Once you are pregnant, your body goes through a host of changes, both on the inside as well as on the outside. It is a time when your body starts adapting to the new life growing inside you. As a result, your body may experience an exaggeration of certain issues you may have already experienced.
As a woman, you’ve probably experienced vaginal discharge before you got pregnant. However, once you become pregnant, you may notice that the vaginal discharge’s texture, consistency, quantity, and smell change. Vaginal discharge is rather common, and most women experience it even through their pregnancy. But if you notice that the discharge has changed to a jelly-like consistency, does it mean something is wrong? Read on to know all about jelly like discharge during pregnancy, and what you can do about it here.
Jelly-Like Vaginal Discharge While You Are Pregnant:
When you are pregnant, the levels of the hormone estrogen reach an all-time peak. Also, your body also experiences an increase in the flow of blood that moves towards the pelvic region. As your body goes through these changes, the mucus glands in your cervix function more intensely than they normally do. It leads to an increase in the mucus that the glands produce. All the additional mucus generated starts getting discharged through your vagina. Due to the increase in the amount, it turns to a consistency that is more like jelly.
There are several factors that trigger the additional mucus and lead to the appearance of the jelly like discharge while pregnant . Your vagina and your cervix contain many dead cells naturally present in the vagina. Your cervix also experiences secretions at this stage. When all of the above factors are combined, they also contribute to the appearance of the vaginal discharge as jelly.
[ Read: Types of Discharge During Pregnancy ]
Should You Be Worried If Your Vaginal Discharge Is Jelly-Like During Your Pregnancy?
Having a jelly-like vaginal discharge while you are pregnant is a common thing, which is considered as safe. However, there are several other factors, along with the jelly-like discharge, which will help to understand whether or not the discharge is natural, or if there is any medical condition that needs to be checked.
Here are a few things you should check for jelly like discharge when pregnant, and speak to your doctor immediately if you notice the following:
- If you notice that your vaginal discharge is greenish or grayish. When all is normal, the vaginal discharge will usually have a white or an off-white color.
- Sometimes, you may notice that your vaginal discharge looks a bit like cottage cheese, curdled milk or seems to be a little coarse, instead of being flowy or thick.
- It is very likely that you have some or the other sort of vaginal infection if the discharge from your vagina smells bad. You may notice that your vaginal discharge has a very strong odor and smells foul, especially like fish or rotten things. When all is normal, the vaginal discharge will usually not have any smell.
- If you have itching in your vagina and the surrounding area, the chances are that you have a vaginal infection.
- Also, if you notice any swelling in your vagina or the surrounding area, it could point towards a vaginal infection.
- If you notice any of the above in your vaginal discharge, it could be due to some or the other type of vaginal infection that you may have picked up.
Sometimes, if you are suffering from a vaginal infection, you may also experience a burning or itching sensation in your vagina as well as the surrounding area. You may experience the same while you urinate or even otherwise.
[ Read: Brown Discharge During Pregnancy ]
Jelly-Like Vaginal Discharge In The Third Trimester Or Towards The End Of The Pregnancy Term:
Sometimes, you may notice that your vaginal discharge has suddenly taken on a jelly-like consistency while you are in your third trimester or are reaching the last weeks or days of your pregnancy term.
- In most cases, the same happens because your mucus plug is discharged through your vagina around this time. The mucus plug is the protective barrier that keeps the mouth of the uterus closed from the start of your pregnancy. As a result, it helps to keep your unborn baby protected from coming into contact with any germs or other infectious substances that could reach into your uterus.
- Once your body starts to get ready for the birth, during the end of the third term, the mucus plug will start to loosen up. It will then come out of your body through the vagina. Once that happens, you will notice a sudden jelly-like discharge. The mucus plug usually comes out through your vagina after you have crossed the 36th week of your pregnancy.
- In some cases, the mucus plug comes out all at once and may look like a big blob of jelly that is also stained with blood. In other cases, the mucus plug may come out slowly and will only look like a thick jelly-like substance.
Causes Of Vaginal Discharge During Pregnancy:
Here is a breakup of some of the causes that can lead to a clear jelly like discharge during pregnancy.
The non-infectious causes that can cause vaginal discharge include:
- Cervical ectopy is a condition in which the layer of cells lining the cervical canal, or the uterus gets extended to the outer surface of the cervix.
- Vulval dermatitis is a skin infection in which you experience an itching and burning sensation in the vagina and the surrounding areas. It is caused when the body gets exposed to irritants or allergens.
- Physiological causes could indicate that it is a natural condition of the body, and there is no way to prevent it from taking place though it can be treated if diagnosed in time.
- Any foreign body
The non-sexually transmitted infections that can cause vaginal discharge are as follows:
- Candida is a yeast that is one of the most common cause of fungal infections all over the world. It can lead to an itching and burning sensation in the vagina and the surrounding areas and lead to a vaginal infection.
