Pregnancy is always a wonderful and exciting time. With its arrival, a woman experiences a bunch of indescribable emotions and feelings, and not just moments of joy. The anticipation of expecting a baby involves a lot of different emotions, especially in the early stages of pregnancy.
It’s very important for the future mother to monitor her health, pay attention to every change in her body, see a doctor in a timely manner and prevent possible illnesses. One of the most frequent causes for concern is vaginal discharge. Its character is somewhat different than before pregnancy, so it is important to know what type of discharge happens during pregnancy; what is the norm and what are signs of serious health concerns.
What type of discharge can be expected during the early stages of pregnancyCan there be vaginal discharge during pregnancy? Which discharge in early pregnancy is considered to be normal?
It is no secret that from the beginning of pregnancy, the female body begins to actively restructure because of the change in hormonal levels. Progesterone has a special influence in the first weeks with effects such as whitish discharge during pregnancy, watery or transparent discharge, and sometimes quite thick discharge with a slight yellowish tinge.
Such light mucus is the norm in the early pregnancy, and it performs an important function in the body. The fact is that at the beginning of the first trimester a placenta – which will have to protect the foetus from various external impacts throughout pregnancy – has not yet formed. However, nature, as always, has provided for everything, and this important role was given to the discharge. It forms a mucous plug in the cervical canal, which closes the entrance to the uterus, thus preventing infections from entering its cavity.
Moreover, discharge at the beginning of pregnancy actively moisturises the vaginal lining, which eliminates the feeling of discomfort in a woman. However, remember that discharge should not have a strong odour and be a noticeable yellow or green colour. You shouldn’t feel any itching or experience any other unpleasant symptoms.[attention type=yellow]Before the delay of menstruation in the first weeks of the pregnancy, a brown or bloody pink discharge is normal. This happens at the time of attachment of the ovum to the uterine wall. During this period, the uterus loosens and forms a new vascular plexus, which causes the discharge. It does not represent any threat to the future mother or the embryo. At the same time, you should not feel any pain, and the discharge itself is short-lived in nature and consists of no more than streaks and specks of red.[/attention]
Pathological discharge in early stages of pregnancy: what to do and how to treat it
The most common pathologies of the first trimester of pregnancy are the following:
- brownish (beige) spotted discharge;
- bloody (pinkish) discharge in early terms of the pregnancy.
As mentioned above, the short-lived discharge with light echoes of these shades may well be the norm when it comes to the process of implantation of the ovum. However, these signs can be the symptoms of a variety of problems.
Consider what brown discharge may signify in the early terms of the pregnancy.
- Spotting of brown or beige discharge (especially after a delay of menstruation, when a home pregnancy test has shown two lines) may indicate a detachment of the ovum. You should immediately see your doctor, who will examine you and likely refer you for an ultrasound to check the condition of the fertilized egg. If necessary, they may recommend hospitalisation under the supervision of specialists.
- In addition, “spotting” may signal other pathologies of the early period, such as ectopic pregnancy and a missed abortion. In the first case, this means that the foetus did not get to the right place and attach. For example, in the fallopian tubes or ovaries, the woman experiences pain in lower abdomen. A missed abortion is a condition when the embryo ceases to develop for some reason. An ultrasound will help to diagnose the pathology. If the suspicion is confirmed, the woman is prescribed antibiotics and curettage of the deceased foetus.
- Such discharge may continue to show up for several months at the expected dates of menstruation. This suggests a hormonal disruption, which may also be a sign of a possible miscarriage. In this case, it will be necessary to take a blood test for hCG, and if an abnormality is detected, the doctor will prescribe a course of treatment aimed at raising it back to normal levels.
- Light brown discharge in the early terms of the pregnancy may sometimes appear if a woman has a history of a condition such as cervical erosion. The usual treatment is cauterisation but this procedure is prohibited for pregnant women. Your doctor may suggest a medication-based solution instead.
