Smelly Discharge During Pregnancy

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If you’re pregnant, chances are you’ve noticed that your vaginal discharge seems to have a slightly stronger smell than normal. While this may be a cause for concern, it’s generally just your body’s response to the big hormonal changes that are occurring while you’re growing your baby.

Vaginal Discharge During Pregnancy

Your discharge during pregnancy is typically thicker, sticky, and looks a lot like mucus. It’s your body’s way of preparing for labor and helping to protect your unborn child from infection. Smelly discharge during pregnancy can be caused by a number of factors, including herpes simplex virus, bacterial vaginosis, and yeast infections. If you notice your discharge has a fishy, ammonia-type odor, or if it’s unusually thick, white, or chunky, talk to your doctor.

But you should not be concerned if your discharge has a smelly odor, says Jennifer Greene, MD, an Ob-Gyn at Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland. “It’s usually a normal change that occurs during all three trimesters,” she says, and it’s nothing to worry about.

What causes the odor?

The best thing you can do to avoid a foul-smelling discharge is to stay as dry as possible and keep it clean. Use cotton underwear and pantyliners, avoid scented soaps, and wear light pads whenever you can to minimize perspiration.

You can also try some home cures to help alleviate the odor. Washing your genitals regularly with a mild, natural soap can help, as can changing your underwear and wearing cotton or natural fibers, as synthetic fabrics tend to trap the odor.


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