Discharge in pregnancy

Having more vaginal discharge during pregnancy is common, but speak to your midwife or doctor if you are unsure about any increase or change in your vaginal discharge.

How much discharge is normal in pregnancy?

Having more vaginal discharge during pregnancy is common. Healthy vaginal discharge is usually thin, clear or milky white and shouldn’t smell bad.

Speak to your midwife or doctor if you are unsure about any increase or change in your vaginal discharge.


Call your midwife if you have vaginal discharge and:

  • it smells bad
  • is green, brown or yellow
  • you feel itchy or sore around your vagina
  • you have pain when you wee.

This may mean you have an infection that needs to be treated.

Vaginal bleeding

If you have any vaginal bleeding at any time during your pregnancy contact your midwife. You could also contact your GP you’re only a few weeks pregnant. Any sign of blood, which may be red (like if you cut your finger) or dark brown (like old blood) needs to be checked straight away.

Read more about bleeding in pregnancy.

Is it discharge or my waters breaking?

More discharge can be common in pregnancy but you will need to call your maternity unit and get checked urgently if:

  • your discharge is watery
  • your discharge changes
  • you’re bleeding
  • your baby is moving less than usual
  • your waters are green, brown or contain blood.

Leaking or gushing clear or pinkish liquid before 37 weeks.

This may mean that your waters have broken early (preterm prelabour rupture of membranes - PPROM).

If this happens you and your baby are at risk of infection. You may also go into labour and deliver your baby early.

Phone your maternity unit immediately.

Read more about premature birth.

Leaking or gushing clear or pinkish fluid after 37 weeks

This may mean that your waters have broken and that you may be about to go into labour. Call the maternity unit and tell them what has happened. You may not need to go to the hospital straight away but they will write down what time your waters broke and tell you what to do next.

Read more about waters breaking after 37 weeks.


Read more symptoms in pregnancy


  1. Macdonald S, Magill-Cuerden J, Mayes’ midwifery, thirteenth editionEdinburgh, Bailliere Tindall Elsevier, 2012


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    Last reviewed on September 27th, 2018. Next review date September 27th, 2021.

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    Please note that these comments are monitored but not answered by Tommy’s. Please call your GP or maternity unit if you have concerns about your health or your baby’s health.
    • By Midwife @Tommys on 28 Nov 2018 - 11:43

      Hi Maria
      Bleeding, at any gestation, should be reviewed as soon as possible at your local maternity unit. It's wonderful that you are keeping active and that you are feeling good fetal movements, but its best to be reviewed a soon as you can in relation to the bleed. Please don't forget to take your pregnancy notes with you. All the best - Tommy's Midwife

    • By Josie (not verified) on 22 Nov 2018 - 17:42

      Hi I was wondering on a bit of advice I'm 32 weeks pregnant and for. Last couple days I've had quite damp knickers a little bit more than damp actually it's like a very watery discharge even leaked through to my leggings yesterday and a little on my bed when I went to get up to go for a wee. It's not urine because it doesn't smell now today about half hour ago I went for a wee and there was a lot of discharge and my knickers were damp I've actually been satin I've had a bit of belly ache today and a little back ache the belly ache is around my pelvis and back ache just above my bum

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 23 Nov 2018 - 10:05

      Hi Josie,
      It can be normal to having heavier discharge in pregnancy and sometimes this can also change in consistency. However I would strongly advise for you to contact your maternity unit today for a review just to check that your waters have not broken, sometimes this just looks like a trickle, you do not always get a gush of fluid. If you have any bleeding or the discharge looks green then you need to go in immediately.
      Best wishes
      Tommy's midwife

    • By Josie (not verified) on 24 Nov 2018 - 19:58

      Thanks went in hospital that night and found out I was in labour had a healthy baby boy about an hour later born 8 weeks premature

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 26 Nov 2018 - 15:20

      Congratulations Josie, I assume he is in NICU. I hope he is doing well and that you are also recovering. Best wishes x

