Occasional vaginal discharge should not be a cause of concern, but if you happen to be pregnant, you may experience a heavier discharge than usually. In fact, you are likely to have a thick white discharge early pregnancy and it is one of the signs you should expect to see. Generally, it is not something to worry about, but in some cases, that creamy white vaginal discharge may indicate an infection which needs to be addressed to prevent complications.
Thick White Discharge in Early Pregnancy: Is It Normal?
When Is It Normal?
Thick white discharge is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy in addition to increased urination and breast tenderness. So many hormonal changes take place during pregnancy, and these changes can always affect your normal vaginal discharge, causing the vagina to produce more than before. This is due to an increase in estrogen, which is a hormone mostly produced by the ovary. You are likely to experience this thick white discharge in the second week of pregnancy, but you may have it even sooner.
Mostly, pregnancy discharge is not significantly different from the discharge you have before period. It is white and creamy with no specific odor. Sometimes, it could smell a bit musky, but the odor is not strong enough.
The amount of that thick white discharge early pregnancy may increase suddenly, but you should not panic. If you find your underpants soaked all the time, just be sure to change your lingerie often to keep you clean. Use water to wash your genital area, but it is fine to use unscented soap occasionally to wash it. Do not leave the area wet.
When Is It Abnormal?
It is possible to have that thick, white discharge because of an underlying medical problem. There may be a sudden change in its appearance or consistency, once you find it is abnormal, go to talk to your gynecologist for further evaluation.
It is important to consult your doctor if you notice green, yellow, or frothy discharge that is thick and curd-like. The odor will be strong too, and with that unpleasant smell, you may as well have soreness, itchiness, and pain during urination. These symptoms indicate that you have an infection and require immediate medical assistance.
Tips to Avoid Complications
Although a thick white discharge early pregnancy is common and normal, you need take certain steps to avoid dealing with any hassle. The white discharge you experience in early pregnancy is usually acidic and helps keep harmful bacteria from causing an infection.
Here are a few steps to avoid any complication:
Be sure to change your lingerie often.
Opt for unscented panties.
Stay away from scented wipes, perfumed bubble baths, or vaginal deodorants.
Use unscented vaginal wash or soap to clean the vaginal area.
Pay attention to keep the outer genital area dry and tidy.
Never douche the vaginal area or you will develop skin irritation.
Other Causes of White Thick Discharge during Pregnancy
When your body undergoes so many hormonal changes during pregnancy, it sometimes becomes difficult for good bacteria to regulate the growth of candida bodies in your vaginal flora. This can lead to yeast infections, which often produce symptoms like white discharge with foul odor, as well as swelling, itching, and redness of the labia. You may also experience a burning sensation when urinating.
Other factors such as poor eating habits, not paying attention to personal hygiene, and using tampons or scented soaps can also lead to yeast infections. Talk to your doctor if you think you have an infection.
It is not as serious as yeast infections, but bacterial vaginosis can still cause a lot of discomfort. It is the result of an imbalance between good and bad bacteria in your vaginal flora. Incorrect wiping or douching can change the pH levels in your vagina and make it easier for bad bacteria to grow and outnumber good bacteria.
You are likely to have a vaginal discharge that will be relatively thick and have a creamy consistency. You are less likely to experience any bad smell and there may not be any swelling, itching, or redness either. However, the discharge will be heavier than normal and may accompany with mild pain, which becomes worse with urination. It usually goes away on its own but make sure to consult your doctor immediately if problem persists.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
You may also notice abnormal vaginal discharge when you contract a sexually transmitted infection. Some of the most common sexually transmitted diseases associated with abnormal vaginal discharge are gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and Trichomoniasis. Other symptoms include swelling, itching, pelvic pain, and burning sensation when urinating. If you notice these symptoms, do not waste any time to seek medical assistance because these diseases can hurt your growing baby.
How to Deal with Thick White Thick Discharge Caused by Infections
It is better to talk to your doctor when you suspect your thick white discharge is due to an infection. However, you can take some steps to keep things under control. For instance:
Stay away from vaginal deodorants, panty liners, and scented vaginal soaps. You can develop vaginal irritation even when using the unscented panty liners.
Be very careful when washing lingerie. You should be using non-biological detergents only. Rinse it thoroughly to ensure that there is not any detergent to cause skin irritation.
Practice some care when bathing. You should stay away from using antiseptics for bathing. It is also better to avoid perfumed bubble baths and scented soaps.
Keep your vaginal area clean. This is especially important when you engage in sexual activity.
Opt for clothing made of cotton. You will be better off going for cotton lingerie, skirts, and loose trousers than other clothing materials.
What's more, you should include yogurt in your diet because it provides you with good bacteria and lower your risk of developing yeast and bacterial infections.
Moreover, stay away from smoking when pregnant because it can increase risk of vaginal infections and even prove dangerous for your baby.