Last updated on July 26th, 2018 at 06:11 pm
Question: What causes green discharge during pregnancy?
Whether you are in the first, second or in the third trimester of pregnancy, having a greenish stuff from your vagina will get you very concerned. In most cases, you feel it’s something is wrong and think you might probably have an infection.
If you feel this way, then you are not alone. Here’s an email I received from Miriam (one of my readers)
I’m 9 weeks pregnant and recently noticed a greenish-like mucus from my vagina. I perceive an odor down there and vaginal itching that is worse in the evening. Is this a sign of an infection?
Just like Miriam, a lot of women will panic about having an infection if they experience a green vaginal discharge in early pregnancy with odor and vaginal itching.
The truth is, green discharge is mostly because there is a problem down there, and if you are currently pregnant, it’s important you inform your doctor right away.
The most common causes of green discharge while pregnant are chlamydia, trichomoniasis, gonorrhea and bacterial vaginosis infection.
If not treated quickly, these infections may cause complications in pregnancy. In some women, especially in the first trimester, vaginal infections can cause a miscarriage.
Other problems associated with an untreated infection while pregnant are low birth weight babies, premature labor, persistent change in the color and smell of your vaginal discharge.
Having said that, during the third trimester, a green vaginal discharge no odor may not be due to an infection, especially when you are near your expected date of delivery.
At this time, it’s possible amniotic fluid can leak through your membranes and come out in a greenish color. It’s important you quickly inform your doctor to determine if your baby is okay as a greenish mucus may indicate fetal distress.
This article explains the causes of green discharge during pregnancy, diagnosis, treatment options and possible complications if left untreated.
What causes green discharge during pregnancy?
Generally, if you have a green colored discharge from your vagina during pregnancy, it’s likely something is wrong and you must let your doctor know as soon as you can.
Here are common causes of green vaginal mucus
1. Chlamydia infections
Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria causes chlamydia infection, and mainly, if you’ve had sexual intercourse with someone already infected, you are prone to having the infection.
The truth is, some women may not have any symptoms of chlamydia infection before pregnancy, meaning that they experience complications in pregnancy.
If you are expecting or not, if you have chlamydia, you are at risk of chlamydia complications. In women that are yet to get pregnant, it could result in pelvic inflammatory disease, fallopian tube damage and decrease the likelihood of getting pregnant.
If you are pregnant, green discharge may be due to chlamydia infection and during the first trimester may result in a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy.
One common concern for most women is spread of infection to your baby. While the chances are slim, it’s possible your baby will get infected during child birth. So, take necessary steps to treat chlamydia infections before your due date.
The good news is, like other sexually transmitted infections, it’s cheap and easy to treat chlamydia infections.
Other symptoms of chlamydia infection (apart from green discharge) are
- Vaginal itching and odor
- Foul smelling green or yellow mucus
- Vaginal spotting during pregnancy
- Bleeding after sexual intercourse during pregnancy
- Burning sensation and discomfort while urinating
- Lower abdominal pain during pregnancy
What risk does chlamydia pose to your baby?
Before getting pregnant, and during your first prenatal clinic visit, it’s recommended that women that are sexually active test themselves for sexually transmitted infections, including chlamydia.
If you have chlamydia at this time, your doctor will place you on azithromycin tablets that are safe during pregnancy. Other antibiotics that can be used are amoxicillin and erythromycin tablets.
However, if you fail to see your doctor, there is a risk for complications, including a miscarriage.
2. Gonorrhea infection
Neisseria gonorrhea is the bacteria that causes women to have gonorrhea infection. Just like chlamydia, your greenish vaginal mucus during pregnancy may be due to a gonorrhea infection.
In fact, a lot of women before getting pregnant may have already contracted gonorrhea infections without even knowing.
This is because, unlike men that are easily symptomatic to STDs, women will likely not show any signs of gonorrhea infections. However, chances are, you may get complications while pregnant.
The commonest way to catch gonorrhea is sexual intercourse with husband or partner that has the infection.
In most cases, symptoms are absent, though the presence of green vaginal discharge while pregnant with any of these symptoms suggest gonorrhea infection.
- Pain while urinating
- Increase vaginal discharge that is greenish, or yellowish
- Itching at your vagina and anal region
- Anal sore
- Spotting during pregnancy
Will gonorrhea infection affect my baby?
Commonly, your cervix, which is the lower closed part of your uterus, prevents vaginal infections from getting to your baby. Though, if you do not take the right steps quickly, gonorrhea could be transmitted to your baby causing a reddish eye after birth.
Treatment of gonorrhea is a dose of ceftriaxone. However, you must inform your doctor for best advice.
3. You have trichomoniasis
With about 124,000 pregnant women affected each year, the chances your greenish vaginal discharge is due to trichomoniasis infection is high.
If you’ve had unprotected sexual intercourse, just like chlamydia and gonorrhea, then you can get trichomoniasis if your husband, friend or partner has the infection.
Like most women, you may not get symptoms of trichomoniasis; Though, if you do, you will experience
- Light green discharge during pregnancy
- Itching of your vagina
- Smelly vagina
- Unpleasant smell and red vulva
Trichomoniasis can be treated in pregnancy, and it involves the use of metronidazole tablets.
It’s important you test your partner, abstain from sexual intercourse, and take medications as prescribed by your physician.
How to stop green discharge while pregnant, treatment
Commonly, light, dark, watery or thick green discharge during pregnancy will be investigated by your doctor to confirm the cause, and then treatment follows.
Most vaginal infections can be treated during pregnancy. If you are pregnant, some antibiotics are safe in the first, second and third trimester.
Don’t take medications on your own. Inform your doctor first, as some drugs may cause harm to your growing baby.
Easy ways you can prevent green discharge are
- Avoid sexual intercourse
- Avoid vaginal douching
- Use condoms consistently
- Improve vagina hygiene
- Use cotton underwears
Still worried why you have green mucus? Let us know.