What to expect (for your vagina) when you’re expecting

Brace yourself. Changes are coming. By Lisa Witepski


Of course your vagina was involved when you were making your baby, and it’s going to be in the spotlight when it’s time to deliver. But a lot goes on down there while you’re pregnant, too.

ALSO SEE: 5 surprising things you didn’t know about your vagina

You might bleed

Since the first hint of your pregnancy was (possibly) the absence of your period, you might feel a bit confused (not to mention panicky) at the sight of blood. Chill – this is a perfectly normal, and very common, symptom; usually caused by the implantation of the uterus and the formation of the placenta. It’s still a good idea to let your doctor know, though.

ALSO SEE: Bleeding during pregnancy

Itch alert

Unpleasant, but true: the hormones currently running riot through your body can upset the natural balance of your vaginal bacteria. Yeast infections and conditions like BV (bacterial vaginosis) are very common among pregnant women and the itch is often accompanied by a discharge. There’s good news, though: these issues are highly treatable, so consult your doctor.

ALSO SEE: 5 types of pregnancy discharge and what they mean

Colour change

Yes, really! Chadwick’s Sign is the name given to the vagina’s switch from light pink to purple, which comes about as blood flow to the area increases. This can happen early on in the pregnancy – even at just six weeks.

You may also notice that your pelvic region feels swollen – yet another result of increased blood flow. This is a good one, though, because it may just spruce up your sex life. More blood equals more sensitivity.

Varicose veins

What can we say – pregnancy’s not all glamorous. That increased blood flow can also cause varicose veins on your labia or upper thigh. They look exactly like the veins popping up on your legs if you stand too long but, fortunately, they’ll usually dissipate after birth – usually within about six weeks. If they’re painful, you may find some relief by taking a hot bath and putting your feet up. Pst – while we’re on the subject of things you don’t really want to think about, you can probably expect some vaginal farts. Inelegant, yes – but you can’t really blame your tired pelvic muscles for letting the odd air rush escape.

pH change

Truth be told, you probably wouldn’t even know that the pH of your vagina has changed – except for the fact that you may notice a (very slight) acidic odour.na

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