WOMEN: VAGINAL DISCHARGES DURING PREGNANCY
During pregnancy there is a natural increase in the normal vaginal secretions. This is not serious, and should cause no worry.
However, there are two organisms which have a predilection for reproducing in the vagina of the pregnant woman.
(a) Candida albicans.This is a fungus, and is a common occurrence in the vaginal region during pregnancy. It is also more common in the diabetic patient (pregnant or otherwise).
It produces a whitish discharge, which may be copious. This in turn causes tenderness, and often a marked itch at the vaginal entry.
The doctor can readily check this, and on inspection can be fairly certain of the diagnosis. But simple tests are available which reveal the fungus under the microscope.
Treatment is usually quite successful. Suppositories of nystatin canesten or other "antifungal" antibiotic are inserted once or twice a day for a week, thence daily for a further fortnight, or even longer. Re-infection from the sexual partner may occur, producing further problems unless therapy is continued.
(b) Trichomonas vaginalis.This is an infection with a micro-organism which has a wildly wagging tail and can propel itself along. It produces a very irritating yellowish discharge. The organism can be detected with straightforward pathology tests. When detected, natamycin suppositories are ordered and these are usually highly effective. Frequently, local applications are needed to reduce the external irritation brought about by the discharges. This condition is usually contracted from an infected partner at intercourse.