One of the first symptoms of early pregnancy is frequent urination. This problem continues off and on throughout pregnancy; you may have to get up to go to the bathroom at night when you never did before. lt usually lessens during the second trimester, then returns during the third trimester, when the growing baby puts pressure on the bladder.
It is more common to get urinary-tract infections during pregnancy. They are also called bladder infections, cystitis and UTIs. Symptoms include painful urination, a burning sensation during urination, the feeling of urgency to urinate, blood in the urine and frequent urination.
You can help prevent urinary-tract infections by not "holding" your urine. Empty your bladder as soon as you feel you need to. Drink plenty of fluids. Cranberry juice helps acidify your urine (kills bacteria) and may help you avoid infections. For some women, it helps to urinate after having intercourse.
A urinary-tract infection may be a cause of premature labor and low-birthweight infants. If you think you have an infection, discuss it with your healthcare provider. If you do have an infection, take the entire prescription of antibiotics prescribed for you.
It's normal to have an increase in vaginal discharge or vaginal secretion during pregnancy, called leukorrhea. The discharge is usually white or yellow and fairly thick. It probably isn't an infection if it's not irritating.
We believe the discharge is caused by the increased blood flow to the skin and muscles around the vagina, which also causes Chadwick's sign in early pregnancy. This symptom is visible to your doctor as a violet or blue coloration of your vagina when he or she does a pelvic exam. (It's one of the reasons your doctor performs a pelvic exam on you in early pregnancy.)
Do not douche if you have a heavy vaginal discharge during pregnancy. Wear sanitary pads for protection. Avoid wearing pantyhose and nylon underwear—choose cotton underwear or underwear with a cotton crotch.
You can learn to tell the difference between vaginal discharge and a vaginal infection. The discharge that accompanies a vaginal infection is often foul-smelling, with a greenish or yellowish color, and causes itching or irritation around or inside the vagina. If you have any of these symptoms, notify your healthcare provider. Treatment is often possible with creams and ointments that are safe to use during pregnancy.