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Vaginal Discharge During Early Pregnancy: Normal and 5 Types of Pathological Discharge

Vaginal discharge during early pregnancy

Cervical mucus is the basic component of vaginal discharge during early pregnancy. Normally, it is almost transparent or milky-white. Intensity of its secretion varies depending on the estrogen level. Pathological discharge can be indicative of various pathological conditions, from vaginal dysbacteriosis to threatened miscarriage. Among such conditions are: bloody, curdy, purulent grey or yellow discharge, as well as leaking of amniotic fluid.

Secretion of cervical mucus, which is in fact the basic component of vaginal discharge, is regulated by the main hormones of the female organism, particularly, estrogen, which determines the amount of mucus production, as well as progesterone, which can provoke modifications in the biochemical content of the discharge.

It is no wonder that the process of mucus production intermits during pregnancy, in the early stages of which the hormonal profile undergoes drastic charges practically every week. If we look back at the reference point, which is fertilization of the ovum by the sperm cell, it becomes obvious that this process is “absolutely intimate” and it doesn’t influence the features of mucus at the scale of female macro organism. However, the next key point of pregnancy, namely implantation, has profound effect on the amount and structure of discharge.

How does normal vaginal pregnancy discharge look like (implantation stage)?

It’s commonly known that ovulation occurs at the peak of estrogen activity. It results in intensive production of cervical mucus, which resembles an egg white. It is still transparent and can be easily stretched. Thus, implantation, which takes place at this point, can entail massive white discharge.

The second normal variant is light pink or brown discharge. Such a color change is explained by blood admixture present in the mucus. There is nothing pathological in this phenomenon, since bleeding is caused by the ovum’s invasion into the mucous lining of the uterus (endometrium), which occurs between 7-12 days after ovulation and entails affection of dynamically furcated vessels that supply the uterine walls with blood.

Light pink discharge during early pregnancy appears due to a few drops of blood diluted in a little amount of mucus. Dark brown discharge is nothing else but the same blood, only slightly diluted and congealed on the way to the vagina.

Types of secrete, discharged in further stages of pregnancy

Immediately after implantation, the mucus starts thickening under the influence of actively generated progesterone, thus forming a mucous plug, firmly closing the external mouth of the uterine cervix. Since the basic function of cervical mucus, namely, providing for secure and comfortable environment for the ovum’s fertilization by the sperm cell, is duly completed, its production switches to the protective mode. The plug is now mechanically preventing the penetration of infectious bacteria into the uterine cavity.

In 7-9 weeks after implantation, when the placenta has already been formed, starting active secretion of both progesterone and estrogen, the amount of mucus may increase. Further on, and up to the delivery time, the intensity of discharge may greatly vary, but it will still look as it used to, remaining white or almost transparent, free of any smell, foam or stickiness.

5 types of pathological discharge during pregnancy, which require visiting a gynecologist

White clumpy discharge during pregnancy

We also distinguish between several forms of pathological discharge during early pregnancy:

  1. Discharge with blood admixture;
  2. Curdy discharge;
  3. Darkened profuse discharge with an unpleasant smell;
  4. Purulent discharge;
  5. Watery discharge.

Bloody discharge, from spotting (brown spots on the underwear) and up to profuse bleeding, as long as it is not associated with implantation, which might cause bleeding at the very beginning point of impregnation, is a sign of pathology, including threatened miscarriage.

This has to do with the fact that the maturing fetus, enveloped by all kinds of protective layers and secured by a bubble of amniotic fluids, appears to be in a completely opaque system. Moreover, it is tightly plugged with mucus from the outside of the uterine cervix, thus being isolated from the external surroundings.

Any “permeation” of blood bears testimony of disturbance of integrity of this highly streamlined system. Blood discharge during early pregnancy indicates to involuntary termination of pregnancy, whereas in later stages it points to premature detachment of a normally situated placenta or bleeding of a low lying placenta.

Typical pathological conditions, which may be observed throughout the course of pregnancy are the so-called vaginal candidiasis (thrush) and bacterial vaginosis (vaginal dysbacteriosis). These diseases originate due to the prevalence of certain bacteria in vaginal microflora. In the first case vaginal discharge falls under the influence of Candida fungus, while in the second – the prevailing role is occupied by Gardnerella vaginalis. Such “invasions” occur due to weakened immune system in women in the first trimester of pregnancy, when the organism needs to maintain minimal resistance to the “implanted agent”, i.e. the fetus.

Candidiasis is expressed in the form of curdy discharge with unpleasant acid and purulent smell. Profuse yellow discharge, as well as grayish and even green mucus are typical to vaginal dysbacteriosis. Additionally, such a secrete is marked with specific “fish-like” smell.

Purulent or foamy discharge is inherent in bacterial diseases, such as the trichomonad infection. Profuse watery discharge can point to the leakage of amniotic fluids, however, this disorder is more typical to the second or third trimesters of pregnancy.

In fact, pregnant women regularly have their discharge tested to check for the presence of any gonococci, staphylococci and other pathological agents. Since the weakening of the immune system can, among other things, result in various diseases, which take almost an asymptomatic course.

Thus, it is not reasonable for pregnant women to wait for burning, itching or irritation of skin and the mucous lining in order to visit a doctor. Maintaining good health and caring of your future baby is only possible via regularly visiting a clinic, taking the necessary tests and duly complying with all the recommendations of your doctor.

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