Leukorrhea in Pregnancy

When to see your doctor for pregnancy discharge

Verywell / Melissa Ling 

Leukorrhea is a mild, odorless discharge from the vagina that is clear or milky in color. Some women worry that having it means that they have a vaginal infection, but most of the time, this discharge is completely harmless. In pregnancy, some women notice that leukorrhea increases, either at the start of pregnancy or as pregnancy progresses.

Characteristics of Leukorrhea

Leukorrhea should not smell nor should it itch. You may have noticed it occasionally as a wetness in your underwear near ovulation. During pregnancy, due to the increased blood flow to the vaginal area and the increase in pregnancy hormones, like estrogen, you may notice more of this discharge.

Leukorrhea is made up of skin cells from your body. It is not harmful, nor is it usually a sign of any problem with your pregnancy. You may notice it throughout pregnancy or it may increase slightly as you near your due date.

Coping With Leukorrhea

You should not use tampons to absorb this discharge (or for any other reason during pregnancy). You can wear panty liners or pads in your underwear to keep you comfortable. You should also only clean with regular bathing.

Do not douche in order to get rid of the discharge (again, as with tampons, do not douche during pregnancy for any reason). Douching may increase the amount of discharge and lead to an infection.

When to Call Your Doctor

Many women experience this pregnancy discharge and it is nothing to be concerned about. That doesn't mean it isn't annoying or sometimes worrisome. Report discharge to your doctor or midwife if it is:

  • Heavy
  • Chunky
  • Foul-smelling
  • Copious (suddenly increases in quantity)
  • Changed in some other way that concerns you

These changes may indicate an infection or a need for further evaluation. In some cases, experiencing increased leukorrhea can mean that you should be tested for sexually transmitted infections (STI). You will normally have a routine screening in early pregnancy, but if you ever experience new symptoms, be sure to ask for additional screening, no matter what point you are at in your pregnancy.

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Article Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Vaginal Discharge. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Reviewed May 30, 2019.

  2. Da Fonseca TM, Cesar JA, Mendoza-Sassi RA, Schmidt EB. Pathological vaginal discharge among pregnant women: Pattern of occurrence and association in a population-based surveyObstet Gynecol Int. 2013;2013:590416. doi:10.1155/2013/590416

  3. Douching. Office on Woman's Health. Updated April 1, 2019.

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