Tommy's PregnancyHub

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.
Maternity care is still essential during the coronavirus pandemic and services are still running. If you have any concerns about your pregnancy call your GP, midwife, nearest early pregnancy unit or maternity unit.

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.

Infection

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.

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

Last reviewed: 27 September, 2018
Next review: 27 September, 2021