Discharge During Pregnancy: Color and Consistency Meanings 53


discharge during pregnancy pregnancy dischargePregnancy: it’s such a big responsibility, and it leads you to question and worry over things you normally would have given no thought to. Worse, it recreates normal on a daily basis. One topic that seems to be of particular concern while pregnant, but also one no one really wants to talk about, is pregnancy discharge. I mean, you’d think it gives some hint about the status of your pregnancy right? The vagina is your baby’s doorway out of the womb. So, what do various colors and textures of discharge during pregnancy mean?

You can get a rough overview on just what vaginal discharge is and what’s normal pre-pregnancy in this post for the non-belly fruit holders.

First off, is it normal to have more discharge during pregnancy?

Yep. Increased blood flow and a huge spike in estrogen levels are believed to be the culprits behind the copious discharge most pregnant women deal with. You may find thin panty liners are helpful to help keep you feeling dry and clean. Because they can be changed throughout the day, which wouldn’t be so practical with just undies, they can also help reduce your chances of minor infections such as yeast and vaginosis (both of which are more common in pregnancy). Avoid the use of tampons or douches as these may increase your risk of infection.

Pregnancy discharge colors: All the colors of the rainbow—almost

Brown discharge during pregnancy: Brown pregnancy discharge typically is very small amounts of old blood mixed with normal vaginal discharge. This minor bleeding is usually a result of some sort of light spotting, which could have a wealth of causes many of which are no cause for concern. Luckily, we have in-depth posts on that for very early pregnancy, first trimester spotting, and the second and third trimester as well.

Pink discharge during pregnancy: Pink pregnancy discharge is also a result of blood mixing with vaginal discharge, but the bleed may be ongoing, more recent, or slightly heavier. See the above linked posts on spotting or bleeding during pregnancy.

Orange discharge during pregnancy: The exact color of orange pregnancy discharge affects the potential meanings. A yellow-orange is likely just cervical mucus, a neon orange could be a sign of infection, and a streaky, pink-ish orange is likely very light, fresh spotting possibly from cervical trauma.

All three of the above discharges should be mentioned to your care provider. While in most cases this sign of light bleeding is harmless, better safe than sorry.

Yellow discharge during pregnancy: Yellow pregnancy discharge is typically discharge that is older or has been exposed to air. During pregnancy a plug of mucus forms within the cervix to prevent infection. This plug stays throughout your pregnancy, so it’s there for quite some time resulting in the yellowish shade. Hormonal shifts common in pregnancy also aid in the yellow hue. Yellow pregnancy discharge is normal and may even be one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. The exception to this rule is if yellow discharge is accompanied by a foul odor, then it may be a sign of infection.

White discharge during pregnancy: White pregnancy discharge is another normal shade. You may notice very thick white discharge as well. As long as the discharge does not have a foul scent, it is considered normal. This is yet again a result of hormone shifts during pregnancy.

Clear discharge during pregnancy: Clear is the final normal color of pregnancy discharge. You may notice you get more of this around the same time you would have been on your period or ovulated while not pregnant—you guessed it, more hormones at work.

Green discharge during pregnancy: This one is not normal. Usually green discharge is a sign of infection and you should see your care giver right away. Certain infections can increase your risk of pre-term labor.

Grey discharge during pregnancy: Grey pregnancy discharge is often associated with bacterial vaginosis. You may also notice a foul scent after sex. This is treated with antibiotics so you will need to let your doctor know, but is usually not cause for concern.

Textures and consistencies of discharge during pregnancy:

Thin and fluid-like discharge: While increased discharge can make things seem watery, very water-like discharge could be mixed with amniotic fluid, which is not something to take lightly. Your care provider should able to test a swab of the discharge to determine whether or not you are leaking fluid.

Slippery or milky discharge: This is normal. You probably saw it pre-pregnancy just in far less quantities.

Snot-like discharge: Remember up there where I talked about yellow discharge and your mucus plug? Snot-like discharge is bits of that plug. It isn’t necessarily cause for concern to be losing bits of mucus plug, but it may be a sign you should take it easy for a day or two. If you have snot-like discharge in large globs or that is tinged with pink, seek medical care right away. You could be going into labor. Your cervix dilates towards the end of your pregnancy though, so if you are close enough pre-term labor is not an issue, strike that recommendation for medical help.

Chunky discharge: You might describe the thick, white discharge as chunky and that would be normal, but if it’s cottage-cheese like and kind of smells, maybe makes you a bit itchy, you’re likely looking at a yeast infection.

