Is Vaginal Discharge Normal During Pregnancy?

I'm six weeks pregnant and I have some yellow discharge. Should I be worried about this?

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Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

As care providers, we always ask clients to tell us if they experience any unusual vaginal discharge. We are looking for any signs of
-- Premature rupture of membranes (thin, clear leak or flow) or
-- Infection (odor, itching, burning) or
-- Bleeding (bright red to brown or tan, scant to heavy)

A yellowish discharge may be perfectly normal, and it may or may not subside. It could also be a sign of infection, even if you have no other symptoms. For example, a woman with no symptoms may have chlamydia, gonorrhea or bacterial vaginosis (BV) -- infections which may have a significant relationship with premature rupture of the membranes or preterm labor.

This is why prenatal care is so important. Every pregnant woman should be screened for these infections.

Typically, a wet mount is done in the office to screen for any obvious infections such as yeast, trichomoniasis or bacterial vaginosis. This simply involves examining some vaginal discharge under a microscope. In addition, a culture should be done for gonorrhea and chlamydia. If a woman has symptoms of herpes at the time, a culture should also be done for this.

If treatment is provided early in the pregnancy and a repeat culture is done a bit later in the pregnancy on all at-risk women, research has shown that the incidence of preterm labor may be reduced.

So, while it is probably normal, it would be wise to at least be cultured for chlamydia and gonorrhea and have your provider do a wet mount for BV.

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