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Let’s Talk: Vaginal Discharge Post Pregnancy

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The female body is no less than a pandora’s box. From hideous erogenous zones to delivering a baby, it’s all about unraveling a mystery. One such mystery that many of us haven’t come across yet or might be experiencing at the moment is postpartum vaginal discharge a.k.a lochia. Vaginal discharges are of many types, it primarily is a mucous-like fluid that helps in cleaning the vagina and consists of good bacteria.

Speaking of postpartum/post-pregnancy vaginal discharge, it is just about women shedding the superficial mucous membrane that lined their uteruses during pregnancy. It is part of the post-pregnancy recovery where the body gets rid of the extra blood and tissues where the placenta was attached. Sounds gross, we know! But that’s just because we haven’t explored our bodies well enough.

Something that you need to look out for is the changing color of the discharge. It is persistent for about 4-6 weeks post-delivery. It primarily starts with a musty odor like menstrual discharge. Then it moves on to change colors from red, pinkish red, pinkish-brown (since your vagina is acidic in nature), and lastly, pale white. The frequency and amount can depend upon the kind of physical activity you are engaged in. The discharge quantity is more during the mornings.  It increases if you are physically active or even when you are breastfeeding.

Sounds tedious doesn’t it? But think of it when you mop the house…You tend to throw away the dirty soap water after you are done mopping. I hope you do that, or else, you’re in trouble ladies. So just like you do away with the dirty water, your vagina functions the same way, by getting rid of the excessive waste. 

While you are experiencing postpartum discharge, you might need to stack up a load of maxi pads. It is advisable to only wear pads/sanitary napkins during these days and not tampons or menstrual cups. Nothing should go inside the vagina for about 6 weeks.  Negligence can lead to infection, itching, redness, and irritation down there, which I believe you wouldn’t want, considering you pushed out an entire human just now.

Remember to stay in touch with your OBGYN to keep a track of the discharge progress, and report anything that seems odd to you. If your vaginal discharge is followed by large clots, a heavy flow that easily exhausts a maxi pad in an hour, foul smell, and other discrepancies like faintness, breathlessness, high palpitations, dizziness, nausea, and chills, it can be a matter of concern and require immediate medical attention. These all can be possible symptoms of postpartum hemorrhage.

Oh also, don’t rush into wearing that cute little summer dress so soon, or get comfortable in those brand new pajamas. Because if you do, girl you’re in for a battle with your vagina! The discharge’s viscosity and frequency might make your clothes stain repeatedly, making you change your clothes multiple times a day. It can even end up ruining them forever. So just stay away from those pretty clothes for now and sashay away in a homeless look!

The female body goes through a series of changes after pregnancy which sometimes can be painful, tiring, and even scary. Keeping up with those changes will help you manage better and treat them sooner if in case a problem arises. Vaginal discharge is not only a post-pregnancy gig but we all experience it in our day-to-day lives; all you need to keep in mind is that it’s the vagina’s way to clean itself and keep it afloat.

Postpartum vaginal discharge is completely normal and nothing to be afraid of. It is definitely a hassle considering the already existing body pain and the weakness, but you just need to think of it as your period flow. Sounds nice right, to get them back again eventually? All that crying and howling due to periods but something you just can’t do without. However, give your vagina the time to heal and rejuvenate again without taking any hasty steps under panic. DO NOT, I repeat it, DO NOT try to outsmart your vagina because that is not going to work. The process happens differently for different women; where the discharge flow slows down as the days go by. We’ve got an impressive number of obstetricians and gynecologists in the country, do not think twice in case you feel something is wrong down there!

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