Pregnancy discharge: causes and treatments
Genital discharge is one of the major complaints reported in gynecological consultations. This is the name for any discharge of fluids, fluids or dross that occurs through the vaginal canal.
Under normal conditions, discharge moistens, lubricates and protects the vaginal canal against infection.
called physiological vaginal discharge most often does not represent any inflammatory gynecological problem. It is constituted by the transudation of liquids that carry through the vaginal mucosa, protective bacteria of the natural vaginal flora - with predominance of Lactobacillus acidophilus -, exfoliated dead cells of the vaginal walls and mucus of the cervical canal. In general, it has a milky or transparent appearance, practically odorless or only has a "characteristic odor" similar to the smell of cooked potatoes. It does not itch or burn and does not show any signs of vaginal or vulvar "irritation."
Causes of discharge in pregnancy
Estrogen is the main hormonal stimulating factor for the production and increase of physiological discharge. Thus, in gestation, when your production is increased a lot, the volume may increase. Another factor that contributes to the increase of the discharge is the increase of the circulation in the gravid period, with greater blood supply to the vaginal region. Thus, as has already been mentioned, under normal conditions, the discharge observed during pregnancy should present those typical characteristics of the so-called
physiological discharge of a milky or transparent appearance
, similar to what it must present outside of pregnancy, even if its quantity may vary more or less. It does not require any form of treatment, but only the usual care for intimate hygiene, preferably with neutral or glycerinated soaps. Runny nose during pregnancy White rash, unsightly but itchy
: is very associated with candidiasis. Although the fungus Candida albicans is part of an equilibrium vaginal microbiota, during the pregnancy state (or even when using oral hormonal contraceptives), there is an increase in estrogens that disrupts the aforementioned balance, promoting more frequent and aggressive candidiasis ( recurrent candidiasis). It is known that there is an increase in the immunological vulnerability of the pregnant woman's vaginal environment, which predisposes to the so-called "recurrent discharge" by Candida.
- Although in principle there is no risk to pregnancy or the baby, specific antifungal treatment should be instituted in order to remedy the uncomfortable symptomatology: burning, intense local itching, and pain / burning due to urination (due to contact of the urine with the injured mucosa) and splitting-like lesions of the skin and genital mucosa. Yellowish or greenish discharge
: These are very indicative of infection, such as bacterial colitis (Gonococcus or Chlamydia), vaginosis (associated with anaerobic bacteria, Gardnerella vaginalis), Trichomoniasis, etc. One characteristic that accompanies the discharge is the odor.
- Let us remember that Gardnerella is a bacterium that normally exists in the vaginal flora up to 80% of women with active sex life. It is in conditions of loss of the ecological balance of the vaginal flora that occurs the supremacy of these bacteria, leading to the clinical picture of what is called vaginosis, with strong smell of spoiled fish, yellowish-gray and bullish discharge. In general, it does not present intimate itching, but it is undoubtedly essential that the specific treatment is performed, aiming to reestablish the vaginal microbioma.Brown colored discharge or "coffee with milk": suggests the existence of small bleeding associated with it. In the first few weeks of gestation, it may represent small vessel rupture in the egg / embryo implantation bed or threat of abortion.
In the second / third trimester, it may mean low placental (placenta previa) implantation, placental abruption, etc ... At the end of gestation, it may suggest that the cervix is already dilated, which promotes the exit of the so-called "signal", mucosal buffer mixed with small amounts of bloody material, a normal and predictable occurrence at the beginning of labor . The obstetrician must always be aware and the laboratory diagnosis of the causative agent is indispensable to avoid the aggravation and the infectious complications that can affect (such as premature rupture of the "pouch of water", intrapartum infection and postpartum infection, ...), with a high possibility of contaminating the baby that is still inside the uterus or while migrating through the vaginal canal, during the
- How to treat each case of discharge in pregnancy In situations where itching or burning, it is recommended to use solutions on fresh compresses of certain herbs (such as chamomile ) that have a calming effect.
Although the clinical experience and the scientific knowledge of the professional can give a reliable diagnosis in front of the patient's complaints,
In addition to the specific treatment of the cause of the discharge, general prior and permanent but not exaggerated hygiene of intimate hygiene (with pH soaps) should be performed in addition to the meticulous evaluation of the site. neutral), the use of loose, ventilated clothing (preferably non-synthetic, as these increase local temperature and suffocation), and avoid prolonged genital moisture (such as not drying properly or staying in bathing suits
I should warn you that excessive intimate hygiene habits or with inappropriate substances (ordinary soaps, intimate deodorants), should be used as a supplement to health and well-being. can be factors that provoke or perpetuate chronic discharge states in many patients. The action of many of them may alter the normal bacterial flora (lactobacilli), facilitating the onset of a Candida infection, with all its symptoms, Finally, remembering, among other recommended habits of health care is the avoidance of promiscuity, the use of condoms and seek the assistance of a professional who values his or her vagina, as a final product of the destruction of the normal vaginal flora. complaints, preventing a greater risk of complications. After all, as popular wisdom has it, "prevention is always better than cure."
Grief x Breach of the pouch
Own characteristics allow us to differentiate a "vaginal discharge" from what is observed when "rupture of the amniotic sac" .
Amniotic fluid consists essentially of water (98%), rich in electrolytes and fetal skin cells. It has an aspect described as "rock water", crystalline, sometimes with small lumps. It is therefore fluid and odorless, or it may have a non-fetid and very subtle odor, such as a solution of bleach.
The slides are generally dense, viscous and of varying colorations and odors. of acid) of the amniotic fluid is more alkaline than secretions from the vagina, the medium of which is essentially acidic.In case of elimination of the "mucous cap", its recognition is made evident by its viscous, brownish-yellow and blood features.
When should I go to the doctor?
Before any discharge which leaves the patterns described as "
", any woman, whether pregnant or not, should seek specialist vocational guidance. Never do self-medication, especially by making "consultation with friends", informal, who had a "similar picture."
In the pregnant woman, this care should be emphasized and redoubled since it can cause severe complications that affect the baby. Once again reinforcement that "prevention is better than cure". Therefore, do not hesitate to look for a doctor when you identify any of the following:
burning or genital itching
burning or pain with urination
pain in the sexual act
blood or bloody loss genital anomalous or unexpected loss of vaginal fluid. The guidance is to seek immediate specialist medical assistance, with the support of your obstetrician gynecologist and team.
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