    • By Jade (not verified) on 13 Nov 2018 - 23:30

      Hi I'm about 34 weeks 4 days I'm a low risk pregancany I noticed i had spot on my vagina bone but obvs as having a big bump needed a mirror to check it at first but also noticed while checking everything down there as it had been a while that inside the vagina I had a bit of white/milky clear watery like discharge has no odour just sitting inside doesnt look sore and it's not thick Is this normal? Also my vagina looks bigger than before is that normal? Also no pain when going to the toilet no itching ECT.

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 14 Nov 2018 - 11:23

      Hi Jade, Yes this is quite normal. Most women have an increased discharge in pregnancy.

    • By Mary (not verified) on 11 Nov 2018 - 17:23

      I was very upset and crying today as my husband really upset me. Now i went to the the loo and passed a pinkish and bright red discharge just when i wiped. Am expecting twins and am 25 weeks pregnant. Havent had sex but do have a polyp down below my cervix. Have a meeting with the gyne tomorrow evening - do i need to go in sooner ? Havent pain but like a small stitch in my side. Havent felt any kicks yet in pregnancy. They checked me out 2 weeks ago for the same reason and said all was ok that time. Helo ??

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 14 Nov 2018 - 11:20

      Yes, Any bleeding at 25 weeks should always be investigated straight away. It is very likely that this is due to the polyp but should be checked anyway.

    • By Mrs. Faizal (not verified) on 25 Oct 2018 - 16:16

      Hii..... Im 16 weeks and 5 days pregnant now.. I had small amount of bleeding in my 12th week... Then i consulted the doctor. I was given some medicine and doctor tld me nothng to worry.. Then again i had small amount of brownish bleeding in my 16 weeks and 1 day. Again i consulted the doctor and he scanned and tld me nothng to worry. Bt aftet 4 days again tdy i had 2 time brownish spotting... And i feel that my white discharge is also stopped.. Can u pls advise me...

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 26 Oct 2018 - 10:04

      It sounds like you are doing the right thing, with each episode of bleeding to consult your doctor, please continue to do this. With regards to your white discharge stopping, this is not usually something to worry about, discharge can change in pregnancy. If you have any watery discharge, have any pain or feeling itchy then please let your doctor know so they can review you.
      Best wishes
      Tommy's midwife

    • By E Mann (not verified) on 22 Oct 2018 - 14:42

      Good Afternoon,

      A year ago i had a miscarriage and this weekend I did a pregnancy test and it was positive however i am getting cramps that feel just like my period is coming. They are mild and come and go but are more there than not there.

      I did the test Sunday and my period is due today/ tomorrow.

      Should i be concerned i am so anxious after my last miscarriage.

      Thank you in advance.

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 23 Oct 2018 - 13:47

      I am so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. Unfortunately though I can't give you any assurances for this pregnancy. It is still too soon to know whether the egg will implant successfully and I'm afraid that you will have to wait to see if your period comes over the nest day or two. Best wishes to you

    • By Nancy (not verified) on 18 Sep 2018 - 14:29

      Hi, I think am 3 weeks pregnant and today I had abdominal pain and later noticed a reddish and brownish discharge which is smelly.. Is this something I should worry about?

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 20 Sep 2018 - 14:12

      Hi Nancy, Thank you for your comment.
      Have you confirmed your pregnancy with a positive pregnancy test? It could be that you are coming on your period? If you know that you are pregnant and your are having bleeding, abdominal pain and an offensive smell then we would suggest that you see your GP who will be able to check your pregnancy hormone levels to see if they are rising and possibly take a swab to see if your have any infection. Hope this helps, Take Care, Tommy's Midwives x

