Watery fluid or discharge from vagina

If you're losing fluid from your vagina, call your midwife or maternity unit for advice

In pregnancy, ‘waters’ (the amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby) normally break shortly before or during labour. There may be a strong gush of fluid or a slight leak from the vagina. The fluid should be clear. It won’t smell like urine

In a small number of pregnancies, the waters break early (before 37 weeks). If this happens to you, it might mean labour is starting early; if you don’t go into labour, it will be very important to reduce the risk of infection (see the short film below)

If something doesn't feel right

  • If you feel a strong gush of liquid or even a slight leak that does not feel normal for you, phone your maternity unit – the midwife will ask about the colour and amount of fluid and will advise you what to do
  • Vaginal discharge that's coloured or blood stained and/or smells strange is not normal. It may be a sign of infection, so you need to contact your maternity unit for immediate advice


This film about waters breaking early was produced for Our Chance, a campaign by the charities Sands and Best Beginnings to raise awareness of health issues in pregnancy
More information

The Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology have produced information about what to do if your waters break early, before you go into labour