Does the most common vaginal infection relate to infertility, or can it put an existing pregnancy at risk? Here's what you need to know.
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The symptoms: Chlamydia may produce no discharge or one that is slightly odorous. The discharge that’s sometimes a symptom of gonorrhea can be yellowish. And that caused by trichomoniasis (“trich”) can be foamy yellow-greenish and often associated with itching. These three infections can cause painful intercourse or urination.
Normal or not? Not. Having a sexually transmitted disease during pregnancy can lead to preterm labor and a uterine infection after delivery. Some organisms that cause STDs can pass through the placenta and affect the fetus; others can be transmitted to the baby during delivery.
How to deal: Get tested by your doctor. Many STDs can be safely treated with antibiotics during pregnancy.
The symptoms: Other than seeing your doctor, the best way to tell if you’re leaking urine (versus amniotic fluid; see below) is to note how often and when it occurs, says Sarvis. If you leak only occasionally, such as when you cough, sneeze or have a good belly laugh, it’s likely urine. The smell and color are helpful indicators, too.
Normal or not? Normal. Leaking urine occurs due to pressure of the growing uterus on the bladder.
How to deal: Kegel exercises—contracting and releasing the muscles around the vagina—help some women control their bladders. You also can perform “prophylactic voiding”—going to the bathroom before you have the actual sensation of needing to go. Whatever you do, don’t stop drinking lots of water in an attempt to avoid the problem.
The symptoms: Amniotic fluid (your “bag of waters”) should be clear, but it can also be brown, green, pink-tinged or yellow. And, unlike urine, this leakage doesn’t happen only sporadically; if your membranes are ruptured, you usually continue to leak fluid. If you’re unsure whether it’s amniotic fluid or urine, put on a pad and lie down for about 30 minutes. if you feel a small gush when you stand, it could be amniotic fluid.
Normal or not? Not. Until she goes into labor, a pregnant woman should never be leaking amniotic fluid.
How to deal: Call your doctor immediately.
It’s not unusual for some pregnant women to spot after intercourse or a pelvic exam. But if it doesn’t stop shortly, have it checked out: Any bleeding during pregnancy is a red flag.