    • By Lisa (not verified) on 2 Aug 2018 - 01:47

      Hi my name is Lisa and this is my first pregnancy and I just noticed tonight that when I went toilet I filled the toilet with bright red blood and had to wear a sanitary pad to bed. Is that normal? Should I ring the maternity now? Or should I wait till morning thanks Lisa

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 3 Aug 2018 - 13:02

      Dear Lisa,
      Please be aware this is a non urgent service. I hope that you contacted your maternity unit and have been seen, if not please contact your maternity unit straight away.
      Best wishes
      Tommy's midwife

    • By Brenda (not verified) on 29 Jun 2018 - 01:30

      Hi My Due Date Of Giving Birth Was 26may, It Pasted A Week When I Had Cramps, I Thought It Was Labour But The Doctor Check Me For An Ultra Sound And Said I Should Wait For 2wks. 2wks Have Pasted And Nothing Is Happening, Am Worried Because Am Entering 11months And Its My First Pregnancy,please Advice Me What To Do. Thank You

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 29 Jun 2018 - 12:00

      Hi Brenda,
      In the UK all women are offered an induction of labour when they are about 10-14days passed their due date. From your message it sounds like you are over a month passed your due date so you should have definitely been offered an induction as research shows the placenta becomes less efficient during this time. It is very very important that you monitor your baby's movements closely, if you notice they have reduced or changed then you must go to the hospital straight away.
      I would strongly advise for you to speak with your doctor about inducing your labour.
      Best wishes
      Tommy's midwife

    • By Unknown (not verified) on 20 Jun 2018 - 11:59

      Iya I'm 33+4 yesterday i leaked kind watery discharge and kind jelly had few lower back pain and hurt every time the baby moved or kicked for over a hour keep feeling very hot

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 22 Jun 2018 - 14:59

      If you are continuing to have some watery discharge then you need to contact your maternity unit to check that your waters have not broken. Some back ache is normal but if you feel like this is worse than usual then again do be reviewed.
      Best wishes
      Tommy's midwife

    • By Leanne (not verified) on 8 Jun 2018 - 18:34

      Hi I’ve had the above happen today when I went to the loo, and wiped after seeing. . I’ve no other symptoms (no pain etc) and it was a very small amount. I’m not urinating anymore or less and this is my second pregnancy.were off on holiday in the morning so don’t know whether to go anywhere but I’m not sure if I should. Thank you

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 11 Jun 2018 - 14:28

      Hi Leanne, Sorry not to get back to you sooner, We are here only during office hours, Monday to Friday 9-5pm. I hope this has settled now. If you are still concerned, you can usually be seen in the early pregnancy unit at your local hospital. We usually recommend that any bleeding is assessed to find a cause but in many situations no cause is found and the pregnancy continues without any problems. Hope your holiday is going well. Take care.

    • By Laura (not verified) on 7 Jun 2018 - 20:51

      Hi I’m 26 weeks for the past couple of weeks my pants/ panty liners keep smelling of wee?! However I do not seem to have much discharge and the pants are not wet?
      Have had no itching but keep going wee.
      Is this normal?!

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 8 Jun 2018 - 13:12

      Hi Laura,
      If you have noticed a change in smell and that you keep needing to wee then it maybe a sign of a urine infection, it maybe worth dropping off a sample to your GP for testing or speaking with your midwife for a review.
      Best wishes
      Tommy's midwife

    • By Archana (not verified) on 5 Jun 2018 - 17:51

      My white discharge suddenly stopped 4 days ago, in in 5th week. I already had a history of 2 miscarriages. Now is it a sign of one more. I'm feeling dear and tense. Please help me. Answer me so that I can prepare my mind

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 6 Jun 2018 - 15:49

      Hi Archana
      White discharge can be both related to pregnancy (which is totally normal) or it could be a thrush infection which may require over the counter cream treatment from your pharmacist. Please do not worry that you have not seen any white discharge for a few days, this is more reassuring than worrying. You can go to see your midwife/doctor if you are still concerned for review and reassurance.
      Please take care of yourself
      Sophie,Tommy's Midwife

