A woman may experience several types of discharge during pregnancy. The most common type of pregnancy discharge, however, is called leukorrhea, which is whitish in appearance and may seem mucous-like at times. A woman may also experience spotting during pregnancy, which is often brownish or whitish with red or pink streaks. Sometimes a woman may also have a thick, cottage-cheese-like discharge during pregnancy, which may be the result of a yeast infection. Additionally, some women notice a watery pregnancy discharge during mid-to-late pregnancy, which may be the result of leaking amniotic fluid.
Having more vaginal discharge is normal during pregnancy and is usually no cause for alarm. Often, women notice an odorless discharge that is somewhat milky in appearance while they are pregnant. This type of discharge is normally made up of a combination of dead cells and various vaginal and cervical secretions. Late in pregnancy, this discharge may also take on a mucus-like quality. Often, this occurs as a woman’s cervix is changing and she begins to lose the barrier of mucus that protects her cervix and reproductive organs from the outside world.
Sometimes pregnancy discharge is thicker than usual; has an unpleasant or pungent smell; or is accompanied by itching and irritation in the vaginal area. In such a case, the pregnant woman may have a vaginal infection. Yeast infections, which can be treated with over-the-counter medications, are common during pregnancy and cause such symptoms as itching and burning; redness; and a discharge that resembles cottage cheese. If a discharge has a fishy smell or is green or yellowish, the woman may have a more serious infection and may need a doctor’s evaluation.
While no woman wants to see bloody discharge while she is pregnant, many women do experience spotting during pregnancy. For example, a pregnant woman may notice brown spotting or see streaks of pink or red in her underwear. Sometimes the spotting is so scant that a woman may only notice it when she wipes with toilet paper. Though spotting may not mean anything is wrong with her developing baby, an expectant mother may do well to seek a doctor’s advice when she notices it.
If a woman notices pregnancy discharge that is clear and thin, she’ll likely need to contact her doctor as soon as possible. In some cases, this discharge may mean a woman is leaking amniotic fluid. The only way to know for sure, however, is to seek the help of a health care professional.