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53 thoughts on “Discharge During Pregnancy: Color and Consistency Meanings

  • Karissa

    I am currently 35 weeks 4 days today. For the past week and few days I’ve been suffering from lots of pressure, cramping, BH, and lower back pain. I was checked last week on the 18th and told I was dilated to a 1 already. The pain has begun to radiate into my thighs at times. Well after being checked last week I lost my mucus plug the next day. I am scared to death I’m trying to labor and not fully aware of it. I am going to have a repeat c section with this baby. She will be mt 2nd my 1st is 8 years old and I never had any of these symptoms nor any dilation with my 1st pregnancy. About 2am this morning I also began having light bleeding. Should I call the dr or go to the er? I don’t want to over react and we love an hour away from the hospital so I am concerned about going and it’s nothing but im also concerned about not going and things progressing to quickly.

    • unwirklich admin

      If you have to have a c-section this round, and you’re having some bleeding/have lost your plug, I personally would probably go in and get a check. Dilation does sometimes hurt a bit when it happens before labor as contractions are still causing it, and some women get some bleeding as they dilate, it’s just important to make sure that your water hasn’t broke and everything is OK with baby, 35 weeks is sort of early to be losing your plug and bleeding. If nothing else a quick check should ease your worry a bit. I would call your doc first either way, see if they can see you today or tomorrow or if they’d prefer you go straight to the ER. They know your medical history and are going to have a much more informed opinion there.

  • Tabbykatt

    I’m currently 38 weeks pregnant and my discharge for the past three days have been watery white. It randomly gushes out should I be worried?

    • unwirklich admin

      Gushing is concerning yes, especially because you describe it as watery, it could be amniotic fluid (which at 38 weeks would not be surprising) I would go in and have things checked out. If your water has broken, but you don’t go into labor within 24 hours the baby is at risk for infection, it is possible the gushes you describe are coming with contractions though. Another possibility is it is just increased discharge from cervical dilation, but that is not generally gushing.

  • Jessica

    Hey there. I’ve posted in several other boards on hereand I was happy to see you had a post for discharge! I finally had coitus with my husband this week. I’m 13 weeks Thursday and we had sex for the first time since we found out about the pregnancy at 3.5 weeks on Saturday. Since then on and off I’ve had yellowish discharge. Today there was a small mucus clump but we had sex again last night. It smells fine, and I just finished a prescription for keflex last week as I’m prone to uti. That was my second round this pregnancy too. Now there’s no itching or burning or difficulty peeing and I’m hydrating often (between 4-6 bottles of water per day). I feel like I should be okay but I wanted tour take.
    I also had bleeding from 5 weeks until last week (on monday) on and off. Mostly spotting some gushes and they found absolutely nothing wrong. We were cleared for sex at 8 weeks actually even with the bleeding. I also finished my progesterone suppositories on Friday. I have a follow up next Wednesday and that’s the soonest they can get me in. Should I treat a uti or yeast infection otc or does this sound normal.

    • unwirklich admin

      Yellow discharge is considered normal if there’s no odor, it’s likely just from the mucus plug. Progesterone suppositories will also up your discharge level (I have done those, no fun) If there’s no itching, pain, or odor though, you’re probably fine, but definitely mention it to your care provider since you are prone to infection..yeast infections and UTI’s can increase your risk for miscarriage if untreated.

    • unwirklich admin

      Yes, in early pregnancy the body ramps up mucus production to form a plug. As long as it’s not blood tinged, yellow/thick is entirely normal.

  • Ally

    Hi, I have been searching for answers and stumbled upon your site. We have been ttc for almost 6 years (1 near fatal ectopic, and 7 IVF cycles-all BFN)
    4 days ago I got that sweet double line on the stick for the first time in my life and needless to say I have been on a crazy emotional roller coaster.
    Just a little while ago I had discharge that I havent ever had.. the best I can describe it has is thick snot, slightly grayish in color with dark brown streaks. (I am around 5 weeks pregnant, LMP 14 March)
    Can anyone help me with this??

    • unwirklich admin

      The brown streaks sound like older blood, but greyish is a new one to me. Snot-like sounds like mucus plug though (which isn’t necessarily anything to be concerned about) I would go see your care provider. The only thing I can think of that would cause grey discharge would be infection, something minor like vaginitis can come without other symptoms or odor, at the least give him/her a call.

  • Aj

    I’m 5 weeks pregnant and had a miscarriage last year. Today I had mild cramps but they came 4 times in one hour some of them felt like light contractions (they have eased down a bit now but still on and off).. Felt like some discharge came out and when I wiped it was stringy light brownish I don’t know how to describe it ( it’s like a long thin booger but not that runny it’s sticky) .. Is it a sign of miscarriage again?

    • unwirklich admin

      It sounds like you may have lost a small chunk of your mucus plug. If you have been very active, you may want to take it easy, but no, that isn’t necessarily a sign of impending miscarriage. I would mention it to your care provider though, and if the contraction-like cramps continue, maybe go in and get things checked out.

