Yellow Discharge During Pregnancy: What’s Normal And When To Seek Help?

5 min read

Yellow Vaginal Discharge During Pregnancy

Your vaginal discharge says a lot about your health. The colour and texture of your vaginal discharge change throughout your menstrual cycle. A healthy woman secretes white creamy discharge at the beginning, egg white discharge at the middle, and gummy sticky white discharge at the end of her menstrual cycle. And during menstruation, its colour changes to dark red. Vaginal discharge is common during pregnancy too. But is it okay to have yellow discharge during pregnancy?

Thin and light-yellow vaginal discharge with a mild odour is considered to be normal during pregnancy. But if the colour of it is deep yellow and emits a foul odour then there can be some serious issues. So why do pregnant women often have yellow discharge? What are the causes of yellow discharge during pregnancy? And how will you prevent and treat it? Here is everything you should know.

In This Article

Is Yellow Discharge During Pregnancy Normal?

Vaginal discharge or Leukorrhea often increases during pregnancy. The amount of Leukorrhea will only increase as you advance in your pregnancy, and it will be at its peak in your third trimester. Discharge is completely natural as it is your body’s way of maintaining a clean and germ-free vagina, preventing any vaginal or uterine infections.

Healthy vaginal discharge will look like this.

  • Clear or whitish in colour and thin in texture.
  • Mild in odour.
  • Will get sticky and jelly-like discharge as you get close to childbirth.
  • Can also contain pink coloured mucus in the last few weeks of pregnancy.

Increasing vaginal discharge during pregnancy is normal. Light yellowish colour with mild odour is also normal. But if you notice a foul smell and a deep yellow coloured leukorrhea, then you must visit your doctor.

Causes of Yellow Discharge During Pregnancy

Vaginal Itching In Pregnant Woman

There are a few reasons that can cause a yellow discharge. These are:

1. Increasing Oestrogen Levels

The most common and natural reason for yellow discharge during pregnancy is the increasing levels of oestrogen. The amount of vaginal discharge depends on the level of oestrogen and during pregnancy oestrogen spikes are normal. Other reasons that can increase your oestrogen production are

  • Extra stress
  • Overweight
  • Lack of fibre in the diet
  • Weak immunity

If you are having yellow discharge because of high oestrogen levels, your doctor can easily handle it with some medications.

[Read : Are you suffering from high oestrogen? What should you look out for?]

2. Yeast Infection

Rapid hormonal changes like increased estrogen and glycogen during pregnancy result in a Vaginal pH imbalance. This imbalance, in return, causes a yeast named Candida albicans to develop in the vagina.

As a result, you will feel

  • Vaginal itching and redness.
  • Cottage cheese-like thick and foul-smelling vaginal discharge.
  • Swelling in the Vulva region.
  • Burning sensation while having sex.

On confirmation of yeast infection, your doctor will prescribe creams or ointments to apply since you must avoid oral medication for yeast infection during pregnancy. Also, you may need to avoid some antifungals like fluconazole (Diflucan) during pregnancy as they come with a fetal harm warning.

According to mayoclinic, the safe and secure medications for yeast infection are

  • Miconazole (Monistat 3)
  • Clotrimazole (Mycelex, Lotrimin AF)
  • Terconazole

According to NCBI, yeast infection if not treated right can cause some pregnancy complications like:

  • Preterm labour
  • Premature rupture of the membranes
  • Congenital cutaneous candidiasis
  • Chorioamnionitis

Immediately call your doctor if you notice any of the above symptoms.

3. Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

Chlamydia, trichomoniasis, and gonorrhoea are sexually transmitted diseases or STDs that can cause abnormal discharge. STDs are harmful not only for you but also for your growing baby. They can cause pregnancy complications like preterm delivery, premature rupture of the membrane, low birth weight, etc.

The common symptoms of STDs are

  • Atypical, often yellow vaginal discharge.
  • Frequent urination and discomfort while urinating.
  • Discomfort in the abdomen.
  • Discomfort during sex.

The protozoan parasite named Trichomonas Vaginalis is the cause of Trichomoniasis whereas chlamydia and gonorrhoea are caused by bacteria. Both Trichomoniasis, Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea can be treated easily with antibiotics.

4. Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial Vaginosis is another reason for yellow discharge. It happens due to the prevalence of bad bacteria than beneficial bacteria in the vagina. As a result, you can have thick yellowish or greenish discharge and a foul smell especially after having sex. If not treated in time BV can cause low birth weight, premature delivery, and even uterine infection after childbirth.

Treating Yellow Discharge During Pregnancy

  1. If you are suffering from yellow discharge or heavy discharge during pregnancy then here are some tips for your comfort.
    Wear cotton panties instead of synthetic panties. The breathability and absorptive quality of cotton will give you comfort.
  2. You can also use panty liners if you are having heavy yellow discharge due to pregnancy.
  3. Always wash or clean your vagina after you pee. Make sure you wipe it from front to back and not back to front.
  4. Avoid applying scented soaps, creams, or sprays to your vagina
  5. Don’t wear tight-fitting pants. It will only enhance your discomfort. And it is also not good for your baby.
  6. Don’t use douching as it can affect the regular bacterial flora of the vagina.

Preventing Yellow Vaginal Discharge During Pregnancy

Pregnant Woman Eating Yogurt

You cannot control your vaginal discharge very much. And, normally, it will increase during pregnancy. But certain lifestyle changes can help you avoid discomfort. These are

  • Keeping your genitalia clean and dry all the time, especially during hot humid weather.
  • Eating healthy and including yoghurt in diet.
  • Avoiding douching.
  • Using loose-fitting undergarments for avoiding itching and rashes.
  • Meditating and practising yoga to relieve your mind of stress.
  • Exercising to prevent weight gain.

Though a bit of yellow discharge is normal during pregnancy, you should not take it lightly. You should let your doctor know each change your body is going through during pregnancy. Too much yellow discharge may need to be addressed immediately. Also, maintain your hygiene and lead a healthy lifestyle to keep your vagina healthy.

[Read : Vaginal Dryness During Pregnancy]

FAQ’s

1. When Should I be Worried About Discharge During Pregnancy?

You will have to keep in mind that if your vaginal discharge has a foul odour then it may be a cause for concern. Light yellowish discharge is quite common during pregnancy, but it does not have a foul smell. A foul smell occurs when there is an infection or disease.

2. Can Yellow Discharge be a Sign of Pregnancy?

Thick vaginal discharge with a light yellowish colour can either suggest that your period is approaching or that you are possibly going to be pregnant. This slight yellowish tint can occur due to implantation. So yes, it can be an early sign of pregnancy which you can only confirm through a pregnancy test.

3. When Should I Go to the Doctor For a Yellow Discharge?

You need to visit your doctor if your yellow discharge combines with itching, irritation while urinating, redness, and swelling.

4. What Colour Discharge is Normal?

White creamy or sticky, and thin egg white like vaginal discharge is the ideal type of discharge. But due to the increased levels of oestrogen, you can get slight yellowish discharge which is also normal.

Read Also: Vaginal Pain During Pregnancy: Causes, Remedies, And Treatment!

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