Discharge During Pregnancy: Color and Consistency Meanings 100

Pregnancy: 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?
discharge during pregnancy pregnancy dischargeharge during pregnancy pregnancy dischargeYou 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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100 thoughts on “Discharge During Pregnancy: Color and Consistency Meanings

  • Kerri Bonney

    Im 22 weeks with my second child. Ive had discharge so i know its normal but never had any light brown streaks in my discharge before until today. Very small amounts. Also i was just at my OB 2 days ago and had a survey ultrasound done and baby was super healthy. Is there any cause for concern?

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      At 22 weeks I assume the scan was not vaginal, but on the off chance it was, that can cause spotting. If it wasn’t, things like heavy exercise and intercourse can also cause very light bleeding (usually from the cervix, not the uterus.) If you see any more though, you should let your health provider know just to be on the safe side.

  • Muza

    Hello im 10 weeks pregnant according to my last period….and I had a miscarriage early this year….now im noting a brown jelly discharge yesterday when I was passing urine and again this morning a pink jelly discharge. …

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Some light bleeding can be entirely normal in pregnancy (about 1 in 4) and just discharge like this could even just be cervical inflammation. Unfortunately, it could also be spotting at the start of a loss. At 10 weeks, your best bet is to talk with your health care provider. Any bleeding should be reported. If the discharge continues, they may want to do a scan to see how the baby is doing.

  • Anonymous

    I am 9 weeks pregnant. I had an episode of heavy brown beedling with a big clot after which I found out I am pregnant. I went to an OB immediately had a tvs done and I was 6 weeks 6 days pregnant. After the bleeding episode I had very slight brown spotting on and off not even so much as to soak a sanitary pad in a day. I am being given progesterone injections every day but I still gethink that discharge. Now the colour of the discharge has become grey. The discharge is absolutely odourless sometimes a bit chunky and sometimes the consistency is like EWCM .My OB found no reason for discharge. I have had two TVS in 12 days period and my baby is also growing well. But this discharge is giving me tension. Don’t know if it’s fine or not.

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      If you’re in regular contact with an OB, have had scans and the discharge was checked for bacteria (the grey at least) it’s likely just one of those mystery bleeds. About 1 in 4 women experience bleeding in pregnancy, most of them in the first trimester (in-depth look at bleeding in pregnancy data). That the bleeding has stopped and your baby is doing well is great news. Most women who have a light bleed like this without reason don’t see any more bleeding.

  • Nadzirah Roslan

    Hi, I’m 24 weeks along, and have recently been having light brown, thick, mucus-y discharge. Some days it covers a whole pad. There are tiny little clumps/balls too sometimes. There is also severe itching involved. Should I be worried or is this normal? Seek medical help or let it go on its own?

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Anytime there is discharge with itching you should contact your health care provider. Certain infections can lead to preterm labor.

  • Mindy

    I am 8 weeks pregnant two days ago my husband and I were intimate. Today I wipe and see a small size that looks yellowish green like snot come out. I have off and off lower back pain and sometimes my ovaries hurt. I do know I have a cyst on one of my ovaries. Is this something to be concerned about. I have a doctors appointment next Wednesday.

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      It sounds like the intercourse maybe just knocked loose a bit of cervical mucus. Around this time increased discharge is entirely normal as your mucus plug is still forming.

    • simplymindy4u

      Again this morning it occurred its greenish yellow, but it was a smear. Yesterday, I had the chills, but then again my office was so cold another gentleman felt the same way. I am not bleeding. I do have minor cramps off and on. I see the doctor for the first time next Wednesday. The heart beat was 140 last week when I went into the ER for cramping. The hospital doctor said all was ok then.

      • Life with Gremlins admin

        If there’s no odor, this doesn’t sound like cause for concern to me. Light cramping and back pain are also normal in early pregnancy from uterine growth. It’s increasingly painful rhythmic pain with bleeding that can be a sign of miscarriage.

  • Taylor

    I believe I’m 4-5 weeks I started having brown discharge 8 days ago. The amount fluctuates ever day. Yesterday I stated have lighter brown/tan mucous like discharge and now today it’s tan/pink. No cramps or anything. Could this be normal? Or maybe It’s caused by a teaser infection? I can’t get my hcg results until Tuesday

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Lots of things can cause light spotting in pregnancy. It’s actually fairly common occurring in about 1 in 4 women. It could be from cervical engorgement, hormones, infection, or yes, miscarriage. If you do have signs of infection I’d talk with your care provider, but otherwise, there isn’t really anything you can do but wait.

  • Dakota

    I’m 7 weeks pregnant today and had implantation bleeding early on in May and this past week I had some spotting. It started out brown and it only lasted for a couple of hours and went away. I woke up the next morning to it not being anything and then after a couple of hours I went to the bathroom and I had pinkish red blood when I wiped. Now today is the 4th day of me having spotting and this morning I had what looked like a dark brown of slime when I wiped followed with some reddish brown bleeding. I took a pregnancy test this afternoon and it still showed positive. I’m not cramping at all and blood is not in my urine just when I wipe and it does leak onto a pad but not enough to fill it. Could this be a sign of the placenta attaching to the uterus or a sign of miscarriage?

    • unwirklich admin

      That your test is still positive is a good sign, as early levels drop quite quickly, unfortunately, sometimes a loss can also be “missed” in that the body fails to realize the pregnancy has ended and levels don’t drop right away. I’m not saying that to make you worry, just want to be honest. Spotting can happen in early pregnancy for all manner of benign reasons and is actually super common (about 20% of pregnancies). Any bleeding should be mentioned to your care provider if you have one though.

