What does Amniotic Fluid Smell Like?

Amniotic fluid serves a variety of purposes to the growing baby and the idea of a leak catches every pregnant woman by surprise. But, how can you tell if it’s amniotic fluid and not normal vaginal discharges or urine? What does amniotic fluid smell like?

Personally, during the third trimester of my first pregnancy, I was shy to get out more often. I couldn’t help but wonder: what if I am at the grocery store and all over sudden my waters break? Yeah! Picturing how disgusting the scenario would be made me prefer staying indoors and watch my favorite cartoons.

Other fluids that can have you mistake it for amniotic fluid: What does amniotic fluid smell like?

What does Amniotic Fluid Smell Like 2

During pregnancy and especially on the third trimester, on gets a lot of accidental urine leaks. Hey, I know it is gross but it’s one thing we women don’t have control over and it comes with being a mom. Your belly is expanding and as a result exacting a lot of pressure on your bladder. Given that your bladder while pregnant gets full quite fast, as a result, you are likely to mess up. There was a time I messed up while I was at a party and as if that isn’t painful enough I was dressed in white. It was so shameful but I was comforted by a few women in the party who gave me something to change and wear. Heck yeah! It can be that bad.

Also, during pregnancy, your vagina tends to have a lot of discharge. The discharge is similar to that which comes out when you are sexually aroused only that this time it is more and leaves stains on your pair of panties.

So how can you tell is it is urine, vaginal discharge or amniotic fluid? To begin with, taking the amniotic sac (which contains the amniotic fluid) as a balloon, on having a rupture it will leak and this is the case with amniotic fluid. Amniotic fluid leak in the first and second trimester of your pregnancy can be fatal to your health and that of the baby and as a result, it is always good to be on the lookout.

How to tell its amniotic fluid

Pregnant women tend to get worried quite easily over almost everything. Personally, during my first pregnancy every time I had something unusual on my underwear I would rush to the hospital in fear that I am having an amniotic fluid leak. All turned to be false alarms and I really got annoyed that then I wouldn’t tell what amniotic fluid smells like.

If you suspect you are having an amniotic fluid leak, empty your bladder and then wear a pad or panty liner. Lay down for about 30 minutes and if you feel a quick or sudden gush when you stand up then chances are: most likely that you are having an amniotic fluid leak. And there you have to sniff it so as to be certain. Personally, when told of this method I never thought I would stoop so low as sniffing my panty liner. But, it’s a small price to pay so as to be certain of whether our waters has broken or not.

Generally, amniotic fluid is colorless and odorless. But there are some instances that some women say that it has a sweet smell and by sweet, they mean a smell relatively similar to that of male’s semen. If your amniotic fluid ruptures it cannot be controlled and will continue to leak and soak your underwear consistently unlike urine that happens only once in a while.

However, if you find that the fluid that gushes out is greenish or brown in color and has a foul smell then you should consult your doctor as soon as possible since this can be a sign of infection.

Why is amniotic fluid necessary?

Amniotic fluid during the first 20 weeks of your pregnancy is basically made up of water but as you head late into your third trimester of your pregnancy the content changes and may also contain urine from the fetus. The following are the major functions of the amniotic fluid:

i. Helps protect the baby from shock (say in case the mom fall).

ii. Amniotic fluids protects the baby from infections

iii. Allow the kicking and your baby movement with no hindrance.

iv. Amniotic fluid contains nutrients that aid in the development of bones, muscles and digestive system of the developing baby.

It is important to note that you can increase the volume of your amniotic fluid by increasing your water intake and consuming more fresh fruits.


It is my sincere hope that your enjoyed this tutorial and most importantly got to know how to you can tell if the fluid on your panty is amniotic fluid or not. I know, may women including myself get confused and assume that anything they see on their underwear is amniotic fluid. It’s understandable since we wouldn’t want any bad to happen to our growing baby. This article will help you figure out if you need to see a doctor or it's just normal urine leak and vaginal fluids.

Don’t keep all this knowledge to yourself, share the article with a friend or two and enlighten them on the same. Thank you and don’t forget to leave a comment in the comment section below.

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Jennifer Shackelford

Hi, I’m Jennifer, the founder and editor of TheMamaNeeds.com. On The Mama Needs, I write about experience with pregnancy, raising kids, and nutrition for both kids and expectant moms.. I love that blogging brings parents together and lets our readers know they’re not the only ones going through these experiences. I love seeing comments on my posts that say “I thought it was just me! I’m so glad it’s not!” Being a parent is hard, but friends and blogs really help.

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