Is Yellow Discharge While Pregnant Normal?

Women usually have more vaginal discharge before and during pregnancy. Most often, the discharge is harmless and is actually beneficial to keep the vagina clean. Normal discharge has a mild or musk-like odor. Normally, it is a milky fluid. A greater amount of discharge is produced especially when the pregnancy is approaching the labor stage. Yellow discharge in pregnancy might alarm you and make you wonder if this is normal. If you have yellow discharge the following article will help you figure out why this happens and how to deal with it.

Is Yellow Discharge During Pregnancy Normal?

It is rare for women to experience a yellow discharge in pregnancy in the first or second trimester. Odorless to mildly odorous light yellow discharge is considered normal in the third trimester. As a pregnancy approaches the due date, it's normal for yellow discharges to increase.

You should seek medical assistance to find the causes when this discharge ranges from white-yellow, dark yellow to yellow-brown and is accompanied by a strong fishy odor and a thicker consistency, or if this is the first time that a yellow and odorless discharge occurs during the first trimester.

Yellow Discharge During Pregnancy, Why?

Yellow discharge can be an alarm during pregnancy. So it's important to find out the reason for your yellow discharge.

1. Increased Estrogen

Estrogen is a naturally occurring hormone that is produced in a woman's ovary, adrenal glands and fat cells. This hormone promotes the healthy development and maintenance of dominantly female bodily characteristics. But high levels of estrogen can cause unwanted side effects, like yellow discharge. Hormonal imbalance, too much body fat, a low-fiber diet, stress etc. can make increase your estrogen levels.

If estrogen dominance is the cause of excess discharge, then no medication will be prescribed by a physician to treat it.

2. Yeast Infection

A yeast infection is caused by a kind of yeast called candica albicans. Symptoms include a usually white thick discharge, foul smell, vaginal itch, redness and a swollen vulva. The color of vaginal mucous may also vary amongst women from pale yellow to very dark yellow. Yeast infections typically occur during the second trimester.

It's not harmful to a baby if treated in a timely manner usually with a doctor prescribed topical medication.

3. Bacterial Vaginosis

The condition may explain your yellow discharge during pregnancy. When the healthy balance of beneficial and harmful bacteria existing in the vaginal flora is upset, bacterial vaginosis occurs. Behaviors such as having too many sexual partners and using douching products can lead to this condition. Obvious symptoms include the excretion of a yellow-green discharge with a thick consistency and a foul odor, which is also in larger amounts than regular vaginal discharge.

 It's usually treated with antibiotics and topical creams.

4. Sexually Transmitted Diseases

These sexually transmitted diseases can cause lots of discomforts and may harm your baby, so medical assistance is required to diagnose and treat these STDs.

  • Trichomoniasis: When a small organism named Trichomonas vaginalis is transmitted during unprotected sex, trichomoniasis occurs. Noticeable symptoms include a frothy green vaginal discharge that emits a foul odor, itching, painful urination, swollen vulva and discomfort in the lower abdomen. Affected women should receive medical attention immediately in order to prevent premature rupture of the baby's protective membranes. Post pregnant women who have had trichomoniasis are more susceptible to the HIV virus.
  • Chlamydia: Caused by the easy transmission of the bacteriumm, Chlamydia trachomatis, during sexual intercourse, Chlamydia is the most commonly transmitted disease in the United States. Up to 75% of women who have contracted it don't have any visible symptoms. Noticeable symptoms include a light yellow discharge that turns darker over time with a sour odor or no odor at all, vaginal itch and a swollen labia.
  • Gonorrhea: This sexually transmitted disease is caused by the bacterium Neisseria Gonorrhoeae. It's usually transmitted through unprotected intercourse. Noticeable symptoms include pelvic pain, yellow-brown or yellow-orange discharge accompanied with a foul odor, spotting after sexual intercourse, a burning sensation while urinating, a swollen vulva, bleeding between periods, etc. For a woman, it's important to treat this condition immediately to prevent an ectopic pregnancy from occurring. Medical assistance is required to diagnose and treat this sexually transmitted disease.

How to Prevent Yellow Discharge During Pregnancy

A number of preventative measures can be taken to help to prevent the excretion of yellow discharges during pregnancy:

  • Keep your genital area clean and dry.
  • Wear non-irritating clothing that is loose fitting, especially your undergarments.
  • Do not douche.
  • Eat a healthy diet that includes yogurt.
  • Practice stress relief exercises like meditation or doctor approved exercise.
  • Monitor your sugar intake especially if you have diabetes.

What Other Discharges Will You Have During Pregnancy?

It's normal for women to experience various vaginal discharges during pregnancy due to the increased blood flow and variations in hormone levels. Except yellow discharge, during pregnancy you will experience many other types of discharge:

1. Pink

Pink vaginal discharge during pregnancy results from the mixing of blood with vaginal discharge. The discharge may be recent, ongoing, and slightly heavier. It's not necessarily a cause for concern, but it could be a sign of serious pregnancy complications.

2. Orange

The cause of orange discharge depends on its color. A yellow-orange discharge is usually normal; a neon orange discharge may indicate an infection; a streaky, pinkish orange discharge may be a light fresh spotting caused by a cervical trauma. Although this discharge can be normal, you should seek a doctor to make sure of that.

3. White

Due to hormonal shifts that naturally occur during pregnancy, white vaginal discharge is excreted. The discharge may be thicker than pre-pregnancy discharge, but as long as it doesn't emit a foul odor, it's considered to be normal.

4. Green

Green vaginal discharge during pregnancy is not normal and is a cause for concern. It could be a sign of an infection that could increase the risk of pre-term labor. Seek medical attention immediately upon the discovery of green discharge.

5. Gray

This color of vaginal discharge isn't considered to be normal although it isn't necessarily a cause for concern. It could be an indicator of bacterial vaginosis. A foul odor may be detected after sexual intercourse. A doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat it.

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