Is Watery Discharge During Pregnancy Normal?
It is quite normal for most women to have a type of vaginal discharge while pregnant.
The consistency and texture of the discharge may change as you progress further into the pregnancy.
In early pregnancy(1st trimester), most women will experience an excessive white discharge called Leucorrhea. When you fall pregnant, there is an increase or a surge in the level of the estrogen hormone. This increase causes the cervix and the walls of the vagina to become softer. And more blood starts to flow to those areas.
Then the glands in the soft cervix and the glands in the soft vaginal walls starts to produce more discharge than normal. To prevent infections from passing through the vagina to the womb.
In late pregnancy(third trimester), this discharge becomes very watery and can most likely be mistaken for urine.
In the last week or two of pregnancy (38 week or 39 week) you may experience a discharge accompanied by a thick mucus and little blood. This type of discharge is known as show or mucus plug.
7 Causes of Watery Discharge While Pregnant
It is absolutely normal to experience a thin milky whitish discharge known as leucorrhea during early pregnancy( first trimester). This discharge is caused by an increase in estrogen hormone. And the purpose of the discharge is to protect the uterus(womb) from infections and germs.
A normal white discharge during pregnancy should be odorless, white, milky and should not cause any itching or irritation.
Leucorrhea is one of the early signs and symptoms of pregnancy.
2. Amniotic Fluid
The unborn baby while in the womb floats in a fluid called the amniotic fluid. Amniotic fluid is a clear fluid that surround your baby in the womb. The function of the amniotic fluid is to cushion and protect your baby in the womb. The fluid and the unborn baby both stays in the amniotic sac.
In the last trimester, the baby starts to put pressure on your body, this can sometimes cause a discharge. If you notice a sudden gush of water in late pregnancy. This may be your water breaking. Call for the hospital immediately.
The spontaneous rupture of membrane is the common cause of amniotic fluid leakage. This signifies the beginning of labour.
3. Mucus Plug
When you get pregnant some mucus will start to accumulate around your cervix to prevent infections and germs from getting to the womb. As you progress into the pregnancy, the mucus thickens to keep infections away from the uterus.
The mucus plug fills the cervix without leaving any gaps between the walls of the uterine.
4. Leaked Urine
When you are pregnant, it may feel like everything is leaking. Your bladder fills up faster during pregnancy. And as the baby grows the weight of the baby starts to press on your bladder. This may cause you to leak urine more frequently while laughing, sneezing, coughing or even walking.
5. Yeast infection
Yeast infection during pregnancy is most common in the second trimester. It causes excessive white, lumpy and odorless discharge.
Yeast infection is caused by an overgrowth of yeast in the Vagina.
The symptoms and signs of yeast infection during pregnancy are: vaginal itching, excessive discharge, vaginal irritation, clumpy discharge that resembles cottage cheese.
This is an abnormal pregnancy discharge. You should see your health care provider immediately if you experience any form of itchy discharge.
6. Bacterial Vaginosis
About 10%-30% of women have bacterial vaginosis while pregnant. Bacterial vaginosis discharge during pregnancy is caused by an imbalance of bacteria in the vagina.
Every woman's vaginal has some quantity of bacteria in it. But when the balance between the good and bad bacteria gets disrupted it leads to BV.
If your discharge has a fishy smell, is thin and watery. Then you may have bacteria vaginosis.
See the doctor immediately if you have any of the symptoms above. BV in pregnancy is a leading cause of preterm labor. BV in pregnancy is also linked to miscarriage and low birth weight.
7. Sexually transmitted diesase
Other causes of abnormal watery discharge in pregnancy are STI such as Trichomoniasis, Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. The colour of this discharge is usually green or yellow.
Trichomoniasis: If you have a greenish-yellowish discharge in pregnancy that is thin, thick or frothy then you may have Trich. The other symptom of Trichonomiasis is that the discharge also smells like fish.
If your experience this type of discharge while pregnant see you doctor immediately.
Chlamydia: Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease caused by an organism called Chlamydia Trachomatis. If Chlamydia is left untreated in pregnancy, the organism may be passed unto the baby during delivery.
Symptoms of chlamydia during pregnancy are:
- Abnormal or unusual vaginal discharge
- Bleeding during sex
- Bleeding between periods
- Pain while peeing
What does Watery discharge in second Trimester Mean?
Some women start to wear panty liners or pads during the second trimester of pregnancy. This could be due to a normal, excessive vaginal discharge caused an increase in estrogen level. Or it could be caused by a leaking amniotic fluid or Urine.
If the watery discharge is a lot, that soaks through your panties, then you may be experiencing a leak. Call your midwife of doctor, who would check your amniotic fluid.
Your doctor will perform a test to confirm that your amniotic fluid is not running low or that you don't have a sudden membrane rupture.
A watery smelly discharge while pregnant is a sign of vaginal infection.
What does Watery Discharge in Third Trimester Mean?
You may notice more discharge in the last trimester. This is because the baby is growing bigger and the weight of the baby is pressing against most of your organs. In addition to having a discharge that is watery, you may also have frequent urine leak.
If you notice lots of water trickling down your legs or a sudden gush of water in the last few weeks of pregnancy, You should call your health care professional immediately.
Amniotic fluid may be clear or yellowish in color.
Does Watery Discharge during Early Pregnancy mean Miscarriage?
Watery in early pregnancy is usually a thin milky, whitish discharge that you get instead of your period. Leukorrhea may start around the time you are expecting your period. This is usually the first sign of pregnancy for some women.
Having Watery Discharge During Pregnancy at 38 weeks
Watery discharge at 38 week of pregnancy may mean your labour is about to start. The baby can come at anytime after 36 week. Not everyone carries a baby to the 40th week. While some women are pregnant till week 41.
A thin watery discharge at 38 week or 39 week or 40 week may mean you amniotic fluid is leaking( your water has broken).
Even if you don't feel any labour pains yet. See your doctor immediately to avoid getting an infection in the womb.
Amniotic Fluid Discharge
The amniotic fluid is a protective liquid that the baby floats in while in the womb. At the beginning of pregnancy the fluid is made up of your body fluids. When the baby's kidney starts to develop, it is made up of the baby's urine.
what to do About watery discharge
If you experience a excessive watery discharge in pregnancy, you should see your doctor immediately.
If your discharge is smelly or cause vaginal itching then you may have a vaginal infection. Avoid taking over the counter medications while pregnant. See a Doctor who would diagnose you and prescribe the right medications for you.