​By Associate Professor TAN Thiam Chye Head & Senior Consultant, Dr Michelle LIM Associate Consultant, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, KK Women's and Children's Hospital

You may notice around week 12 of pregnancy that your body is producing a lot more vaginal discharge. Don't be alarmed; an increase in vaginal discharge is normal during pregnancy. Here are some common questions you may have and what you can do about it:

Why is There An Increase in Vaginal Discharge?

increase in vaginal discharge

Normally, this discharge protects your womb from infection entering the body through the vagina. An increase in discharge is due to a combination of things that are happening in your body that are preparing for your baby's eventual birth:

  • Increased blood supply
  • Softening of the cervix and vaginal walls
  • Your baby's head pressing against the cervix when your delivery date approaches

What Should Healthy Vaginal Discharge Look Like?

healthy vaginal discharge

  • It looks clear, white or creamy, and runny
  • It has a distinctive odour but doesn't smell unpleasant

It can be difficult at times to see if it's vaginal discharge or urine. If you're concerned, consult your doctor, especially if you suspect that it may be an infection.

Related: 3 Issues to Inform Your Doctor of in Your 2nd Trimester

How Do I Know If I Have an Infection?

how to know if you have an infection

Signs of infection include:

  • A thick, curd-like or greenish discharge
  • A nasty smell
  • Itchiness or soreness around the genitals
  • Pain in the lower abdominal area or during sex

What Should I Do If My Discharge Looks Different?

what to do if discharge looks different

Visit your doctor. Your doctor may take a vaginal swab to check if you have an infection. But don't worry too much! Most vaginal infections like thrush, gardnerella infection and Group B streptococcal infection can be treated with creams or antibiotics.

Related: Vulvo Vaginal Candidiasis

What Can I Do to Prevent Infections?

how to prevent vaginal discharge infections

  • Maintain proper hygiene in the genital areas
  • Use and change panty liners throughout the day to keep you feeling fresh
  • Avoid vaginal douches and scented hygiene wipes, which may cause irritation and upset the delicate balance of acid and alkali in your vagina

What If There's Blood in My Vaginal Discharge?

blood in vaginal discharge

Consult your doctor immediately if you're bleeding at this stage of pregnancy. If you're nearing your estimated delivery date (EDD), you may be having what doctors call "the show", which is your body's way of telling you the delivery day is near. Call your doctor!

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Read these next:


The New Art and Science of Pregnancy and Childbirth 2008, World Scientific

Healthy Start for your Pregnancy 2012, Health Promotion Board Singapore