Vaginal Odor During Pregnancy
Find out why women experience strong vaginal odor during pregnancy and understand what may be the likely
causes. Include symptoms that may indicate it being infections plus tips on how to help keep the odor at
When a woman becomes pregnant her body goes through an unbelievable amount of hormone changes in a very short
period of time. During each phase of her pregnancy from early pregnancy to child birth, there are new changes that
will affect her vaginal discharge that may produce an odor.
While a certain amount of odor is normal, a strong fishy smell or pungent odor can be a sign of infections. If
the odor during pregnancy is not that strong, and infections have been ruled out by your doctor, there are ways to
treat it that will not harm the baby.
What Do The Changes in Vaginal Discharge Mean?
There are four phases during a normal pregnancy where discharge will be effected.
- In early pregnancy the vaginal discharge will increase due to the changes in hormones and the additional
blood flow to the vaginal area. The runny, white discharge is known as leukorrhea and is the bodies way of rinsing out the vagina to
protect the baby from harmful bacteria.
- As the pregnancy progresses the vaginal discharge will become heavier and thicker.
- With in a couple weeks of delivery there may be a large amount of jelly-like discharge. This is the mucus
plug that blocks the cervix and is a sign that the cervix is dilating. If it is blood streaked or pink it means
that labor may begin with in 24 hours.
- A woman's amniotic fluid can also start to leak just before she gives birth. It may also come as a gush
that indicates labor has begun.
What Changes in Vaginal Discharge May Indicate A
While vaginal discharge is normal and helpful during pregnancy, if there is a fishy odor or any other pungent
vaginal smell, it may be an indication of a problem. If these symptoms occur, a doctor should be consulted because
is may be a sign of infections that can lead to early labor and problems during childbirth. Some things to watch
out for are:
- Discharge with blood in it
- Cottage cheese like vaginal discharge
- If the discharge smells yeasty of like bread
- Yellow or greenish tint color discharge
- Inflammation or itching in the vaginal area
- Pain or discomfort during sex or urination
What Can Vaginal Odor During Pregnancy Mean?
The above signs and vaginal odor during pregnancy can signal infections. There are two main infections that can
be problematic during pregnancy. They are yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis.
yeast infections happen when the naturally occurring fungus in the vagina grow out of control.
Changing hormones disturbs the natural balance of yeast in the vagina. Also yeast uses sugar as fuel and sugar
in the discharge increases during pregnancy. Yeast infections cause vaginal odor to smell like yeast or bread.
It also causes itching and discomfort.
vaginosis occurs when the pH balance of the vagina is disrupted. It is the number one cause for the
fishy smell that may be present in vaginal discharge. It also causes inflammation, sever itching, burning
during urination and pain during sex.
How Can These Infections Be Safely Treated During
While yeast infections don't threaten the baby during pregnancy, they should be treated right away. Yeast
infections can be treated during pregnancy just as they would normally. The doctor will prescribe an anti-fungal
cream and/or suppository. While over the counter remedies can be used, during pregnancy it is best to uses only
what is approved by a doctor.
Bacterial vaginosis can have serious complications for pregnancy including preterm labor and underweight babies.
For this reason woman should seek medical attention at the first sign. Luckily bacterial vaginosis can also be
easily treated if detected early. Doctors simply prescribe powerful antibiotics.
What if the Odor During Pregnancy is Not Caused by
If a doctor has ruled out infections and the vaginal odor during pregnancy is not that strong, it may just be
another side effect of pregnancy that will have to be dealt with. There are a few tips a woman can employ to get
rid of this vaginal odor:
- Wear white cotton panties and change them frequently
- Use non-scented panty liners that are also changed often
- Avoid scented soaps or feminine sprays
- Bath more frequently only using a mild soap and clean water on the exterior of the vagina
- Use unscented baby wipes after urination
- Keep the pubic hair short and trimmed