- Bacterial vaginosis refers to a disease that occurs when you have an excessive amount of bacteria in your vaginal area. If you do have bacterial vaginosis, the signs and symptoms may not always be very obvious. However, if you do notice a very strong and foul smell from your vaginal discharge, it could be because of bacterial vaginosis.
The sexually transmitted infections that can cause vaginal discharge are as follows:
- Neisseria gonorrhea is a bacteria that causes the sexually transmitted infection that is known as gonorrhea.
- Chlamydia trachomatis is a common sexually transmitted infection that affects a lot of people around the world.
- Trichomonas vaginalis is a sexually transmitted disease that can also affect men, even though it mainly affects women.
When Does A Vaginal Discharge Signify An Infection?
A vaginal discharge is also one of the more common signs of a vaginal infection. Here are some of the most common types of vaginal infection:
1. Yeast Infections:
- Yeast infections happen as a result of the fungus that is present in your vagina. Sometimes, the fungus can cause an imbalance in the organisms that also reside in your vagina.
- While you are pregnant, your hormone levels keep on changing. As a result, it puts you at a higher risk for yeast infections.
- Also, when you get pregnant, the fluid that is present in your vagina contains a higher amount of sugars than when you are not pregnant. Yeast grows best in sugar, which means your chances of contracting a yeast infection are also high.
[ Read: Yeast Infection During Pregnancy ]
2. Bacterial Vaginosis:
- While bacterial vaginosis usually does not have any specific symptoms, it can have many negative effects on your pregnancy and your unborn baby.
- If you do have bacterial vaginosis while you are pregnant, you may get into labor sooner and have a pre-term baby, or your baby may be much smaller in size at the time of birth than is normal.
- If you have had a premature delivery in the past, or if your baby was born too small from a previous pregnancy, make sure you ask your doctor to schedule you for a test to diagnose the same.
[ Read: E-Coli Infection During Pregnancy ]
3. Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD):
- In case you experience the signs of a vaginal infection, your doctor will first get you tested for a yeast infection. If the result comes back as negative, your doctor will then suggest you go for an STD test, especially if you are sexually active.
- Your doctor will also suggest you go for an STD testing, especially if you or your partner is involved with multiple sexual partners. Your doctor will also suggest you go for STD screening if you have indulged in unprotected sex. Whether or not the same applies to you, you should still go for an STD screening as it can cause serious harm to both you and your unborn baby.
- STDs can lead to pre-term labor and birth and can also cause a lot of uterine infections after the birth. Also, some STDs can pass on to your unborn baby while you are pregnant, or at the time of birth. The effects of STDs on your pregnancy and your unborn baby can be extremely damaging. It can result in a low birth weight in your baby, blindness or loss of vision in your baby, inability to hear or deafness in your baby, stillbirth and even permanent damage to the brain.
[ Read: STDs During Pregnancy ]
How To Prevent Your Chances Of A Vaginal Infection:
Here are some ways that can help you reduce your chances of contracting any vaginal infection, and have lesser vaginal discharge as a result:
- Make sure that you do not indulge in sexual activities with multiple partners, especially when you are pregnant. Try and be sexually active with a single partner and make sure that both of you are free from any sexually transmitted disease or infection. The best way to find out is to get yourself and your partner tested.
- Do not douche your vaginal area, as it is a self-cleaning organ. If you regularly indulge in vaginal douching, it can have the reverse effect and remove the good bacteria from your vagina and the surrounding area. As a result, you will be more susceptible to vaginal infections.
- Make sure that each time you wash your vagina and the surrounding area, you dry it up properly. Bacteria breed best in areas that are warm and moist, so if your vagina and the surrounding area are not dry, the chances of bacteria breeding are higher. It will put you at an increased risk of vaginal infection.
- Wear clothes that are not too tight around your vaginal area. Also, make sure that your undergarments are not too tight, and are made of cotton. Cotton will help to absorb any sweat and will allow air to circulate properly. It will help to avoid the buildup of any sweat and moisture near your vaginal area and reduce the chances of a vaginal infection.
- Each time that you wipe yourself after using the toilet make sure you follow the front-to-back direction for cleaning, instead of doing a back-to-front direction. When you clean from the back to front position, you may pick up germs that are present in your anal area and bring them towards your vagina. As a result, it can lead to various vaginal infections.
- Avoid using scents and deodorants on your vaginal area.
- Avoid taking bubble baths as they can cause irritation in your vaginal area and can also lead to vaginal infections
When you are pregnant, it is important to take note of the smallest changes in your everyday health and condition and share the same with your doctor. A vaginal infection can be a serious condition, but it can be easily cured if you detect it on time. Make sure you inform your doctor in case you suspect anything is amiss.
Moms, did you encounter any such health conditions while you were pregnant? If yes, do share how you diagnosed the same and how your doctor helped you come out of the condition.
[ Read: Gonorrhea During Pregnancy ]
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