Vaginal Infection During Pregnancy

August 16, 2010

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Many women will have an increase in vaginal discharge during pregnancy. A normal vaginal discharge in a pregnant woman should be thin, white, and mild smelling.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Vaginal Infection?

Vaginal infection, or Vaginitis, is characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Greenish or yellowish discharge that is strong-smelling
  • Redness of the vulva or vagina
  • Itching, burning or irritation of the vulva or vagina

What Types of Vaginal Infections Occur During Pregnancy?

Vaginal infections can be the result of Candidiasis, Trichomoniasis, or Bacterial Vaginosis.


Candidiasis is caused by a yeast organism known as Candida albicans. It can cause a thick vaginal discharge and burning. Candidiasis is treated using a vaginal cream, suppository, or antifungal medication. Yeast infections may recur during pregnancy.


Trichomoniasis is an infection caused by an organism called Trichomonas vaginalis. It causes a gray or green vaginal discharge and itching around the vulva. The infection can cause preterm labor if untreated. Treatment is an oral medication.

Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is a bacterial vaginal infection that is common during pregnancy. It causes abnormal vaginal discharge which has a foul odor. Some women complain of a fishy odor. Discharge is generally white or gray, and may be accompanied by burning during urination and/or itching around the vagina. Treatment is with antibiotics.

How Can Vaginal Infections Be Prevented?

Vaginal infections can be prevented by keeping the vaginal area clean and dry, wearing loose fitting clothing, wearing underwear with a cotton crotch, and avoiding douches and feminine sprays.

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