Q: Good day Ma’am. I’m 27weeks pregnant with my first. For the past 1week, I’ve been noticing a white/milky watery discharge with no smell. I’m confused because I’ve heard many stories of leaking amniotic fluid (which I learnt is dangerous). Is this normal & please what can I do about it? I’m anxiously waiting for your reply. Thanks
A: Thanks for writing in dear.
Amniotic fluid is the fluid that surrounds and cushions a baby while in the womb. The fluid is contained within a sac called the amniotic sac. Usually just before a woman goes into labour, this sac ruptures and the fluid is released…that’s what is referred to waters breaking. When I had my last baby, my waters broke right in the hospital reception! And so, there was I with water all over my legs and people in the reception area watching 😀 It wasn’t quite funny on that day! But I digress…
Sometimes, this sac of fluid bursts or it could start leaking very gradually before the pregnancy is 37 weeks. This is called Pre-term Pre-labour Rupture Of Membranes (PPROM)
Question is whether what is leaking is urine, amniotic fluid or vaginal discharge.
Here are some tips to help you know:
If it’s urine, it has the peculiar smell of urine and is usually leaked when one coughs, laughs or sneezes.
If it’s vaginal discharge, it’s there constantly and may be clear, white or yellowish
If it’s amniotic fluid, it’s likely to be clear, or slightly mucoid and/or blood stained and it wets panties continuously irrespective of whether one laughs or not
The most significant issues with PPROM is the danger of infection, premature birth and the dangers associated with it.
Thus, if you develop a fever, the discharge changes to green, develops a foul smell, you experience vaginal bleeding, contractions, abdominal pain or baby appears not to be moving as normal, be sure to see a doctor immediately.
So, my advice would be to see your doctor immediately so he can examine you and make a diagnosis. He will confirm whether indeed it is amniotic fluid and then take a decision as to what step to take next. If the leakage is little, you may be asked to stay in hospital for a few hours while wearing a sanitary pad to check for whether it becomes soaked. An ultra sound scan, vaginal exam etc are also useful in making a diagnosis.
Have a good night y’all 😀