Even more frightening for a woman is abundant bloody red discharge in the early stages of pregnancy. This is no accident; it is almost always an indication of a miscarriage. The pregnant woman may experience tugging pain in the lower abdomen or lumbar region.
The main thing in this situation is not to panic. You must immediately call an ambulance and assume a horizontal position until the arrival of the paramedics. At the hospital, you will have an ultrasound, as well as blood and urine analyses, particularly ones to determine the level of hCG. Medicine is constantly evolving in this area and in most cases, the pregnancy can be saved. Treatment consists of bed rest, taking a haemostatic and medicine to reduce uterine tone.
The only situation where doctors are powerless is in the case of a very rare disease – “molar pregnancy”. This abnormality happens at the time of fertilisation and is characterised by the absence of maternal DNA. In this case, development of the embryo is not possible and the problem requires surgery. Fortunately, this phenomenon is extremely rare.
Infectious discharge during pregnancyIn early pregnancy, just as without a pregnancy, a woman may detect a yellow or green discharge. It may be bright in colour as well as foaming and frothy. Most often this is a sign of a genital infection.
Let’s discuss what this discharge, and its appearance, may signify during pregnancy:
- Light yellow discharge during pregnancy –If such discharge is accompanied by itching, but no strong odour, most likely this is an allergic reaction. Laundry detergent or the fabric of your underwear can both be allergens. The problem of yellowish discharge during early pregnancy is solved by simply removing the irritant.
- Odourless bright yellow discharge during pregnancy – If you have a fever temperature and pain in the lower abdomen, then there is an inflammation.
- Dark yellow discharge – Such discharge may indicate the presence of Staphylococcus and E. coli in the vaginal micro flora.
- Yellow-green, green foamy discharge with an unpleasant odour during pregnancy is a sign of a sexually transmitted disease.
If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor immediately. The sooner you do the better chance the foetus will not be harmed by the microorganisms. The placenta is still forming in the first four months; therefore your baby is still vulnerable, and requires careful attention to health.[attention type=yellow]The doctor will take a pap smear as well as schedule a blood test, in case of a greenish discharge during pregnancy. As a result, you will be offered the optimal treatment based on the stage of pregnancy. Pharmaceutical companies are constantly developing safer medicines specifically for use by pregnant women.[/attention]
Thrush in early pregnancyWith the start of pregnancy the immunity is low, both in general and specifically for the vaginal micro flora. In this condition, nothing stops the development and growth of bacteria that cause thrush, scientifically – known as candidiasis.
Women with a history of chronic thrush have the highest probability of occurrence of the disease. In addition, hormones play an important role in the development of thrush: under the influence of progesterone the environment of the vagina gets more acidic.
Thrush symptoms during early pregnancy are: abundant white cheesy thick discharge with a sour smell, combined with itching, burning and redness of the genitals.
You can find many effective medicines against thrush at any local pharmacy. Perhaps you have used some of them before without consulting with a specialist. But now, considering your situation, the right thing to do is see your doctor first. Pimafucin or Hexicon are most often prescribed for pregnant women. Usually, this is a course of treatment and is necessary for both partners to be treated in order to avoid relapse.
This problem does not require an instant solution but you can ease your condition by following some simple rules.
- Exclude pastries and sweets from your diet. Give a preference to fresh fruits and vegetables as well as dairy products.
- Use underwear made from natural fabrics.
- Discard personal hygiene items containing artificial scents and additives.
- Take a shower twice a day but try to avoid high temperatures.
Recommendations for pregnant women
- Most importantly – avoid stressful situations. It’s no secret that stress provokes or helps the worsening of many health problems including thrush, or a risk of miscarriage. An interesting book, favourite music, walking in fresh air – will all help you avoid negative thoughts and tune into positive ones.
- Pay attention to your diet. It should include sufficient nutrients and vitamins to ensure effective functioning of the immune system.
- If you notice suspicious symptoms and self-treat rather than see a doctor, you can do more harm than good to yourself and your baby.
- As soon as possible, visit the doctor or call an ambulance if the situation is critical.