  • Devika

    Hi, I’m 24 weeks pregnant and have been noticing increased discharge… Sometimes white sometimes yellow.. My question is is yellow normal…..it has no odor and no itching and comes a little more when I have bowel movements…. Thank u for answering

    • unwirklich admin

      This sounds normal, yes. In pregnancy a plug of mucus is formed in the cervix to protect your baby and sometimes it sheds a bit (no worries it is constantly regenerating). It’s more common during a bowel movement, because the same muscles are used to push out a bowel movement as a baby. Some mucus is pushed out a result. As long as the mucus is not one big glob (like you lost the whole plug) or has a lot of blood in it. There’s no reason to stress it. You can always call your care provider if you feel more comfortable.

  • Jenny

    Hi im 6 weeks pregnant and i had a little bit of a yellowish/orang discharge wasnt alot im stressing because i had a missed miscarriage 5 months ago.

  • Anonymous

    I’m 5 weeks 6 days today. Yesterday I had a small amount of brown discharge when I wiped. Today, I have yellow discharge when I wipe with blood in it. Should I be worried? This is my first pregnancy and I don’t have a healthcare provider yet that I can call.

    • unwirklich admin

      Some light bleeding is pretty common in early pregnancy, my guess, since you also had some yellow discharge, is it’s from your cervix. Heavy exercise and intercourse are common culprits behind light cervical bleeding, but sometimes in early pregnancy the engorgement also causes some spotting with no outside factor at all. In most cases, everything is just fine.

  • Katie

    I had a miscarriage April 7. I thought I was about 7 weeks along but my hormone levels showed I was 5 weeks. It started with brown spotting then the next day it turned to red then that evening I passed dark red clots. Went to the ER and they said it was a spontaneous miscarriage. Today I am 5 weeks. Yesterday I had light and dark brown spotting accompanied by cramps and diarrhea. I feel like I’m going to miscarry again. I haven’t had a successful pregnancy. Any suggestions on what I should do?

    • unwirklich admin

      Recurrent miscarriage is a hard situation, because often there’s not really any way to know why they are happening. Things like irregular cycle length, PCOS, endometriosis, fibroid s, irregular uterine shape, enviromental hazard exposure, and poor sperm or quality can be to blame, but then sometimes it’s just a fluke. We do have a page on the topic with some statistics here. I hope in your case it’s just some normal early pregnancy spotting, which with pregnancy just after miscarriage, would also be more likely as your hormones may be in flux.

  • Puncy

    Hi am 5 weeks pregnant last week I had pain I went to my gynaecologist he gave me pain killers which are greenish and antibiotics I finished antibiotics but I take pain killers only if necessary today I had pain again and noticed greenish discharge once so shud I be worried or is that greenish pills? Its holiday I’ll call my Dr tomorrow.

    • unwirklich admin

      The pill color wouldn’t affect your discharge, no. My guess, as you were goven antibiotics, is you probably had some sort of infection causing the discoloration.

  • Jo

    Hi everyone, first time ever on a message board so not great with all the logo but just wanted a bit of advice really.
    Had my first ever FET about 9 days ago.
    Since then have had afew symptoms like sore boobs, cramping after afew days just for about a day, headaches, waking up about 6 every morning and a bit weepy.From the outside these all sound like good signs, but yesterday I saw a bit of brownish discharge which was very light, then this morning when going to loo it turned to bright red, just when I wiped but then went to a dark brown stringy discharge after that. Has anyone experienced this before???
    I am due to take a test in the morning and to let my IVF clinic know the results but I am now terrified of the outcome. Thoughts on this pretty please. X

    • unwirklich admin

      I hate to say this, but you won’t have pregnancy symptoms before a missed period. The reason some women think that they did is pregnancy symptoms are hormonal, and for the most part caused by the same hormones that are present just before your period (PMS symptoms). They just tend to be more severe in pregnancy because hormone levels are higher. Those levels don’t rise until after implantation (which takes a minimum of 6 days, 8-10 on average), it takes another 2 days for things to even start to climb above normal levels (such as hCG begins to be possible to detect by a pregnancy test). We have an in-depth look at the pregnancy symptoms timeline here.

      Aside from the symptoms, early pregnancy bleeding is actually pretty common, especially in that first month, so don’t get discouraged yet. Many supplements and lifestyle changes (including the stress of trying) can also cause some hormonal weirdness that can lead to spotting. Fingers crossed for you.

  • Caroline

    I am around 5-6 weeks pregnant. Had positive test 9 days ago. First OB appointment isnt for another 2 weeks. Last week i had itching, burning, and other signs of yeast infection. Called MD and treated it with OTC Monostat 3. No symptoms now, but 2 days after treatment ended, started spotting when i wiped. Nothing on panty liner. The spotting seems to come and go. No cramps or other issues, just the spotting that comes each day for last 3 days. It is sometimes light pink, sometimes grey tinged with red. Im scared since this pregnancy is right after miscarriage. Had no period before getting pregnant again. I am trying to see my OB sooner and resting for now. Any thoughts? Im really scared to lose this baby too.

    • unwirklich admin

      It could be cervical irritation from the infection and treatment, but honestly some light spotting is pretty common in early pregnancy. May women even see period-like bleeding. Fingers crossed your OB can shed more light and you get good news.