How to distinguish leukorrhea from amniotic fluid?

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Philippe Gloaguen
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How to distinguish leukorrhea from amniotic fluid?

During the pregnancy the woman's body undergoes many changes, largely due to hormonal upheavals that gestation triggers. In fact, right from conception estrogen and progesterone they set out to carry the pregnancy forward, with some consequences for the woman. One of the differences that many expectant mothers notice is definitely an increase in leucorrhea, ie of vaginal discharge. But when it comes to the last quarter, many get scared: it won't be amniotic fluid?





In this article

  • Leukorrhea gravidarum 
  • How to tell if it is leukorrhea or amniotic fluid?
  • How much to be alarmed by excessive leucorrhea

Leukorrhea gravidarum

As we said, the leucorrhea in pregnancy it is due to hormones, the same ones that regulate normal vaginal secretions when a woman is not pregnant. The increase in certain hormones generates secretions major, which sometimes alarm women in anticipation. But there's no reason to worry: this kind of vaginal discharge has the purpose of protect the cervix from any bacteria that could go back to the fetus and harm it. 



Recognize the leucorrhea it is quite simple, in truth, just look closely at them losses. If it is a thick or mucus-like liquid and if it is of a whitish color, with many chances you are facing simple leucorrhea, losses that you have already seen many times on the panties even before pregnancy. It can be a nuisance, when it becomes abundant: in that case wear a panty liner, prefer white cotton underwear and change often. But be careful not to overdo it with washing, which could instead damage the natural bacterial flora of the vagina.

Read also: Leukorrhea gravidarum: causes, meaning, remedies

How to tell if it is leukorrhea or amniotic fluid?

As the pregnancy proceeds, particularly in the third quarter and towards the end of gestation, many expectant mothers fear they will not recognize loss of amniotic fluid, that is, the liquid that protects the fetus inside the sac. In most cases this danger does not exist, because the breaking of the waters, which indicates the beginning of the labor and the imminent birth, foresees a very evident loss of fluid, reaching almost a liter. 



In some cases, however - and this is what scares the pregnant woman the most - the rupture of the sac can be high, and therefore the losses as light as a drip. This can happen more in late pregnancy and, although rare, indicates that the amniotic sac it is no longer intact. In addition to fluid loss, dangerous for the health of the fetus that feeds and breathes through the cord, you can run into bacterial infections not to underestimate. Even if this drip is slow, it is always better not to underestimate it, so if you realize that your panties are always wet despite changing them better talk to your doctor. Sometimes these partial ruptures heal, other times they indicate the start of childbirth.

So how to distinguish leukorrhea from amniotic fluid leaks? It will be enough for you observe the losses. If you are subject to vaginal discharge always but you notice an excessive increase, pay attention to the consistency, color and smell. The amniotic fluid is in fact colorless and odorless, which is why it cannot be confused with other types of fluid such as vaginal secretions, urine or mucous plugs. 

Many women complain viscous or mucous discharge: in this case it cannot be amniotic fluid, which in fact has a liquid consistency, never dense. 

How much to be alarmed by excessive leucorrhea

At the end of pregnancy, many women experience the so-called idrorrea gravidica, a noticeable increase in vaginal discharge. Also in this case, observe consistency, color and smell: this will already help you to be more serene and not to confuse them with the amniotic fluid. 

In any case, if you notice a significant change and are worried, write down the time when you first noticed the leak, in order to inform the doctor who will see you. If it is really amniotic fluid, it will be important to evaluate what to do. 

Don't forget that abnormal vaginal discharge they could indicate an infection or vaginosis: if the vulva is inflamed, if the discharge changes color or has a pungent fishy smell, talk to your doctor immediately.

SOURCES

Intra-amniotic infection

Is thick, white discharge normal?

What do different colors of discharge mean in pregnancy?

Pre-screening rupture of the membranes

Audio Video How to distinguish leukorrhea from amniotic fluid?
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