Discharge During Pregnancy: Color and Consistency Meanings 123

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

  • Jl

    Hi I’m currently 9w6d. This afternoon i wiped and noticed i have ewcm with pink “spotting”. Which after a few hours has turned to cm with orange to it, it is very stretchy I have no cramps or pain. Also my cervix is closed and still high I’m not sure if that means anything at this point, has anyone experienced this?

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Stretchy discharge is normal in pregnancy, it’s just bits of your mucus plug (which does rebuild itself) you might see it more after a bowel movement or strenuous exercise. The spotting along with it I would call your care provider about though. It’s possible it’s just light cervical bleeding from the increased blood flow, but any sort of bleeding is worth reporting just to be safe.

  • Ashlea

    Hi, I am currently 6 weeks and 1 day pregnant. The past day or two I’ve had brown discharge when I wipe, and this morning there was like a string of a darker brown discharge mixed through it. I am currently having no pain and the last time I checked it has changed to a creamy type colour. I am a tad concern as I had a miscarriage late last year at 6 weeks.

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Unfortunately, it is possible for a loss to start with light spotting like this. It could also be a bit of cervical spotting or hormonal, but I would let your care provider know and go from there.

  • Anonymous

    I am 14 weeks pregnant and I’m experiencing dark dark brown sporadic discharge. Same consistency as the milky white description just dark dark brown. Anyone else experience this?

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      It’s possible that the bleed is from your cervix. Intercourse is a common culprit, in which case its harmless. Any bleeding in pregnancy is something you should let your care provider know about though.

  • Erica

    I’m 7 weeks and 3 days. Everything has been fine so far. We had a family emergency and I’m very stressed, anxiety the whole works. Diarrhea, dehydrated, not hungry AT ALL. I’m having some orange discharge and I’m extremely worried about it. We lost our last one last year on Mother’s Day at 7 weeks and 6 days, so more stress for this particular week. Is the discharge this color possibly due to the dehydration or……?

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Orange could be light bleeding or infection, unless it’s more like a really dark yellow, in which case probably just mucus plug formation shedding. Some light spotting can be entirely normal, and the diarrhea is actually more likely to blame there. Some research suggests that bowel stimulation may cause minor uterine contractions (it’s the same reason things like castor oil are believed to induce labor in late pregnancy). I would go ahead and mention it to your care provider anyway, just to be sure it isn’t an infection. I’m sorry for you loss. I’ve been where you are, I didn’t stop worrying about miscarriage with my rainbow baby until I was about 30 weeks. I kept convincing myself I’d lose her and I shouldn’t get attached.It’s very hard, but so very worth it. Wishing you the best.

  • Elizabeth Goudeau

    I am around 9 weeks tonight went to bathroom i wiprd had brown spotting i put my finger in to check it was clear discharge even had texture but then when i wiped my fingers had brown tint. Also light cramping. Is this normal?

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      In early pregnancy the cervix is a lot more sensitive and engorged with blood, if you’re doing cervix checks (sticking a finger in far enough to reach your cervix) you may actually be causing the light bleeding. Intercourse can be another common trigger for the same reason. Week 9 is one of the most common weeks for light spotting, so chances are everything is fine, but any sort of bleed should be reported to your care provider. 🙂

  • Mumpoo

    I am 16 weeks 5 days today with constant spotting ( mostly thin but 1 or 2X I had thick dark brown discharge) that is dark brown in color. No cramps or anything. Baby’s heartbeat was great when we went for our OB visit earlier in the week. Why am I having this bleeding though?

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      It’s hard to say, lots of things can cause spotting in pregnancy–hormone dips, cervical damage, uterine blood clots, placenta issues–sometimes no one knows and it just stops, baby is perfectly healthy. Any bleeding though should be reported to your care provider, they can help narrow things down for you.

  • Anja

    can stress and diet cause increased thick discharge?
    i have been to my doctor and got swabs done (i’m 15 weeks pregnant. came back with thrush and BV. i’ve been taking flagyl for BV for 4 days now, the greenish discharge and grey discharge is still happening sometimes when i wipe, should i notice any changes? the thickness of the discharge worries me

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      That sort of discharge is normal in those with BV (it’s one of the symptoms) so if it sticks around after your meds are gone, make sure to let your care provider know. Though more discharge, sometimes with a yellowish tint,, is also normal in pregnancy, so it can be hard to tell the difference.

  • Tiarrah

    I’m 7 weeks pregnant and I have been bleeding for about 6 days. I went to the ER and they Told me everything was fine but i had bacteria in my urine so they gave me antibiotics. It seems like every night is when my cramps get bad and I bleed. During the day I have brown discharge and slight cramps. But around the same time every night I get mild to majority cramps in waves and I bleed. But tonight my blood was pinkish orangeish red and like snot. I’m confused. Can anyone help.

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Certain types of infection can cause bleeding in pregnancy and increase the risk of preterm labor. That your bleed has changed is likely because the antibiotics are working. If you finish your course and the bleeding hasn’t stopped, I’d return to your care provider, but otherwise, it sounds like little one is doing fine and you’ve gotten the care you needed. 🙂 Good job, Momma.

  • Jasmin

    I’ve just gone 12 weeks pregnant but since about 10 1/2 weeks I’ve had some yellowy discharge, doctor did a swab and results came back clear. Should I still be worried or is more likely the yellow discharge your mentioned above? No odour etc.

    • Life with Gremlins admin

      Yellowish discharge is entirely normal in pregnancy if there’s no itching and odor, it’s just from increased mucus production to form your mucus plug. 🙂

      • Freda Falana

        I have be using virginal progesterone, since I was 24 weeks for short cervix ,now I am going to 36 weeks, but my discharge is yellowish and kind of itching,is it normal or because of the virginal progesterone an using or something else

        • Life with Gremlins admin

          The increased blood flow in pregnancy can sometimes make folks itchy even without progesterone use. The reason I mentioned it was because itching can be a sign of infection as can mucus changes.