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Yellow Discharge During Pregnancy

Important Information About the Yellow Discharge During Pregnancy

It is normal to have some vaginal discharge during pregnancy. However, a thick, yellow/green discharge may warrant a visit to a doctor. The following write-up provides information on the causes of yellow discharge during the course of pregnancy.
Marlene Alphonse
Last Updated: May 31, 2018
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Vaginal discharge is common during pregnancy, as there is an increase in the production of estrogen and blood flow to the vaginal area. As pregnancy progresses, the frequency and amount of discharge increases, and changes in the color and consistency may be observed.
Discharge During Early Pregnancy
During pregnancy, increased blood circulation in the vaginal area and changing hormones cause a mild-smelling, milky discharge called leukorrhea. This watery discharge is made up of secretions from the vagina and cervix, old vaginal cells, and normal bacterial flora that are found in the walls of the vagina.

In the very early stages, cervical secretions fill the cervical canal creating a protective barrier called mucus plug. As your cervix begins to thin out and dilate, mucus is expelled. As you approach labor, you may notice more vaginal discharge.
Thick Yellow Discharge
Discharge from the vagina should be light in color, thin in consistency, and odorless. However, if you observe thick discharge that is yellow or green and emanates a foul odor, then it may be caused due to the following reasons:
Candidiasis is a type of yeast infection which may occur in some pregnant women due to hormonal changes. You can treat this yeast infection by applying anti-yeast vaginal creams prescribed by your doctor.
It is a sexually transmitted infection that may cause thick, yellow or green vaginal discharge. If chlamydia is left untreated, it may lead to miscarriage or other complications during labor. Chlamydia can also be passed to the baby during labor, which may prove harmful to the child.
Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection that causes abnormal discharge. This parasite could lead to preterm birth or infection in the amniotic fluid (the liquid that nourishes and protects the fetus in the uterus).
Cervical Polyps
These are red, smooth, finger-shaped appendages in the passage extending from the uterus to the cervical canal. Though cervical polyps often occur without any symptoms, these could become infected causing odor and changes in the color of the vaginal discharge.
Bacterial Vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis (or BV) is an infection caused by an imbalance of the microbial flora in the cervical canal or vagina. Like yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis can be transmitted through sexual intercourse. Bacterial vaginosis produces a vaginal discharge with distinctive, fish-like odor.

Women having BV may experience a burning sensation while urinating. Pregnant women affected with BV are likely to give birth to babies with low birth weight. There is an increased risk of preterm birth.
Precautionary Measures
Dark yellow or brown discharge during pregnancy should be brought to the immediate notice of your health care provider or gynecologist, in order to avoid further complications. It is essential to follow these precautions to reduce this discharge, and prevent impending infections of any kind in the genital region:
  • Keep your genital area dry and clean. Wear loose-fitting, cotton undergarments.
  • Avoid douching as it may increase or worsen vaginal discharge. It may also remove the healthy bacteria, found in the lining of the vagina, that protect your body from infections.
  • Having yogurt or probiotic supplements can avoid yeast infections. If you experience any form of yeast infection, use an over-the-counter cream or consult your physician who may prescribe appropriate medication for the same.
  • Avoid stress and keep a check on your blood sugar levels, if you are a diabetic.
It is always beneficial to exercise necessary precautions and follow a proper health care regimen, when you are pregnant. If you notice yellow discharge during pregnancy that is accompanied by itching or irritation, you should consult your gynecologist without further delay.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.