There are so many wonderful things about being pregnant, but there are a lot of mysteries there as well, particularly for first-time mums.
Your body changes when you’re growing a baby, and that’s totally normal. But one area that you might not be expecting changes (during pregnancy anyway) is your vagina.
As it turns out, there are a few rather unbelievable things that happen to your vagina during pregnancy, and we’re here to educate you on them.
1. You Might Bleed Even Though You Are Pregnant
You might think that pregnancy means a nice long break from your period, but the truth is that spotting in the first trimester is actually pretty common. Most of the time, it’s not such a big thing, and around 50% of all mums experience it. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t talk to your doctor about it. A small amount of blood is usually caused by implantation of the uterus and the forming of the placenta, but in some cases, it can indicate some other things, so always check with your doctor if it happens.
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2. Your Vag Could Itch
When you’re pregnant, your body is flushed with pregnancy hormones. While this is great for some things, these pesky hormones can actually cause an overgrowth of naturally occurring vaginal bacteria or fungus. This can sometimes result in either bacterial vaginosis (BV) or yeast infections. Both are quite common during pregnancy and result in a variety of discharge. Luckily, they are both entirely treatable by your doctor, so go and see one!
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3. You Vag Will Change Colour
Probably one of the strangest things about being pregnant is that your vagina can change colour. Yep, while pink might be the vagina’s normal blush, it can change to blue or purple when you’re packing foetus. This is known as Chadwick’s sign, and it’s caused by the increase in blood flow to the area.
For some women, the colour change is one of the first signs they might be pregnant, visible in some as early as six weeks. Weird!
4. Vaginal Varicose Veins In Your Vagina Are A Thing
If you thought your legs were the only place where you could get bulging, painful varicose veins, we have some bad news: your vag can get them too. Due to the increased blood flow, pregnancy hormones, and your large uterus (which compresses veins in the pelvis), around 10% of ladies get varicose veins on their lady bits. They look just like normal varicose veins, but on your labia and occasionally, upper thigh.
Luckily, they generally go away on their own within six weeks of your baby being born. You can also alleviate pain yourself with warm baths and elevating your feet when possible.
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5. There May Be Vag Farts (Queefing)
To be honest, the brainiacs of research haven’t spent a lot of time on the issue of vaginal farting, but here’s what we know. Basically, trapped pockets of air get pushed out of the vagina with a noise that sounds remarkably like the real thing. It doesn’t mean anything bad, but for some reason, pregnant ladies deal with this much more than other women. Health professionals suggest it might be because of a growing belly, different intercourse positions (for comfort) and your tired pelvic muscles (from holding bubba up).
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6. Your Vag Could Feel Swollen
With all that extra blood flowing down to your lady parts, one surprising consequence is that the entire area will feel pretty swollen. Don’t be surprised if you notice that your vagina feels full and heavy. Although in most cases (but not all), the vagina doesn’t necessarily appear swollen, that blood is definitely there. Still, this might not be such a bad thing. The extra blood means more sensation, which can blow your sex life out of the water!
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7. The Smell, And Taste, Will Change
During pregnancy, the pH of your vagina will change, which can result in subtle changes in the vaginal odour, making it more acidic. This change is really only slight, but some women become quite sensitive to the smell.
However, it’s really nothing to worry about unless accompanied by vaginal itching or burning. Then there’s the taste. Studies suggest that pregnant women taste more salty or metallic to their partners, but this disappears when they have an orgasm. Worth testing we think!