Discharge During Pregnancy: What’s Typical and What’s Not

By Marisa Iallonardo
Reviewed by Alyssa Quimby, M.D.
February 14, 2023

You’ll almost definitely experience vaginal discharge while pregnant, but it can be hard to tell what’s typical and what’s not—especially if this is your first pregnancy. Here, we explain why it happens and what to watch for.

Typical Vaginal Discharge, Explained

“Vaginal discharge is common for all women of reproductive age,” explains Alissa Conklin, M.D., a board-certified ob-gyn at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis. “It changes throughout the menstrual cycle when one is not [pregnant or] taking a hormonal contraceptive.”

Officially known as leukorrhea or “physiological discharge,” vaginal discharge is usually thin, clear, or milky white and will change in color or consistency depending on where you are in your cycle, what hormonal birth control you’re using, and other factors. It tends to increase during pregnancy, explains Suzanne Pugh, M.D., a board-certified ob-gyn at Axia Women’s Health Main Line OB/GYN in Strafford and Collegeville, Pennsylvania.