  • Renee

    I have had an increase in discharge today and one time it looked bright yellow and I think I might have seen a little green (VERY light) but it might just have been my eyes playing tricks on me. It’s Saturday so I thought I could watch it and if it continues and gets more noticeable I could call tomorrow night to see if I can be seen Monday. I’m ten wks tomorrow and having a little stretching pains. What do you think???

    • unwirklich admin

      I think your plan sounds solid. Yellow is normal, but the bright and green could be an infection, some of which can cause preterm labor, so if it sticks around, def. speak with your provider.

  • Amanda

    I’m 6/7 weeks and having an orange/yellow discharge but I’m on some antacids not sure what to do or if I should worry any advice?

    • unwirklich admin

      I’m not sure how antacids would affect it, but yellow discharge is normal in pregnancy, particularly early pregnancy while the mucus plug is still forming. Now, the orange could be an issue. If it is like orange, orange that could be a sign of infection or light bleeding. I’d just give your care provider a call.

  • Anonymous

    I’m 5-6 weeks pregnant, started having very light pinkish discharge after intercourse. I called my ob’s office yesterday and the receptionist said she is out of town til next week but to not have sex until I get to see her next week. But yesterday evening after a bowel movement and this morning after having some lower abdomen and lower back cramps (like menstrual cramps) I have had a light yellowish /pinkish/orangish tint discharge , this is my second pregnancy and I never experienced anything like this with the first. I am scared to death im going to miscarry. I also had the same cramps when I was walking through the grocery store a few days ago but none of that discharge then.

    • unwirklich admin

      To me, it sounds like cervical inflammation. During sex the cervix is often hit and during a bowel movement additional pressure is put on it. In pregnancy, particularly early pregnancy, the cervix is more sensitive and is engorged with blood. Some light spotting is actually quite normal in early pregnancy. Miscarriage is a possibility as well though. I would definitely take it easy, but whether you wait it out or try to get in to a different care provider really comes down to your comfort level. Sadly, at 5-6 weeks if it is a loss, there is often nothing that can be done. Wishing you a positive outcome.

  • Nikita

    I just found out I am pregnant a couple weeks ago and soon after started having these pink chunky discharge coming out when I use the restroo . I just wondered if this is normal, I’ve had two previous pregnancies and have never experienced this befor . Its been going on for a few weeks now.

    • unwirklich admin

      If it’s been going on for weeks, you need to speak with your care provider. Some pregnancy bleeding can be normal, but often prolonged bleeding is a bad sign.

  • Krys

    I’m in my 17th week (learned yesterday it’s a boy!) Today my underwear are turning pink from it but on toilet paper, it’s clear? I’m so confused & very scared..

    • unwirklich admin

      That’s kind of strange, so you are seeing pink discharge in your underwear, but not when wiping? I would imagine that means it’s not a consistent bleed. If the pink was just once, I wouldn’t worry to much. It was probably just cervical bleeding and I would mention it at your next prenatal app, but if it continues, then you need to call your care provider right away to be sure it’s not early labor. Particularly if you are also getting lower back pain or cramping.

  • tricia

    I had a brown discharge two days ago that lasted for some hours then today I noticed a thick pink discharge mixed with mucus.Am 6wks pregnant and my appointment is still in 4days time.pls someone help me cos am scared. Is this something i should be worried about?

    • unwirklich admin

      It sounds like you are having some very light bleeding, which in many cases is nothing to worry about at all. It could even just be from cervical inflammation. Bleeding in early pregnancy is actually pretty common. It is important you let your care provider know about any bleeding though.

  • Aysia

    I have had light pinkish spots in my discharge for the last two days. Before that it had never happened. You wouldn’t be able to tell if you just glanced but when i actually looked, there were barely noticeable pink spots. Is that normal? I was told it comes along with dilating and effacing of the cervix. Am 35 weeks along.

    • unwirklich admin

      Some spotting can be normal as the cervix begins to dilate yes, and it often does begin a early as 35 weeks, but it can also be a sign of preterm labor if that dilation is happening too quickly. If you don’t have a regular prenatal app coming up pretty soon (like the next day or two), I’d give your care provider a call. If you experience pain (particularly period cramp-like, in your back, or in your cervix), the bleeding picks up, or you begin getting snot-like discharge with the blood, you need to see someone right away.

  • Liz

    I’ve been spotting and its darker red with dark chunks, I’m just Two weeks according to my lab results is this normal I’m scared to death!!

    • unwirklich admin

      It’s possible to have bleeding, complete with chunks, in early pregnancy and go on to have a healthy baby, but the chunks at least, are a pretty bad sign and usually mean something is wrong, such as a hematoma. Have you contacted your care provider?