow in colour and there is no irritation or significant odour. The amount varies from one woman to another.

If there is an irritation or odour then you could have a vaginal infection. The most common is due to Candida albicans (thrush).

If you have a very watery clear vaginal loss and especially if it has a fishy smell then you could have rupture of the membranes. The loss is usually considerable but sometimes is not.

What can be done?

Nothing can be done in pregnancy about the physiological increase in discharge in pregnancy, as it is part of pregnancy changes. It will settle after the pregnancy. Use pads and not tampons and change them frequently. If it doesn’t settle after you have your baby it may be because you may have a cervical ectropion (excessive glands on your cervix). Cervical diathermy after your pregnancy is over will most likely result in you having markedly less discharge. Ask me about this if it is relevant for you.

Canestan1 (1)Thrush can be safely treated by over-the-counter vaginal antifungal preparations such as Canestan or Nilstat. But you will need to insert the antifungal agent well into your vagina for it to be effective. Unfortunately if you are prone to thrush it is likely to recur in pregnancy. It is important to be clear of it at the time of delivery and have careful hygiene after delivery to minimise the chances of your baby acquiring oral thrush.If you suspect you have rupture of the membranes contact the Labour Ward / Birth Unit immediately. There is risk of infection and umbilical cord prolapse (especially if the baby’s head is not in they pelvis). Also you may go into labour, which is a significant concern if you are not yet due. You will need to be hospitalised and close monitoring as part of management.
Posted by Dr Gary Sykes on -

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