Vaginal Changes During Pregnancy
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Pregnancy can bring about a lot of changes in a woman’s body. If you are pregnant, you know what we are talking about. Your body must be going through a lot of hormonal changes during this time. And you must have noticed certain changes in your body like weight gain, breast tenderness, shiny hair and skin, etc. But there’s a lot that happens ‘down there’ during pregnancy which you may not have realised yet.
Vaginal changes are hard to notice in early pregnancy. There will be virtually no change in the first trimester because it’s too early. However, you will notice certain changes in the second and third trimester. Your lady parts will change as a result of the hormonal changes, even in outward appearance. The changes in the hormonal levels in the body can also result in the appearance of varicose veins, which affects around ten per cent of pregnant women. These veins disappear around six weeks before labour, hence you need not worry about that. Read on to know what all changes pregnancy can bring about in your vagina.
Changes That May Happen to Your Vagina During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, a whole lot happens below the belt. Some of the vaginal changes in early pregnancy are mentioned below.
1. Your vagina’s pH level will change.
During pregnancy, there will be more blood flow to the parts of your body which will be involved in labour. This includes your uterus and vagina. The increased blood supply will alter the pH balance of the chemicals down there, resulting in a doughy, gluey scent. Yes, your vagina will smell different and chances are you will be able to sense it because of your heightened olfactory senses. However, if you notice that the smell is overpowering or foul, do consult a doctor as it could be a sign of an infection.
2. Your vagina will taste different.
The changes in the taste of your vagina can go unnoticed if your partner does not speak up about it. This change in taste is due to the enhanced blood flow to the vagina, which alters the balance of the chemicals in the genital area. The taste will be more salty and metallic during pregnancy.
3. There will be more discharge from your vagina.
Most women think that vaginal discharge during pregnancy occurs only close to the time of labour, but that is not true. Pregnancy is characterised by an abundance of hormonal changes in the body of the woman, which can result in the changes in labia during pregnancy. Your vaginal walls will be stimulated to produce a milky discharge called leukorrhea, which can help keep your lady parts free of any infections. So, don’t be afraid if the vaginal discharge is more than usual.
4. You may get urinary tract infections.
You will be at the risk of contracting urinary tract infections (UTIs) during pregnancy. As your pregnancy progresses, your enlarged uterus will press up against the bladder, which can stop the bladder from draining completely. This can cause a urinary tract infection.
5. Your vagina may become extremely sensitive.
An increase in the blood flow to the vulva during pregnancy can make it engorged and sensitive. It may swell and become sensitive.
6. You might get varicose veins down there.
Another change caused due to the increased blood flow into the vaginal area is the occurrence of varicose veins. The walls of the veins are under pressure, as a large amount of blood progresses through them slowly. This is the reason for the appearance of varicose veins in expectant women.
7. Your vagina will be more vulnerable to yeast infections.
Yeast infections are common in women, whether they are pregnant or not. Around 75% of women are affected by yeast infections. However, pregnant women are more susceptible to yeast infections because of an increase in oestrogen levels and changes in the pH levels.
8. Your vagina’s colour might change.
The signature colour of the vagina is usually pink but it might change during pregnancy. Increased blood flow down there may lead to this change. It is also known as Chadwick’s sign. The hormones affecting pigmentation may also turn your labia and vulva into darker shades of blue during pregnancy. This change may happen as early as four weeks, and it could also be one of the early signs of pregnancy. But there is nothing to worry about. The blue or purple colour should disappear shortly after you give birth to your little one.
9. You might notice more ingrown hair.
The large amounts of oestrogen in the bloodstream may result in faster growth of pubic hair, which can then get clogged in the pores due to profuse sweating.
10. Your vagina may feel itchy.
Yes, you might feel itchy down there. Increased vaginal discharge, changes in the pH levels, and other changes may leave you uncomfortable and you might feel itchy. Itchiness down there is a common symptom of pregnancy and can happen anytime, but if it persists for longer than you can take it, consult your doctor.
A woman’s vagina plays a key role in the pregnancy journey. During pregnancy, some changes are bound to occur in your vagina – they may seem strange but they are completely normal and expected. None of these changes lasts long and they will not affect your pregnancy in any way. Furthermore, your lady parts will return to normal quickly after your baby comes into the world. However, if these changes get in the way of your day to day life, talk to your gynaecologist about the same.
Also Read: Vaginal Swelling during Pregnancy