White discharge during pregnancy

Les pertes blanches pendant la grossesse

Abundant , light, liquid , viscous , transparent , milky … The white discharge observed in women throughout their life and menstrual cycle is variable in nature. And this particularly during the period of intense upheaval that is pregnancy . During this phase of gestation , the composition and appearance of this type of vaginal secretion changes for most pregnant women . Pregnancy and white discharge : a situation that you yourself are experiencing? If you are expecting a child , you may have noticed these physiological changes . Important, surprising, even disconcerting, they are probably a source of questions, and even worry. What are these variations in white discharge during pregnancy ? What are they due to? And how can we adapt to best experience such changes during the nine months preceding the baby 's arrival ?

Pregnancy and white discharge: understanding the changes

Pregnancy is a total upheaval, physical, physiological, psychological and emotional. Under the influence of hormones, the entire body adapts to allow the development of the embryo and then the fetus inside the mother's womb. The white discharge is naturally modified.

What does white discharge look like during pregnancy?

The white discharge observed during pregnancy is similar in many ways to that experienced outside of pregnancy. They are translucent, milky or yellowish, do not give off bad odors and are not accompanied by discomfort or irritation. The change mainly observed is their quantity. They are generally more abundant. When you are pregnant, don't be surprised to feel almost constant humidity around your vulva and in your underwear. This intensification phenomenon can occur from the third week after the date of conception and continue throughout gestation.

Women who already experienced this type of intimate discharge before becoming pregnant may be surprised by this increase in volume. For those who were taking hormonal contraception, the discovery is even more surprising. In fact, these contraceptives affect the texture and abundance of cervical mucus in order to prevent fertilization, which considerably reduces white discharge. Be careful not to confuse this new vaginal discharge with urinary leakage, which is common in pregnant women. 

Why is white discharge more abundant during pregnancy?

There are several reasons for the abundance of white discharge during pregnancy.

  • The level of estrogen in the blood increases, which stimulates the growth and renewal of cells in the vaginal mucosa, and therefore increases the quantity of dead cells eliminated, an important component of white discharge.
  • Blood circulation increases in the pelvic region, to irrigate the placenta and the fetus, which causes the vagina to secrete more white discharge.
  • The concentration of progesterone in the blood increases, causing the cervix to produce more cervical mucus. Part of this mucus collects and coagulates at the cervix during the first trimester to form the mucous plug, a protective barrier hermetically closing the entrance to the uterus. The other part of this mucus continues to flow through the vagina and increases the volume of white discharge. The mucous plug is eliminated one or more times at the end of pregnancy, in the form of more solid discharge, often pinkish or brownish due to the presence of blood.

How is white discharge during pregnancy abnormal?

In all circumstances, it is important to pay attention to your intimate discharge to easily and quickly detect an unusual change, a sign of a possible health problem. This is especially true when you are pregnant since pregnancy is a period conducive to the development of vaginal infections. This is due to the secretion of large quantities of pregnancy hormones, which unbalance the microbial flora of the vagina. This is the case for the most common vaginal yeast infection, that caused by the yeast Candida albicans .

The symptoms that should alert you to white discharge are:

  • A very high quantity, much higher than what you may have experienced at the start of pregnancy if they increased at that time;
  • A dark yellow, green, gray, brown or brown color;
  • A very thick, very dense, frothy, lumpy (like curdled milk) or pus-like texture;
  • A strong odor, especially of fish, fresh plaster or metallic;
  • A feeling of discomfort in the vulvar area, when urinating or general: redness, burning, rash, irritation, tingling, itching, pain, fever.

These manifestations generally reflect the presence of:

  • a vaginal infection by bacteria, parasites or fungi (mycosis);
  • a sexually transmitted disease, such as gonorrhea or chlamydia infection ;
  • from a foreign body, such as a tampon forgotten in the vagina.

In all cases, it is essential to consult a doctor, so that he can check your state of health and possibly prescribe treatment.

This vaginal discharge should not be confused with other discharge that occurs during pregnancy and also requires medical attention, sometimes urgent, such as vaginal bleeding or cracking of the water bag.

How to cope well with white discharge during pregnancy

Be attentive to the nature of white discharge before, during and after pregnancy

Pregnant or not, get into the habit of observing your vaginal discharge, often visible inside your underwear or on your panty liners. This allows you to know, when a change appears, whether it is normal or whether you should be concerned. You thus create useful benchmarks, particularly for monitoring your pregnancy, a period already full of discoveries and learning, which you will be able to experience more serenely.

Consult a gynecologist if in doubt

White discharge is one of the most common reasons for gynecological consultation. It is in fact not always easy to distinguish those which are normal, a sign of the proper functioning of your body, from those which are abnormal, due to a complication or infection. Do not hesitate to call or consult your doctor or gynecologist when you have any doubts.

Prevent vaginal irritations and infections

For some women or during particular periods such as pregnancy, white discharge is very abundant and constitutes a daily discomfort. However, they are part of the natural functioning of the body. There are no healthy and effective ways to reduce or eliminate them. They should not lead people to adopt excessive personal hygiene behaviors. This has the opposite effect: disrupting the vaginal ecosystem and encouraging the appearance of infections.

Instead, adopt the following habits:

  • Ban vaginal douches, antiseptic soaps, shower gels, bubble baths and scented toilet paper;
  • Avoid continuously wearing panty liners and sanitary napkins;
  • Wash your lingerie with hypoallergenic detergent or neutral soap;
  • Choose clothes made of cotton or natural fibers, for greater softness and breathability, and change them regularly.

    Adopt menstrual panties

    Menstrual panties to combine pregnancy and white discharge

    Perdième menstrual underwear is perfectly suited to absorbing white discharge during pregnancy. Effective, comfortable, without products dangerous to health, elegant, they allow you to feel protected, comfortable and pretty at the same time. Opt for menstrual panties if your discharge is moderately heavy or for the first months, when your belly is slowly rounding. Choose themenstrual shorty from the start if you have very heavy discharge or when you need more space during the last trimester.

    And you, do you notice any changes in your white discharge during your pregnancy? What are your solutions to overcome these inconveniences? Have you tested Perdième lingerie ? If this is the case, we hope that it will give you complete satisfaction and reassure you as you wait for your future baby.

    Written by cd


    1. Lansac, J. (2015, June 3). White discharge . cngof.
    2. Vaginal discharge . Vidal. Accessed February 22, 2022.
    3. Barad, D.H. (2022, January 25). Vaginal discharge . MSD Manuals.