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As your pregnancy progresses, you simply cannot wait for your little bundle of joy to come out into the world. However, sometimes, certain health issues during pregnancy can ruin your happiness. Morning sickness, nausea, and back pain are common during pregnancy, and so is vaginal swelling. Vaginal swelling is a condition that can happen during pregnancy and make you extremely uncomfortable. In this article, we shall talk about vaginal swelling during pregnancy, its causes, symptoms, and different ways of treating it.
Also Read: Vaginal Itching During Pregnancy
What Is Vaginal Swelling?
The swelling that occurs in the vaginal area including the vulva and vaginal lips (labia) is termed as vaginal swelling. It also affects pregnant women. Let’s look at some of its causes.
Causes of Swollen Vagina During Pregnancy
Here are some reasons why vaginal swelling during pregnancy can occur:
1. Increased Blood Flow
During pregnancy, blood flow around the pelvic region increases to support the growing fetus. This increase in blood flow may cause swelling of your vagina.
2. Poor Hygiene
Vaginal swelling could also be a result of improper hygiene. If you are negligent about your vagina, it may become the breeding ground for microbes and thus result in swelling and inflammation.
3. Hormonal Changes
Your body undergoes various changes during pregnancy one of them being changing hormones. These hormones can affect the flora of the vagina and lead to various kinds of bacterial and viral growth, and in turn, 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.
Also Read: Jelly Like Discharge During Pregnancy
Cysts in the vaginal region can cause vaginal swelling too. Sometimes, these cysts may also 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 of fluid causing 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 of junk food or make unhealthy eating choices, it may lead to vaginal infections and swelling.
9. Bacterial Vaginosis
Vaginal swelling can also occur due to bacterial vaginosis (BV). If this is the case, it should usually resolve on its own, but a doctor may recommend antibiotics to speed up the healing process.
10. Yeast Infection
When there is an overgrowth of the Candida fungal species in the vaginal area, it can lead to vaginal swelling. Symptoms include burning, redness, pain during sex and urination, irritated skin and thick vaginal discharge.
Signs and Symptoms of Swollen Vulva in Pregnancy
Following are the signs of vaginal swelling during pregnancy:
- Smelly vaginal discharge
- Inflammation around the 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 does 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 When You’re Pregnant?
Here are some effective ways of treating vaginal or labial swelling during pregnancy:
1. Refrain from Scratching
You may feel all itchy and uncomfortable, but refrain from scratching any blisters or oozy lesions in your vaginal region.Scratching can further spread the infection and cause more complications.
2. Maintain Hygiene
It is important to maintain hygiene to avoid vaginal infections from aggravating and spreading further. However, do not wash excessively as that may spread the infections to other areas.
3. Do Not Self-treat
It is recommended that you seek medical help as soon as you notice any symptoms of vaginal swelling. Do not self-treat or self-medicate as it may cause complications with the pregnancy.
4. Take Prescribed Medication
After a thorough physical examination, your doctor may prescribe antifungal or antibiotic medicines. In case the infection has spread to other areas, a stronger medicine may be given.
Effective Home Remedies for Vaginal Swelling
You may also try home remedial measures to get rid of itchy and swollen vaginal lips during pregnancy:
1. Drink Water
Drinking water can cure vaginal swelling. It helps in not only reducing the burning sensation, but also the chances of the infection spreading. This is because as you make frequent loo visits, the bacterialget cleared out from your body.
2. Cold Packs
You can 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 can provide relief from vaginal swelling. You can put some ACV in a bathtub and soak yourself in it for 10 to 15 minutes.
When Should I Go to the Doctor?
You should go to the doctor if:
- Swelling and itching doesn’t go away after a few days.
- You experience abnormal discharge.
- Your vulva has developed ulcers or small bumps.
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 to ward 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 use tight underwear as it doesn’t allow your skin to breathe.
- Maintain a nutritious and healthy diet. Do not eat unhealthy foods that may trigger vaginal swelling and itching.
- In case your vaginal skin is dry and itchy, you should keep it moisturised.
Vaginal swelling can be very painful and uncomfortable during pregnancy. However, with proper care and timely medical intervention, your condition can not only be managed, but complications can be avoided too.