Pregnancy brings with it many surprises. Some of these surprises, such as feeling the baby move for the first time or the pregnancy glow, are welcome and exciting. Other changes, such as the increase in vaginal discharge, can be considered a not-so-pleasant aspect. Normal vaginal discharge in pregnancy can be very different from what is regular outside of pregnancy for a woman. Sometimes, however, vaginal discharge in pregnancy can signal a problem. Here is what is common and a cause for concern with vaginal discharge in the second trimester of pregnancy:
In the second trimester of pregnancy, week 14 through week 28, vaginal discharge is similar to what is experienced right before a menstrual cycle. It can be much heavier and released more often than before a period. The discharge is usually white with the consistency of an egg white. A stronger or different odor than non-pregnancy discharge can also be considered normal.
Discharge: Symptoms for Concern
Yeast Infections are common during pregnancy. Discharge associated with a yeast infection can be thick and chunky white. It is often compared in appearance to cottage cheese. The vagina may itch. A yeast infection requires treatment and a trip to the doctor to be diagnosed. Diabetic pregnant women and those on antibiotics are more prone to yeast infections.
Vaginal discharge caused by STDs can be similar to a yeast infection. STDs can also cause yellow, thick, foul-smelling, and green discharge. For any of these symptoms or if a STD is suspected for any reason, a pregnant woman should contact her doctor to schedule a test and receive treatment.
Preterm Rupture of the Membranes
Watery discharge in the second trimester of pregnancy can indicate a preterm rupture or tear in the membranes (broken water.) Light watery discharge can be normal in pregnancy, so if it is experienced throughout pregnancy, it is probably not a cause for concern. If the watery discharge is very heavy and confirmed to not be urine, pregnant women in their second trimester should contact their doctor and seek emergency care.
A thick, snot-like discharge can signal the loss of the mucus plug. This loss usually occurs in the third trimester when a pregnant mother is close to delivery. It becomes dislodged when the cervix begins to ripen. If the mucus plug is lost in the second trimester it may signal preterm labor, and a pregnant woman will want to contact her doctor. If a pregnant mother experiences any labor symptoms, she should seek emergency care.
Blood in Discharge
Light spotting of blood in the second trimester of pregnancy can be caused by sexual intercourse or a vaginal exam by a doctor. This type of spotting is not a cause for concern. If spotting continues for several days or if a pregnant woman experiences a heavy bloody discharge, she should immediately contact her doctor and seek emergency care.
CDC STDs Diseases Characterized by Vaginal Discharge
Healthline The Second Trimester of Pregnancy: Pain, Bleeding & Discharge
Medline Plus Vaginal East Infection
Women’s Health Premature Rupture of the Membranes
American Pregnancy Association Bleeding During Pregnancy