The presence of yellow discharge in pregnancy can be indicative of infections, such as candidiasis, bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis or chlamydia, for example, but it can also occur due to the leakage of the mucus plug or leakage of amniotic fluid.
Yellow discharge during pregnancy may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as a foul smell, itching in the genital area or pain or burning sensation when urinating, and should always be evaluated by a gynecologist, as it can cause complications in pregnancy.
That way, whenever yellow discharge appears during pregnancy, it is very important for a gynecologist to identify the cause and start the most appropriate treatment, which can be quite different depending on the cause of the yellow discharge.
Some of the most common causes of yellow discharge in pregnancy include:
Candidiasis is an infection caused by the fungus Candida albicans, which is found naturally in the genital region, causing a whitish discharge similar to cottage cheese, but which can also be yellowish, and accompanied by symptoms such as intense itching in the genital region., redness and swelling in the vulva, burning sensation when urinating.
This type of infection is quite common in pregnancy due to the normal hormonal changes of pregnancy, which can lead to an imbalance of the vaginal microbiota, favoring the growth of fungi.
Although it does not affect the baby's development in the uterus, candidiasis needs to be treated to prevent the baby from being contaminated with fungi during childbirth, which can cause complications, such as oral candidiasis, popularly called "thrush".
What to do: you should consult your obstetrician to start the most appropriate treatment, which can be done with the use of antifungal ointments or pills. See how candidiasis in pregnancy is treated.
2. Bacterial vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis is an infection caused by bacteria found naturally in the genital region, mainly Gardnerella sp., causing intense itching, a burning sensation or discomfort when urinating, a rotten fish smell, which intensifies after intimate contact, and a thin yellow discharge, which may also have a whitish or gray color.
This type of infection during pregnancy, when left untreated, can increase the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, ruptured membranes, endometritis, chorioamnionitis and low birth weight, in addition to an increased risk of having infections sexually transmitted.
What to do: you should consult your obstetrician-gynecologist to confirm the diagnosis and start the most appropriate treatment, which can be done with antibiotic drugs that are safe for pregnancy, such as metronidazole or clindamycin, for example. See all the remedies that may be indicated for bacterial vaginosis.
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis, leading to yellowish, pus-like discharge, pain and burning when urinating, pain and bleeding during intimate contact or pelvic pain.
Chlamydia during pregnancy can lead to premature birth, ruptured membranes or low birth weight, and can be passed from mother to baby during delivery, when the pregnant woman has the infection and has not had proper treatment, causing complications for the baby, such as conjunctivitis or pneumonia.
What to do: It is important to follow the treatment indicated by the obstetrician, which is usually done with the use of antibiotics such as azithromycin or doxycycline. See more details on treating chlamydia.
Gonorrhea is also a sexually transmitted infection, caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which can be transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected partner, leading to yellowish discharge, pain or a burning sensation when urinating, urinary incontinence, itching in the intimate area or bleeding, for example.
Gonorrhea in pregnancy can cause complications such as miscarriage, premature rupture of membranes, premature birth, amniotic fluid infection, or low birth weight.
Furthermore, gonorrhea can be transmitted to the baby during normal delivery if not treated properly, causing complications for the baby such as neonatal conjunctivitis, blindness or generalized infection.
What to do: It is recommended that the gynecologist be consulted as soon as possible so that treatment can be started, which involves the use of antibiotics such as penicillin, ofloxacin or ciprofloxacin, for example. Learn more about treating gonorrhea in pregnancy.
Trichomoniasis is another sexually transmitted infection, caused by the protozoan Trichomonas vaginalis, which can also arise in pregnancy if unprotected intimate contact with the infected partner occurs, leading to the appearance of yellowish or greenish discharge with an unpleasant smell, redness, pain or itching in the genital area, pain when urinating, discomfort during intimate contact, or the presence of small vaginal bleeding.
Trichomoniasis in pregnancy can increase the risk of premature delivery or low birth weight and therefore should be treated as soon as possible.
What to do: you should consult your obstetrician to confirm the diagnosis and start treatment with an antibiotic, such as metronidazole, for about 3 to 7 days. Understand better how trichomoniasis is treated.
6. Amniotic fluid
Yellow discharge can also occur from a leak of amniotic fluid, having a clearer, watery, odorless or slightly sweet-smelling appearance, which may come out in small amounts as a drip or come out in large quantities and constant form.
This leakage of amniotic fluid may appear in the 1st or 2nd trimester of pregnancy, due to genital infections, inflammation of the fetal membranes, use of drugs of abuse or cigarettes during pregnancy, malnutrition or short cervical length, which can lead to premature rupture of the membranes, and should always be evaluated by the gynecologist, as it can cause complications such as spontaneous abortion, premature birth or fetal death.
Also, when leakage of amniotic fluid occurs after 37 weeks of pregnancy, and is accompanied by other symptoms, such as regular contractions that increase in intensity and do not improve with body movement, it may be indicative of onset of preterm labor. Know how to identify the symptoms of labor.
What to do: in the presence of amniotic fluid leakage, it is important for the woman to go to the hospital as soon as possible so that an obstetrician evaluation and verification can be performed. whether the woman is going into labor.
7. Mucous plug
The mucus plug is a substance produced by the body in the first months of pregnancy, which aims to prevent bacteria and other microorganisms from reaching the uterus and interfering with the baby's development and the continuity of pregnancy, which may cause the release of of fine discharge, usually whitish and odorless, but which may vary in color throughout pregnancy, presenting a yellowish, reddish or, in some cases, brownish appearance. Learn how to identify the mucus plug.
The presence of the mucus plug is considered normal during pregnancy, however, towards the end of pregnancy, it may indicate that the body is preparing for labor, but this does not necessarily indicate that labor is coming, it can take hours, days or even 3 weeks to occur, but you should always inform the doctor when you present this type of vaginal discharge.
What to do: it is important to have prenatal care, so that the obstetrician can assess whether there is any risk for the pregnancy, if the mucous plug comes out at an early stage of pregnancy. In the case that it occurs at the end of pregnancy, the woman should be attentive to other symptoms of labor, such as bleeding, frequent and regular contractions, rupture of the amniotic sac, or decrease or absence of fetal movements, in which case it is necessary to enter contact the doctor immediately and go to the nearest hospital.