Q&A: Vaginal Discharge

Find out what's normal and what's not when it comes to vaginal discharge.

Q. I'm having a lot of vaginal discharge, and it has a strange odor. Should I be worried?

A. Probably not. It's normal to have increased discharge and a different odor during pregnancy. If the discharge is white and watery-looking, or looks something like egg whites and has an acidic smell, things are fine. Wash the outer area more often if it bothers you and wear cotton or cotton-crotch panties to stay drier. Bring extra pairs to work if necessary. Resist the urge to wear pantyliners because they may cause a rashlike effect or irritation of the sensitive skin in your genital area. Expect these secretions to increase even more later on in your pregnancy.

If your vaginal discharge smells fishy or rotten and looks yellow, green, curdled, or cheesy, you may have an infection. The most likely culprit is a yeast infection but it could also be a bacterial infection like trichomoniasis or bacterial vaginosis. Bacterial infections should be treated with a pregnancy-safe medication, so see your provider. She will do a slide to look for yeast, trichomonas, or bacterial vaginosis and/or a culture looking for chlamydia or gonorrhea. Then she'll administer proper treatment.

Are you pregnant and worried about whether your discharge is normal? Here's how to know when you should be concerned.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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