Vaginal changes are normal during pregnancy, learn what vaginal changes to expect as your body goes through this natural transformation up until birth.
Does Your Vagina Change During Pregnancy?
As if you don’t have enough going on in pregnancy to think about, along comes a vagina-shaped curveball! Rest assured, all pregnant women experience changes to their body, and for some this also includes their vaginal area.
Rarely discussed, but all-too-common, vaginal changes are perfectly normal during pregnancy. After all, it’s how a woman’s body prepares for the arrival of a bouncing baby.
For some women this can result in a slightly blue hue in the vaginal area, others may experience varicose veins downstairs, and for many a change in vaginal discharge is another side-effect of pregnancy.
In this feature we’ll look at some of the everyday changes you may face, and explain more about them.
Vaginal changes to expect at different stages of pregnancy
Where you are in your pregnancy can determine the changes you experience, so let’s take a look by trimester.
You may not experience many bodily changes in the first trimester, as a wave of tiredness sweeps over you. For some, frequent urination is a symptom, or you may notice a thin white vaginal discharge as the vagina wall thickens.
If you find that you have temporary light spotting at any point in your pregnancy, you’re not alone. Light vaginal bleeding happens to half of all expectant mums, but should be reported to a GP.
At this point your oestrogen levels start to rise and you may notice your skin darken in places. This might happen to your vaginal area, which can take on a blue tinge. You can also expect increased vaginal discharge from your second trimester onwards, which is your body’s way of protecting itself against infections.
As you near closer to ‘b-day’, you can expect to notice more bodily changes occur. One of the most common is vaginal swelling, discussed further on.
But the fun doesn’t end in the third trimester. You can also expect a few other changes to your vaginal area post-partum too. The good news is that there’s plenty of self-care you can administer before and after childbirth.
Common questions around vaginal changes during pregnancy
You might be worried about getting varicose veins downstairs. For those that do, it’s good to know that most of the time they disappear on their own, not long after birth. A soothing and natural oil can be used for comfort, especially if you’re struggling with vaginal dryness.
Does the vagina swell during pregnancy?
Take a deep breath…. It’s perfectly normal for your vagina to swell during pregnancy. This is a result of your uterus getting ready for birth and expanding, with an increased blood flow to your nether-regions. This may be a little uncomfortable at times, and give you a sense of fullness.
But there are benefits too - all this extra blood is one of the reasons why women can experience enhanced orgasms during pregnancy.
Does your vagina get bigger in pregnancy?
You may have heard rumours about your vagina getting bigger or tighter during pregnancy. There is some truth to this. As the vaginal area gets softer in preparation for the baby, the vagina may also get a little longer.
If you’re wondering does your vagina change during pregnancy – the simple answer is yes. There are many bodily changes that pregnant women experience, and as covered, most of these are perfectly normal and manageable. If you experience vaginal bleeding, or any unusual changes or symptoms that concern you, contact your healthcare provider.