Vaginal Odour
December 26, 2010 3:56 PM   Subscribe

Vaginal discharge during pregnancy - worrying odour.

I'm in my 20th week.
I shower every evening and towards evening I've noticed an unpleasant smell when I wipe after urinating. If I had to describe it I'd say cheesy, maybe like old gym socks. It's been going on for a week, maybe more, and is not going away.
The discharge is egg-whitey and not very much of it, and there is no itching or other anomaly. I've never had this happen before.

Does this happen in a normal pregnancy context as well, or is it always a symptom of an infection?
Should I call the gyn immediately?
If he adopts an "eh, whatever" stance over the phone, how insistent should I be? (He's new to me, and I guess I don't trust him yet, he seems very "oh, you know..." about anything I ask)
posted by Omnomnom to Health & Fitness (6 answers total)
Best answer: I am 28 weeks pregnant and have been experiencing the same thing throughout much of the pregnancy (yay hormones!). I asked my doctor about it and he said it is perfectly normal provided there are no other symptoms. He was nice enough to give me a handy little pamphlet with a list of things to watch out for:

- discharge that is green, yellowish, brown or pink
- a foul or fishy smell
- redness, itching or irritation of the vulva
- pain with urination or intercourse

If you are still concerned, I would absolutely make an appointment to be seen. The bottom line is, you are not only your own advocate, but also the advocate for your unborn child. A good physician will understand and respect that, not make you feel like your concerns are trivial or unimportant.

I'm going to assume that you've had a pelvic exam (including pap) at some point during your pregnancy. Were you tested for STD's and/or is that a concern?
posted by cdg7707 at 4:33 PM on December 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

Odd discharges are pretty common during pregnancy. As cdg7707 mentions if it is a strange colour or other problems then definitely go see your doctor.

But if you are concerned then call your doctor. If he reacts in a way that makes you feel bad - then DTMFA. Seriously it's your body and your child and it's totally natural to not have all the answers and need to ask advice anf for reassurance from a medical professional. You should never feel bad about that!

At the birthing clinic I went to I refused to see 2 of the doctors after what I considered to be bad consultations - wasn't worth the stress. Also it's not the done thing here in Japan at all to do that but you'll find that not many people will argue with a cranky pregnant woman.
posted by gomichild at 7:17 PM on December 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

This can be normal, but could also be the sign of an infection, and if it's the latter you'll need antibiotics. Your doc should undoubtedly take your concern seriously and have you come in asap for an exam and urine test. If he doesn't call a new doctor.

You're taking the right steps here. Common infections such as a simple UTI are not to be taken lightly during your pregnancy.

BTW - several times during my pregnancy I called for concerns I thought might be overreactions, but the doc and nurses never once made me feel awkward. I even went to the hospital a few times and the labor and delivery nurses cheered me on for coming in. It really empowered me NOT to be shy about pregnancy concerns.

Call first thing in the a.m. They should see you the same day. And though I don't think you'll need to call tonight, don't be shy about leaving a message with the after hours service to speak to the doc on call. You shouldn't have to decide what's a big deal and what's not - they're there to help you.
posted by MediaMer at 7:36 PM on December 26, 2010

Things do change significantly when pregnant. I couldn't stand the smell of myself with my second child. I had a perfectly healthy pregnancy. Of course you should see your medical practitioner if you feel it is warranted.
posted by haunted by Leonard Cohen at 10:59 PM on December 26, 2010

I was told that discharge is normal, BUT if there is any off-odor, to CALL MY DOCTOR. Infections are not something to mess with when you're pregnant. It could be nothing, but it's better to be safe than sorry. Checking for an infection takes very little time, and will give you such peace of mind! Best of luck with your pregnancy!!
posted by Happydaz at 11:32 PM on December 26, 2010

Response by poster: Thank you all very much. I called the doc's assistant and got a slot on Thursday. I feel much less worried now!
posted by Omnomnom at 7:20 AM on December 27, 2010

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