Leukorrhea gravidarum: causes, meaning, remedies

Leukorrhea gravidarum: causes, meaning, remedies
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Leukorrhea gravidarum is linked to hormonal changes

During pregnancy, the vaginal discharge they are a frequent occurrence, which all pregnant women can experience. Already during the first months of pregnancy, an increase in white discharge can occur, i.e. the natural whitish secretions produced by the vagina. They are defined leucorrea gravidica and it is a natural phenomenon linked to the changes to which the woman's body is subject during pregnancy.

The increase in secretions during pregnancy is linked to an increased production of several hormones, including estrogen e progesterone: it is they who cause loss of whitish color and rather dense consistency. The function of these secretions is to remove any harmful bacteria that could reach the fetus from the cervix.

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Read also: Leukorrhea: causes, symptoms and remedies

Leukorrhea gravidarum or vaginal discharge: is it normal to have them?

Yes, it is perfectly normal to have vaginal discharge even before pregnancy. These white discharge is much more abundant during pregnancy because your body produces higher levels of estrogen, which causes the vagina to produce more secretions.

La leucorrea gravidica it usually has these characteristics:

  • Light to milky white color
  • Thin to thick or mucus-like consistency
  • It may have odor or be odorless

You will also likely notice more vaginal discharge as you approach labor, although it is likely to look slightly different from the initial leukorrhea gravidarum: as you approach term, vaginal discharge changes in consistency, becoming more liquid and risking to be confused with the breaking of the waters


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Leukorrhea gravidarum: when is it a sign of a problem?

If vaginal discharge is green in color, smells unpleasant, painful or itchy, or looks unusual in any other way, it could be a sign of infection or another problem.

Call your gynecologist or midwife right away if:

  • It is not yet 37 weeks and you notice an increase in the amount of secretions or a change in the type of secretion. For example, if you keep leaking aqueous white liquid, these can be signs that you broke the waters or that you are in preterm labor.
  • Your vulva looks inflamed or you have a whitish, odorless discharge that causes pain when urinating or sexual intercourse, aching, itching, or burning. This means that you may have an infection.
  • You have white or gray discharge with a strong fishy smell that may be more noticeable after sex (when the discharge mixes with semen). This could be a condition called bacterial vaginosis.
  • The leaks are yellow or green and frothy with an unpleasant odor. This can be a sign of tricomoniasi, a common sexually transmitted infection. Other possible symptoms of trichomoniasis include a red, irritated, or itchy vulva or vagina and discomfort when urinating or during intercourse.
  • The leaks have a strong odor or have changed in color, quantity or consistency from before.

It can be difficult to tell when symptoms signal a problem and sometimes, even if you don't have common symptoms like irritation, itching, or burning, you could still have a vaginal infection or sexually transmitted.

If you feel discomfort or think you have an infection, don't try to treat yourself with over-the-counter medications or feminine hygiene products - using them can make it worse. Instead, see your doctor for a diagnosis and the right treatment.

Read also: Signs of pregnancy: the first weeks

Could changes in vaginal discharge be a symptom of pregnancy?

Usually no. While many women notice increased vaginal discharge during pregnancy, they are unlikely to notice this symptom a week or two immediately after conception. And it's not one of the early pregnancy symptoms that women commonly report during those first few weeks. If you suspect you are pregnant, your best bet is to take a pregnancy test around the time you're expecting your period.

How do I know if it is a vaginal discharge or a mucous plug?

The "mucous plug"is nothing more than a layer of mucus that forms inside the cervix during pregnancy and, in particular, at the beginning of the same. The mucous plug serves to protect the fetus, becoming a sort of barrier that keeps the child away from the external environment. As you get closer to giving birth and the cervix begins to dilate, these mucus-like secretions can leak. This can be a sign of early labor. In any case, labor still proceeds according to its timeline and the baby remains well protected.

Read also: Mucous plug: what it is and what it is used for

How do I know if it is vaginal discharge or amniotic fluid?

Leukorrhea gravidarum occurs in small amounts, while amniotic fluid leaks continuously once the waters have broken. Amniotic fluid is usually clear or slightly yellowish, watery, and odorless. When the waters rupture, amniotic fluid can leak out as a leak or trickle, or in a gush. Either way, it will continue to leak until the baby is born.

If you think it is possible that you are leaking amniotic fluid, contact your gynecologist immediately.

If you're less than 34 weeks pregnant and think you've broken water, call your gynecologist right away. You may need medications to delay your labor and speed up the development of the baby's lungs and antibiotics to protect you from infections.

Read also: Amniotic fluid

What Can I Do About Vaginal Discharge During Pregnancy?

There isn't much you can do to stop your body's normal vaginal discharge. You can wear panty liners to absorb secretions if necessary, but using them frequently can irritate the vulva. The use of sanitary pads is not recommended during pregnancy.

Here are some tips for proper intimate hygiene:

  • Always wipe from front to back
  • Change sweaty clothes or wet swimwear promptly
  • If your vagina is sore, avoid tight pants, leggings, or underwear made from synthetic materials.
  • Do not use bubble baths, scented pads, scented toilet paper, feminine hygiene sprays, and scented soaps or deodorants. These products can be irritating to sensitive skin.

Sources for this article

Baby Center: Vaginal discharge during pregnancy e Vaginal discharge in pregnancy 

Questions and answers

What is leukorrhea gravidarum?

The term leucorrhoea gravidarum indicates whitish vaginal discharge with a mucous consistency, which is physiological and present in pregnant women.

What are vaginal secretions used for?

Vaginal secretions help cleanse the vaginal area, so their presence is a sign that the body is doing well.

Leukorrhea gravidarum: when to go to the gynecologist?

If the secretions are associated with itching, burning or other discomfort, then it is advisable to go to your gynecologist: we could be faced with bacterial infections.

  • pregnancy losses
  • vaginal infections
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