Vaginal Discharge

Reviewed by Neha Pathak, MD on March 19, 2021

It's common to have more vaginal discharge than normal when you're pregnant. The increased hormones and blood supply in your body cause this. Toward the end of pregnancy, when your baby's head presses on the cervix, vaginal discharge can be quite heavy. It should be white or clear, odorless, and not itchy. On your underwear, dried discharge may look yellow. Other changes in the color or smell of your discharge can be signs of a vaginal infection.

Call Doctor If:

  • You think you may have a vaginal infection. (Never use over-the-counter products or home remedies when pregnant before talking with your doctor.)
  • You have itching, burning, redness, or swelling in the vaginal area.
  • It burns when you urinate.
  • Your discharge is clumpy (like cottage cheese) or bloody.
  • Your discharge is yellow/green or gray/white with a foul or fishy odor.

Step-by-Step Care:

To prevent infection and stay comfortable:

  • Wear cotton underwear and pantyhose with a cotton crotch to keep your vaginal area dry.
  • Avoid tight pants and pantyhose.
  • Don't douche.
  • Keep your vaginal area clean.
  • When you go to the bathroom, wipe from front to back to keep bacteria from your anus away from the vaginal area.
  • Avoid perfumed or deodorant toilet paper, feminine sprays, bubble bath, and panty liners.

Show Sources


Cleveland Clinic: "Coping With the Physical Changes and Discomforts of Pregnancy."

University of Illinois McKinley Health Center: "Vaginal Discharge."

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: "FAQ: Gynecological Problems."

Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health: "Vaginal Yeast Infections Fact Sheet."

National Health Service: "Is it normal to have vaginal discharge during pregnancy?"

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