Unless you regularly check your cervical fluids, you might not already be aware that your discharge will change a lot throughout your menstrual cycle. At some points it will be runnier, at other times it will be much thicker, and occasionally, it might even have a smell. When you get discharge that’s considered to be out of the ordinary at any time, it is wise to become a little concerned about it. That’s why it’s advisable to check your cervical fluids throughout the month.
During pregnancy, any minor change is going to have you rushing to the emergency room, especially if it’s your first baby. Watery discharge during pregnancy, although seemingly quite common, can be quite worrying. It can also feel as if you have lost all bladder control which, although embarrassing, is another common side effect of pregnancy. Once you’ve had a sniff to see what the fluid is, you’ll soon be able to work out whether it is urine (again, normal for expectant mothers with extra fluid on the bladder) or something else.
What is the Watery Discharge During Pregnancy?
Sometimes, the watery discharge during pregnancy will just be urine where the pressure has built up on your bladder and caused you to lose control for a moment. This normally happens during laughing, coughing or sneezing but can happen at other times.
The watery discharge that isn’t urine could be caused by a few other things and although some of these will need medical attention, they are considered to be normal and are not something to be overly concerned with.
The body will experience a rush of the hormone oestrogen during pregnancy and as a result of this, there is likely to be a rush of blood to the pelvic area. When this happens, it can cause watery, thin and white discharge during pregnancy but usually only in the very early stages.
This usually happens later in your pregnancy during the third trimester. The amniotic fluid is made up of things like vaginal and cervical secretions, dead skin and other cells and bacteria present in the vagina. It is normal for the amniotic fluid to come in a gush of fluids to discharge parts the body doesn’t need or have a use for, just as we have an outlet for waste material.
This is normally a sign that labour is coming. The mucus plug helps to block the cervix and prevent any infections and is present from the very early stages. When you go into labour, the body prepares for the baby to come out and during the dilation process, will expel the mucus plug to make way.
For some women, this may come as smaller amounts but for others, it can be a heavy rush of fluid. It can sometimes appear to be watery discharge and occasionally, there could be signs of blood and other dark fluids. It is a sign that the pregnancy is moving along in the direction it should but it doesn’t mean the baby is going to come soon. for some women, it can take much longer and there are many things to take into account including whether or not it’s your first child and even the health and position of the baby.
Unless there is a lot of blood present, you do not normally need to call your midwife when your mucus plug gives way. It does not mean labor has started just that labor is going to start soon. Wait until you start having contractions before you call.
There are also a few abnormal reasons why you might be experiencing this watery discharge during pregnancy. If you experience any soreness or itching around the vagina, difficulty in going to the toilet, green, thick, cloudy or frothy discharge, or if you have a foul smell at the same time, you should seek medical attention as it could be down to one of these:
It’s not pleasant when you’re not pregnant so when you are pregnant, things take an even more unpleasant term when you suffer with a yeast infection. As well as causing the watery discharge during pregnancy, it can come with a whole host of other symptoms, all of which can be very uncomfortable.
Symptoms include a burning sensation (during urination and otherwise), itching and swelling, redness, and even discharge that is green or yellow in color.
Coming with similar symptoms as the humble yeast infection, BV or bacterial vaginosis, is a condition which can also come with a fishy or foul-smelling discharge. Caused when the pH levels of the vagina become out of balance, it is important that you are diagnosed and treated for this immediately if you are pregnant.
BV can lead to miscarriage, pre-term delivery and even infections in the uterus after you have given birth.
If you experience any blood with your watery discharge during pregnancy, it is advisable that you seek medical attention right away. This could be a sign that you are going into premature or preterm labor which could affect the health of both you and your baby. If you experience pain and cramps with your discharge, with or without blood streaks, you should give your midwife a call.
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Not enough people take care of their own sexual health and one of the common reasons for a change in your discharge, pregnant or otherwise, is an STI. In fact, many of these infections fail to show symptoms for long periods of time, causing unseen and un-aware-of damage on the inside to areas such as your reproductive organs.
If you experience any color or smell changes with your discharge, or you find that there is more than usual, blood streaks, or a change in consistency, you should have a chat with your doctor about getting checked out for STI’s. Many women find that they are offered a full sexual health check when they first find out they are pregnant and it is well worth doing this to put your mind at ease, especially if you then develop odd symptoms later on.
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