Many women experience heightened discharge during their pregnancy. Usually, this is nothing to be concerned about, though it may be a little uncomfortable. A panty liner should be all you need to control discharge. If you need more protection for your clothing, contact your care provider.
There are many kinds of discharge you may experience during pregnancy.
- Mucus Plug. As you near your due date, you may pass a large clump of mucus. This is your mucus plug-a bunch of mucus that seals the cervix during most of your pregnancy to protect your baby from foreign substances. Your mucus plug shouldn't smell bad, or appear yellowish or greenish. However it may be reddish or brown, which is nothing to be concerned about. You may notice it when you wipe after urinating or you may notice it in the toilet.
A few days or weeks before you deliver, your cervix will begin to dilate (open) and efface (soften). When your cervix reaches a certain point, you will lose your mucus plug. If you notice this, you've already done some of the work of labor. But don't stress if you don't notice losing your mucus plug-you may lose it over the course of a day or two, in the middle of the night, or during the beginning of labor.
- Spotting. Many women notice some spotting during pregnancy. Causes may be benign, such as implantation bleeding, the beginning of labor or sexual activity. Or it may be serious and signal a complication such as a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease (STD), placenta previa or preterm labor. If you experience a lot of spotting or spotting combined with cramping, you should contact your care provider.
- Foul-smelling or foul-colored discharge. This may be an indication of an infection or an STD. Contact your care provider immediately. When using a panty liner or pad to protect your clothing, be sure to change it frequently.
- Increased discharge. You may simply notice that your body is producing more mucus. This is a symptom of pregnancy due to the increased fluids in your body. You should be more concerned about a change in the quality of the discharge than in the quantity of discharge.