    • By For this child ... (not verified) on 29 Apr 2018 - 17:59

      Hello, Friday I had the anatomy scan including a vaginal u/s after to check cervix. Doc said everything looked great. Saturday early afternoon I wiped a good amount of pinkish red and went straight to ER. The doc did an ultrasound and tests including UTI check. Baby was great and no infections were found. She said she believed it was due to the cervical u/s . Said to not worry and lay down for the weekned to relax. I came home and passed a darkish booger like clot? No tissue. No cramping through any of this. It is sunday and I have been wiping light brown discharge. Still no cramping, no heavy bleed and praying it stays that way. I am scared. This would be my 3rd baby. When I had the ultrasound the baby was moving and kicking and I still feel him moving tons. Any one else?

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 30 Apr 2018 - 16:29

      Hi, It seems that your bleeding is related to the ultrasound. It is reassuring that you are still feeling movements so rest up and it is most likely that this will resolve. Take care

    • By Addy (not verified) on 25 Apr 2018 - 01:23

      Im currenly 24 weeks and i have been feeling heavy down there like when i get off my bed or get up from a chair, the heaviness comes when i get up...i noticed a increase in discharge also. Any advice?

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 27 Apr 2018 - 11:33

      Hi - Thank you for your message.
      As your pregnancy progresses and your baby grows you will notice changes in your body due to the increased weight of the pregnancy. If however, you are concerned or the pressure is causing you pain please contact your GP/Midwife for advice and to be reviewed.

    • By Anonymous (not verified) on 6 Apr 2018 - 11:13

      In 40wks, 3rd baby. Normal pregnancy, babies head is still high in pelvis.
      I’ve had practically no discharge at all the last week or 2. I’m drinking plenty.
      I remember I had heavy discharge with the 2 previous pregnancies by this stage.
      Is this normal?

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 6 Apr 2018 - 13:38

      Please try not to worry that you are not experiencing any discharge, this can be normal. Every pregnancy is different. As long as you do not have any other concerns such as itching or soreness then it is fine. If you have other concerns then do speak with your midwife.
      Best wishes, Tommy's midwives

    • By Rita (not verified) on 19 Mar 2018 - 22:14

      Am 7 months pregnant, I have an heavy discharge so I decided to use cotton wole to absorb the discharge from touching my skin.
      I tried bringing it out but I can't... Am so worried so it won't course any problem for me. Even while trying to bring it out a little blood came out. Please what can I do in thing situation ?

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 21 Mar 2018 - 10:16

      Hi Rita,
      Heavy discharge can be very normal in pregnancy as long as it is not watery or of an offensive smell or change in colour. Often many pregnant women wear a thin panty liner to absorb the discharge. If you think that the cotton wool is still inside of your vagina and you are not safely able to remove it then I would suggest to see your GP who may do a speculum examination and be able to remove the cotton wool. Best wishes, Tommy's midwife.

    • By Anonymous (not verified) on 26 Feb 2018 - 12:57

      Hi, im currently 32 weeks and 5 days pregnant with my 3rd baby just got to the toilet and found i leaked quite a bit ot yellow snotty discharge on to my pad i have had a very severe back ache for the last 2 nights where i havnt been able to sleep, does any one know what this could be at all please?

      Thank you x

    • By Joanne (not verified) on 22 Feb 2018 - 09:43

      I've had discharge all of my pregnancy so far. I'm 19weeks and today it seems to have stopped. Is this normal or should I contact someone? I'm a first time mum so I have no idea what is or isn't normal...

