Discharge during pregnancy: What does it mean?

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You and your husband’s life will experience a big change once the little one is out into the world, but your body starts facing it the moment you become pregnant. All sorts of hormones start playing around resulting in a variety of symptoms in the ‘to be mother’. One of the most common symptom is vaginal discharge. It may be normal or point towards an underlying infection. Let us discuss the common causes.

  • CLEAR:

 If the discharge is thin, watery and clear, then there is nothing to worry as it is absolutely normal during pregnancy. This condition is called as leucorrhea and is because of change in hormonal levels. This is body’s defense mechanism of reducing vaginal infections.


If the discharge is white or creamy in color and thick in consistency, and is accompanied by itching and burning sensation while urination, it may point towards fungal infection.


If the discharge is greenish yellow in color and is foul smelling, it points towards a sexually transmitted disease (STD). It is usually accompanied by burning and pain during intercourse. Every pregnant lady is screened for STDs as they are usually asymptomatic. 

  • GRAY: 

If the discharge is thin, gray but has a strong fishy smell, then it points towards bacterial vaginosis. This discharge may be accompanied by redness and swelling of the vagina and vulva. This happens when the normal resident bacteria of vagina increase from their normal number.

  • BROWN:

If one experiences brown discharge after intercourse, then it is probably due to vaginal/cervical irritation as they become very sensitive during pregnancy. If the discharge occus in the last weeks of pregnancy, then it may suggest impending labor. Lastly, it may also point towards miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy showing passage of old blood as the brown discharge.

  • PINK: 

This is also a sign of impending labor and less commonly miscarriage. 


  1. For thin fluid like discharge, wear panty liners or cotton underwears that absorb the discharge.
  2. Maintain the hygiene of genital area.
  3. Always wipe the area dry from front to backwards.
  4. Avoid wearing tight clothes that decrease breathing space.
  5. Avoid douching and use of tampons.
  6. Eat a healthy balance diet with addition of probiotics to keep the vaginal flora healthy.
  7. Most importantly, consult the clinician to know what is normal and what is not.

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