When you’re pregnant, there are lots of aches and pains, protrusions, and puffiness. But there are also things happening, ahem, down below, too. You might find that your regular vaginal discharge takes on a life of its own during your pregnancy, and like many things that happen during those nine months, it, too, evolves. The spotting you might experience can vary greatly from the beginning stages, so it’s important to know what late pregnancy discharge looks like, and understand what’s safe — and what could be a cause for concern.
For the most part, vaginal discharge during pregnancy is thin, has a milky-white color, and might have a slight odor or be completely odorless, Today’s Parent reported. But as your pregnancy progresses, you might notice that it changes. “Vaginal discharge increases to thick and white as the cervix softens, or when you lose your mucus plug prior to labor,” OB/GYN Dr. Taraneh Shirazian M.D. tells Romper. “This change is due the changing hormone levels in pregnancy.”
While a goopy feeling in your nether regions during pregnancy isn’t exactly the most pleasant sensation, it’s fairly harmless — and totally normal. It might require you to wear a panty liner or a pad to ensure that your undies stay clean. But if you thought that you could use a tampon to prevent the discharge from discoloring or damaging your panties, think again. Medical experts agree that using a tampon during pregnancy isn’t safe due to the increased risk of bacteria being near or entering the cervix.
Although you can expect there to be more discharge than usual during pregnancy, there are some reasons why you might want to take a look-see at your underwear every now and then. There are some colors that you definitely don’t want to see peeking back at you on your panties. “If you have green or gray discharge, you should call your OB/GYN,” advises Dr. Shirazian. “Green or grey discharge could indicate an infection, and should be further evaluated by a medical professional.”
Another color you don’t want to see is red, especially if you’re not near your due date yet. “A bloody discharge might be the beginning of the bloody show, which means that the cervix is beginning to ripen before labor which is normal,” says Dr. Shirazian. “But any amount of active bleeding should be evaluated by an OB/GYN.”
You can expect your body to go through a tremendous transformation when you’re pregnant, and vaginal discharge is just another symptom of that. Just be aware of what’s normal (and what’s not) so you can adapt to the ebb, and, you know, flow of pregnancy.
Dr. Taraneh Shirazian, M.D., an OB/GYN and founder of Mommy Matters