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 23 Feb 2018 - 11:01

      Hi Joanne,
      As a general rule, discharge often does increase during pregnancy but this can vary. In the absence of any other symptoms, discharge stopping is not something to worry about. If you have any other concerns, such as pain or bleeding then do contact your maternity unit for a review.
      Tommy's midwives x

    • By Louise (not verified) on 5 Jan 2018 - 07:22

      Hi am 40 weeks + 5 days now yesterday i had a sweep done and now am getting some clear with a bit of red i think after i use the loo what will i do can any1 help thanks

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 5 Jan 2018 - 16:23

      Hi Louise,
      It is very common to have a small amount of spotting and increased discharge after having a sweep, it is good idea just to pop on a pad and monitor any loss over the next hour or two. If it is brown or stops and you do not have any pain or other concerns and baby is moving well then just continue to monitor. If any fresh red bleeding on the pad or the clear loss is watery or you have any other concerns such as pain or worries about baby's movements then do ring your maternity unit straight away for advice and to be reviewed.

    • By Anonymous (not verified) on 4 Nov 2017 - 12:23

      I’m 9 weeks pregnant and on and off since 6 weeks I have had either a brown stringy discharge or white/creamy coloured discharge. I’ve mentioned this to my doctor and then again at my booking in appointment with my midwife and was told this was nothing to worry about as I should only worry if I was to bleed heavily and would need to use a sanitary pad. Reading the above i’m now not sure this was the correct?

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 6 Nov 2017 - 14:28

      A white creamy coloured discharge is normal at 8 weeks but I am more concerned when you describe it as brown. If you are wearing a pad I would ask your doctor to assess again. It is not possible to assess without seeing it. Best wishes

    • By Anonymous (not verified) on 7 Nov 2017 - 06:51

      I’m not needing to wear a pad as it’s only occasionally when I wipe after going to the toilet that there is the odd bit of this stringy discharge sometimes it’s brown other times it’s creamy coloured. No one has examined me even though I have mentioned it both to my doctor and midwife as both said it was nothing to worry about. I have another midwife appointment next week so will mention it again then.

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 7 Nov 2017 - 09:19

      Please do mention to your midwife at your next appointment and ask for a more detailed explanation. Best wishes for the rest of your pregnancy.

    • By Anonymous (not verified) on 11 Oct 2017 - 19:40

      Hi there just fount out im 32 weeks pregnant, had a really bad increase of discharge as to the point im changing my underwear 4 times a day, braxton hicks are becoming more regular and i sometimes have intence pain, is this normal?
      Thank you :)

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 12 Oct 2017 - 09:53

      Hi Thank you for your comment.
      Braxton hicks can be normal during pregnancy but if you are feeling damp and changing your underwear this regularly and experiencing pain, then we would recommend that you need to be assessed at your local maternity unit. They may want to check and see if you have broken your waters and make sure you are not going into premature labour with these pains. Please don't be alarmed, sometimes you can develop urine infections in pregnancy and this can be a cause of pain. The best thing to do is to call or visit your local antenatal day unit and be seen. Hope this helps, Tommy's Midwives x

    • By Anonymous (not verified) on 13 Oct 2017 - 16:39

      Thanks for your advice, as soon as i saw it i went to my see my midwife who confirmed my waters had broken and was 7cm dialted, baby was born prematurely, by emergency c-section and is currently in an incubator but doing really well, thanks for your advice dont no if id have had it checked if i didnt ask, and things could have been alot worse so thank you x

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 16 Oct 2017 - 11:17

      Hi there, congratulations on your little one! Please do take good care of yourself and baby. We are so pleased that you did ask! All the best!

    • By Sarah (not verified) on 15 Sep 2017 - 07:15

      Hey, I'm 35 weeks and 5 days and I have noticed that every time I wake up and go toilet or just during the day I always end up with white, sticky gooey mess on my underwear. Is this normal?

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 18 Sep 2017 - 10:32

      Many women have an increase in discharge during pregnancy. If this is clear or milky and doesn't smell it is not usually anything to worry about. However, if the discharge is green or has an unpleasant odour I would suggest that you see your midwife or GP who may take a swab sample to check for any infection. Best wishes

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