What does yellow discharge during pregnancy mean?

When you’re pregnant, you’re much more in tune with your body, just like when you were looking out for symptoms of ovulation and getting to know your menstrual cycle better with the likes of an ovulation calculator. So if you’ve noticed yellow discharge during pregnancy, you may be feeling worried about what this might mean for you and your baby and what you should do about it….CONTINUE READING HERE

From cervical mucusto the pink discharge at the end of your period, you may already be used to seeing a change in your discharge. During pregnancy, some increase in vaginal discharge, known as leukorrhea, can be expected as your hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, change. This discharge should be clear, whiteish or even cream or pale yellow. Any discharge that is an unusual colour, including yellow, can be reported to your midwife or GP who after discussing with you, may advise testing. Yellow discharge may indicate an infection and if infections are left untreated they may lead to complications such as waters breaking early or premature birth.

Yellow discharge can be anything from a pale lemon through to a bright or deep yellow. Pregnancy puts added stress on to your bladder, particularly in later stages which can cause urine leakage. Urine in pregnancy may be stronger in colour if you are not keeping well hydrated and may add a yellow tinge to your usual discharge, however, if unsure, seek advice from your healthcare provider.

Other yellow discharge may be more obvious and could be thin and watery, thick, frothy, or lumpy in appearance. Normal vaginal discharge either has no smell or has a very inoffensive smell, any discharge that smells stronger than normal or is offensive should be reported to your midwife or GP.

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Yellow discharge in pregnancy, especially when accompanied by an offensive odour could indicate an infection and we would recommend that you seek advice from your midwife or GP for investigations. Testing for vaginal and urine infections could involve a simple urine sample and/or a vaginal swab. Test results may take a couple of days to process, but your GP or midwife may organise for you to have a course of antibiotics which may be stopped if results are negative or changed if the results suggest a preferable alternative.

Yellow discharge does not necessarily mean there is infection, however, it is important to get an assessment from your midwife or GP as advice and/or treatment is available for the following conditions:

When the balance of microbes that live in the vagina are disturbed by hormonal changes, antibiotic use or by using harsh chemical products in the bath or shower, the bacteria that cause BV can grow and may cause some or a combination of the following: yellowy, vaginal/vulval itching, offensive odour, stinging or burning when passing urine. Around 10-30 per cent of pregnant women can have BV at some stage and most pregnancies are unaffected by this.

Also known as thrush, yeast infections are common in pregnancy due to hormonal changes, with approximately 30 per cent of pregnant women being affected. Discharge is often thick, white/yellow and lumpy and is often described as cottage-cheese-like. It can also cause itching, redness, heat, swelling, have an odour and causes pain when passing urine or having sex. Contact your midwife or GP for assessment if you suspect this as treatment can advise the treatment during pregnancy.

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The amniotic fluid is the water that your baby floats around in inside the amniotic sac. If this sac develops a leak or ruptures, you may experience a clear or straw-like pale yellow fluid which would continue to trickle or may come with a gush. If you suspect the waters are leaking or have broken, then contact your local maternity unit for advice.

All of these STIs can be treated during pregnancy, so contact your health care provider, midwife or doctor if you have symptoms or suspect you could have an STI:

Chlamydia

is an STI, however, you may not experience any symptoms so you can be unaware you have been infected. Chlamydia in pregnancy can cause problems during pregnancy and birth as well as fertility problems. Symptoms can include the following:

• Pain when passing urine

• Increased vaginal discharge which may be yellow

• Pelvic and abdominal pain

• Pain or bleeding during/after sex

Gonorrhoea

can pass from mother to baby during birth. Symptoms that some women may experience include:

• Discharge of yellow mucus and pus from the vagina

• Painful urination

• Abnormal vaginal bleeding

Trichomoniasis

may not always have symptoms however some of these can indicate this infection:

• Abnormal vaginal discharge that may be yellow-green

• Increased amount of discharge which may have an unpleasant smell

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• Itching, painful, and swollen vagina and vulva

• Pain when passing urine or having sex

Yellow discharge is not always a sign that something is wrong. Some women naturally produce discharge that is slightly yellow in colour and this could be something as simple as diet-related. If your normal vaginal discharge is a pale yellow then usually there is no cause for concern but as a rule of thumb if your discharge has changed in colour, texture, or smell then we would recommend you seek advice from your midwife or GP to rule out any infection that could cause complications in your pregnancy.

During your pregnancy, it is important that if you notice any changes to anything including a change in colour to your normal vaginal discharge, you seek advice from your healthcare providers, either your GP, your midwife, or your obstetrician as they can organise tests and treatment if required. Seeking advice about discharge in pregnancy is wise as treatments recommended may be different to if you were not pregnant.

Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to discuss anything with your midwife or doctor, including discharge; there is very little that they will not have seen or heard before.

This article contains expert advice from registered midwife and co-founder of My Expert Midwife, Lesley Gilchrist. With extensive experience as a labour ward co-ordinator and as a community midwife, Lesley brings her expertise in pregnancy, postnatal, birth and the birth process to Mother&Baby to keep you informed and empowered…..CONTINUE READING HERE