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Vaginal discharge, or cervical mucus, is something that every woman experiences as soon as she starts menstruating. If you have been charting to conceive and tracking your cervical mucus, you probably know that vaginal discharge varies in amount, color, and structure depending on where in your cycle you currently are. In pregnancy, cervical mucus also changes. If you notice any unusual vaginal discharge, pregnancy could certainly be to blame. Most pregnant women notice an increase in cervical mucus. While that might be annoying, you can console yourself with the fact that you will at least not be getting any periods while you are expecting!

Pregnant women may notice this increase in vaginal discharge because the cervix softens and is working hard to prevent any infections from forming in the uterus. In other words, the vaginal discharge you notice is actually working to protect your growing baby from bacteria and viruses. While more discharge is completely normal, do keep an eye open. If your "lower regions" feel itchy, your discharge smells bad, or there is any blood in it at all, please contact your healthcare provider to make sure you do not have a yeast infection or some other problem. Discharge is one of the normal pregnancy signs, but itching is not. Most of the time, this is nothing serious but it does need treatment.

Did you know that vaginal discharge can also alert you that you are about to go into labor? During pregnancy, the cervix is kept closed by a large "coin" of mucus and blood, appropriately called the mucus plug. When the cervix dilates and effaces enough, and labor is about to start, a pregnant woman will lose this mucus plug. The mucus plug can come out all at once, or bit by bit. If you notice something like that around your due date, you can expect your baby to turn up sometime soon!

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