Is Vaginal Discharge Normal During Pregnancy?
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Pregnancy is characterized by several hormonal changes which also cause an increase in vaginal discharge. It’s totally normal and caused by a buildup of vaginal mucus, so it can be more abundant than that of a non-pregnant woman, it can also be a little whiter than usual.
Vaginal discharge during pregnancy protects the growing fetus by preventing bacteria from reaching it. This mucus that continuously moistens the genitals replaces the cervical mucus that constitutes the mucus plug of the cervix.
Vaginal secretions contain a delicate balance of water, mucus, fat (from sebaceous glands), cervicovaginal cells, white blood cells, antibodies, and bacteria (lactobacillus acidophilus) to keep the V Zone healthy, which explains why vaginal douches are so harmful. During pregnancy and beyond, vaginal douches are absolutely prohibited.
Eighty percent of a vaginal discharge is produced in the cervix and to a lesser extent in the Skene’s and Bartholin’s glands that are located in the vulvar region, that is, in the outer part of V Zone. The vagina does not have glands, but it is moistened by the filtering of liquid from its deepest layers, this explains why it is still wet even when the cervix and Bartholino glands are surgically removed.
How Can I Identify a Vaginal Infection?
Generally, vaginal discharge is whitish, without a bad smell, its consistency is liquid, and does not cause burning or itching, in which case, it does not cause problems for the mother or the baby.
Seek medical treatment immediately if your vaginal discharge changes color and is accompanied by symptoms such as vaginal irritation, itching, or burning, as it can be a sign of an infection that can cause abortion before 20 weeks of gestation or premature delivery with rupture of amniotic membranes after 20 weeks of pregnancy. If this is the case, it is important to go to your OBGYN or emergency room to treat the infection with vaginal suppositories or vaginal creams, which are very effective, and will prevent putting the pregnancy at risk.
What Should I do to Keep my V Zone Healthy?
● It is advisable to use pantiliners daily, changing them at least 3 times a day, to avoid bad odors and humidity.
● The use of soap that is specially formulated for your V Zone is a must, as it helps maintain an adequate vaginal pH which lowers the risk of infection.
● It is also very important to avoid wearing tight clothes to allow proper ventilation to your V Zone.
As you just read, vaginal discharge is normal during pregnancy. The more careful we are with our gynecological health, the more it benefits our overall health and pregnancy. The important things to know are how to identify and detect changes and abnormalities in our vaginal discharges, and to seek medical assistance immediately to avoid complications.