Discharge in Early Pregnancy

Many women get concerned about discharge in early pregnancy.  Some of the reasons include:

  • Concerns over possible miscarriage
  • Concerns over bodily changes - what exactly is normal and what is not

Face it, your body is very busy working to make a healthy baby the entire time you are pregnant.  During various phases of your pregnancy, you may feel like your body has been taken over by aliens because you are experiencing so many changes.  

Many women have concerns over whether the changes they are experiencing are signs of a normal pregnancy or signs of something going wrong.  If you have pressing concerns above and beyond discharge, download our free pregnancy e-guide!

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Normal discharge in early pregnancy

Normal discharge in early pregnancy is clear, white or cream-colored and smooth in texture, not lumpy or granular.  It doesn’t have  a strong odor. In early pregnancy you may see an increase in discharge as your body ramps for baby making.  A little bit of blood may also be present making your discharge slightly pink.  This is OK too and is often caused by changes in your mucus membranes.  

You may even have enough discharge that you wish to wear a panty liner, change underwear midday or get in the habit of wiping the discharge off of your underwear when you use the bathroom.  All women should consider switching to breathable cotton underwear while they are pregnant since that will increase air circulation at your vaginal entrance and help prevent infections.

Abnormal discharge in early pregnancy

Abnormal discharge in early pregnancy is yellow, grey or green colored. It will often be granular or foamy and have a distinct odor.  Yellow discharge that is lumpy or granular and smells like fresh bread is often caused by a yeast infection.  

Grayish discharge that is thin and has a fishy odor and is accompanied by a burning sensation when you urinate is often caused by a bacterial infection.  Greenish discharge accompanied by a foul odor is often caused by a parasite infection.  

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How to tell if you have an infection and what kind of infection you have

It can be hard to tell the difference between yeast, bacterial and parasite infections since they all tend to make you itchy and uncomfortable and the actual color of your discharge may seem to be a combination of colors.  Greenish discharge is often greenish-yellow.  Greyish discharge can look almost normal or even a little greenish.  

Because your skin and mucous membranes become much more sensitive during pregnancy, you may be feeling itchy due to wearing lace underwear or fabric that is too abrasive or doesn’t breathe enough during pregnancy.  What was fine before you were pregnant may not work for you while you are pregnant. 

Because you want to nip any problem in the bud long before it becomes serious while you are pregnant, you will want to determine if discharge in early pregnancy is the sign of an infection early on.  

How to confirm if you have some sort of infection …or not

A doctor’s visit is the best way to confirm an infection and learn what type it is so that you can address it quickly.  If this isn’t an option you can follow the following strategy to address the issue.  First, rule out underwear and clothing as the source of any itching or discomfort.

Second, take a closer look at the discharge.  If it is lumpy and yellowish, it is likely to be caused by yeast.  Yeast infections are especially common during pregnancy due to hormonal changes disrupting the pH balance of the vagina.  

If you haven’t recently been taking oral antibiotics, then statistically, it is more likely to be a yeast infection than a bacterial or parasitic infection.

With that in mind you could purchase an over the counter yeast medication.  For most yeast infections, creams and suppositories with clotrimazole are more effective than those containing nystatin.    The mayo clinic recommends either Miconazole (Monistat) or clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin).  They have both been tested and found to be safe during pregnancy.  

Diflucan (a single-dose medication) has not been proven to be safe during pregnancy and fluconazole should be avoided, especially in your first trimester.

For those of you that prefer natural solutions and are fans of essential oils, several midwives recommend tea tree oil and geranium oil placed on a tampon and inserted overnight.  

Another option is to mix a tablespoon of organic coconut oil with 10 drops each of Tea Tree Oil and Lavender Oil in a small container and place it in your freezer for a hour until it forms a clump.  Personally, I like to also break open a capsule of probiotic powder and mix this in as well before freezing the mixture.  

Insert this clump into your vagina at night while you are lying down. Some women report that this immediately eliminates the itching and may even eliminate the infection overnight. Eliminating sugar and simple starches from your diet is also important to eliminate a yeast infection and prevent yeast infections from reoccurring while you are pregnant.  

More Information You May Be Interested In

More Information You Might Be Interested In

Read more about the Importance of a Healthy Diet, especially for unborn babies, children and nursing moms.

Worried about weight gain? Weight Gain in Pregnancy is a huge concern for many women. Here's what you need to know and your doctor is unlikely to tell you.

Childbirth can be an endurance event. Read about a few important Pregnancy Exercises you should be doing to prepare your body for your baby's birth.

See some Healthy Crock Pot Recipes that can make meal preparation easy.

Visit our Natural Pregnancy Forum to read stories and ask questions of the community. 

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