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When you are pregnant, you will experience different emotions. One moment you will be excited and the other moment, you will be nervous. As your pregnancy progresses, you simply cannot wait for your little bundle of joy to come out. However, sometimes, certain health issues during pregnancy can ruin your mood. Morning sickness, nausea, and back pain is common during pregnancy, but do you know what vaginal swelling is and how it can affect your pregnancy? Vaginal swelling during pregnancy can actually make you extremely uncomfortable. Here in the following article, we shall talk all about vaginal swelling during pregnancy, its various causes, symptoms, and shall also discuss different ways of treating it.
Is Vaginal Swelling Normal during Pregnancy
Yes, it is absolutely normal to have vaginal swelling during pregnancy. Vaginal swelling generally happens, if you stand for too long or sit in the same position for a longer duration. If you experience pain while urinating, redness, itching, smelly discharge or any other abnormal symptoms, it is suggested that you get yourself examined. Labial swelling during the third trimester and vaginal swelling can be a cause of concern during pregnancy.
Causes of Swollen Vagina during Pregnancy
Here are some reasons that may cause vaginal swelling during pregnancy:
1. Increased Blood Flow
During pregnancy, to support the growing foetus, the blood flow around your pelvic region increases. This increased blood flow may result in swelling in your vagina.
2. Poor Hygiene
Vaginal swelling could also be a result of improper hygiene. If you do not pay attention to vaginal hygiene, it may become the apt ground for microbes to breed on and thus it results in swelling and inflammation of the vagina.
3. Hormonal Changes
Your body undergoes various changes during pregnancy, and this may lead to various changes in your vagina too. The changing hormones during pregnancy affect the flora of the vagina. This may lead to various kinds of bacterial and viral growths, leading to swelling.
4. Use of Certain Products
Use of certain products may also result in vaginal swelling. These products may trigger an allergic reaction in your vaginal region, leading to inflammation and redness.
5. Sexual Intercourse
Sometimes lack of lubrication during sexual intercourse or prolonged sexual intercourse may cause vaginal swelling.
Cysts in the vaginal region may cause vaginal swelling too. Sometimes these cysts may be cancerous.
7. Inflammation in the Vaginal Region
Sometimes the inflammation of the vaginal arteries and ducts may cause oedema. Oedema may lead to accumulation and discharge of fluid, this may cause swelling in the vagina.
8. Eating Unhealthy Foods
This may come as a surprise but it is true. Your eating habits too can affect the health of your vagina. If you eat too much junk food or make unhealthy eating choices, it may lead to vaginal infections and swelling.
Signs and Symptoms Swollen Vulva in Pregnancy
Following are the signs of vaginal swelling during pregnancy:
- Smelly vaginal discharge.
- Inflammation around your vaginal region.
- A burning sensation while urinating.
- Bleeding sores or blisters.
- Irritation or pain around the vagina.
- Itching in the inflamed area.
Can Vaginal Swelling Affect the Baby
Usually, vaginal swelling may not cause any harm to the baby in your womb. However, if you have vaginal swelling due to a GBS infection that is Group B strep, then you may infect your baby too. In case you are tested positive for GBS, your doctor will administer a course of antibiotics to cure your infection. But if your baby catches this infection, then your baby may experience extreme lethargy and difficulty in feeding after birth.
How to Treat Vaginal Swelling while Pregnant
Here are some effective ways of treating labial swelling during pregnancy:
1. Refrain from Scratching
You may feel all itchy and uncomfortable, but it is advised that you refrain from scratching any blisters or oozy lesions on your vaginal region, as it could further spread the infection and may cause more complications.
2. Maintain Hygiene
It is important to maintain hygiene to avoid the infection to aggravate and spread further. However, do not wash excessively as it may also spread the infections to other areas.
3. Do Not Self-treat
It is recommended that as soon as you establish any symptoms of vaginal swelling, you seek medical help. Do not self-treat or self-medicate yourself as it may cause complications in pregnancy.
4. Take Prescribed Medications
After a thorough physical examination, your doctor may administer antifungal or antibiotic medicines to you. In case, the infection has spread to other places; a stronger medicine may be given.
Effective Home Remedies for Vaginal Swelling
You may also try various home remedial measures to get rid of itchy swollen vag lips during pregnancy:
1. Drink Water
Drinking water can cure vaginal swelling. It will not only help you in reducing burning sensation, but it also reduces the chances of spreading the infection. This is because as you make frequent loo visits, the bacterial multiplication slows down in your bladder.
2. Cold Packs
You may use cold packs to ease vaginal swelling and inflammation. Alternatively, you can take bath with cold water too.
3. Use Garlic
Garlic is very effective in treating vaginal swelling. The antifungal and antibacterial properties of garlic work effectively in reducing the swelling. You can make a paste of garlic and apply it on your vagina for a few days to get relief from swelling.
4. Increase Your Intake of Probiotics
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
The antibacterial properties of apple cider vinegar provide relief from vaginal swelling. You can put some ACV in a tub or bathtub and soak yourself in it for 10 to 15 minutes.
How Can Vaginal Swelling Be Prevented?
Here are some tips to prevent vaginal swelling during pregnancy:
- Maintain vaginal hygiene at all times. Pregnancy makes you more prone to infections, thus taking good care during this time can help in warding off infections.
- Do not use scented soaps to clean your private parts as it may cause allergic reactions.
- Always wear comfortable underpants, preferably made from cotton fabric. Do not wear tight underwear and allow your skin to breathe, yes down there too.
- Follow a nutritious and healthy diet. Do not eat unhealthy foods that may trigger your chances of vaginal swelling and itching.
- In case your vaginal skin in dry and itchy, you should keep your vaginal area moisturized.
Vaginal swelling can be a very painful and uncomfortable experience during pregnancy. However, with proper care and timely medical intervention, your condition can not only be managed properly, but any complications can be avoided too.