Often, pregnant mothers suffer from white discharge per vagina. In some it may be due to pregnancy-related hormonal changes and increased blood supply to reproductive organs, whereas in others, it may be due to vaginal infections.
Vaginal discharge in pregnancy-
In pregnancy under the influence of various hormones, especially estrogen and progesterone, the blood supply to reproductive organs is significantly increased. As a result, there is an increased production of mucoid secretions from the vaginal glands. This secretion is rich in IgA immunoglobulins and offers protection against ascending vaginal infections.
Characteristic of normal vaginal secretions-
The normal physiological vaginal secretion is mucoid, translucent, without foul smell, in optimum amount and do not stain the undergarments. It do not cause any discomfort like pain, burning or itching.
Characteristic of abnormal vaginal secretions-
The excessive, copious, thick, curd-like or discolored discharge, that is foul smelling, stains the undergarments and causes discomfort, pain, burning or itching to the pregnant mother is abnormal and indicates infection.
Involuntary leakage of urine-like copious discharge with sweetish smell from vagina may indicate premature rupture of amniotic membranes.
Causes of Genital Infection:
1- Moistness of Genitalia.
The vaginal tract is normally inhabited by favorable, parasitic Lactobacillus dodarceli bacteria, which produces lactic acid from the fermentation of Glycogen, present in abundance in vaginal mucosa. This maintains the acidic pH of vaginal secretions (pH value 4.5).
During urination, in Males the urine is ejected away from the body, whereas in Females, it wets the labia.
As a common practice, the women usually clean the vulva by washing, but either due to rush of time or out of ignorance, seldom do they wipe it dry completely. As a result, the vulva remains moist most of the time.
This ascending vaginal infection can lead to Chorioamnionitis, Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes (PPROM), Amniotic fluid leak, Miscarriage, Preterm delivery, or Intra uterine fetal death (IUFD).
Hence, many miscarriages, preterm deliveries and premature babies can be prevented just by practicing proper perineal hygiene as discussed below.
2- Sexually Transmitted Infections like Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Herpes etc.
3- Use of public toilets and dirty water.
4. Use of common cloths and toiletries among family members leading to cross infections.
5. Irrational use of antibiotics lead to destruction of normal vaginal commensal bacteria – lactobacillus doderlein, leading to vulvo-vaginitis.
6. Frequent change of underpants when moist.
Simple methods to keep genitalia dry and clean.
The information is shared to create awareness towards Pregnancy and Childcare to reduce maternal and child deaths. At most care has been taken by the author to include the verified information from authentic sources. However, kindly discuss the same with your health care provider before implementation.