Labia And Vagina During Pregnancy
We know many changes happen during pregnancy. You’re growing a baby so changes are expected. You’ve probably heard about hormonal changes and maybe even about cervical changes, as the cervix has a very important mission in the months ahead.
But there are other changes that happen during pregnancy that are not so often talked about. What about labia and vaginal changes during pregnancy?
Let’s have a look at the changes that happen with the labia and vagina during pregnancy.
Hormone levels go through significant changes during pregnancy. As pregnancy progresses, hormonal changes influence not only what’s directly affected by the pregnancy but everything else in your body.
Pregnancy hormones help the baby develop but they also help pregnant women to thrive during pregnancy, in preparation for giving birth.
Hormonal changes will affect your whole body. Some are easily perceived but others can be more subtle and you might just feel something is different in your vaginal area.
Let’s look at these changes in more depth.
Does my vagina change during pregnancy?
So many new things happen in your body when you’re pregnant.
The moment conception occurs, your whole body changes to embrace this new life. As a direct consequence, your vagina changes as pregnancy continues.
A pregnant woman’s blood volume starts to increase from the very beginning. That results in an increased blood flow to the pelvic area.
This includes the vaginal area, your labia (labia minora and labia majora) and your pelvic floor muscles.
Sometimes these changes happen too fast and an imbalance occurs as your body tries to adapt to all these new conditions.
Your vaginal discharge might change as a direct consequence of pregnancy changes. It might also be accompanied by a different vaginal odor.
Research shows how vaginal bacteria change as pregnancy progresses. These changes can affect your vaginal discharge.
Does my vagina change color during pregnancy?
Your vagina is the canal that connects the cervical opening (at the high end of the vagina) with the outside, through the vaginal opening.
Due to the increased blood flow in the vaginal region, your vagina might change color; it’s unlikely, however, that you will see that color change.
Sometimes pregnant women develop vulvar varicose veins, due to the pressure the weight of the pregnancy exerts on the pelvic floor’s blood vessels. The blood flow in the area slows down and some swollen (varicose), bumpy veins might appear, giving the area a grey, blue or purple hue.
Varicose veins will go back to their normal size once the pressure in the area has been lifted and the blood flow goes back to normal.
Do my labia change during pregnancy?
Of all the physical changes that happen in your genital area during pregnancy, those that affect your labia are the ones most easily perceived.
Your vaginal opening is protected by your labia minora (inner labia) and labia majora (outer labia). The labia protect the vaginal opening from nasties, keeping infections like bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections at bay.
Your labia minora and especially your labia majora might swell up and temporarily darken, or even take on a bluish or purplish color, as your pregnancy progresses.
These changes in your external genitalia are caused by dilating blood vessels that nurture your pregnant vagina.
Color changes in your labia and vagina are completely normal and they will go back to the way they used to be, a few days after the pregnancy.
Is it normal to feel weird in the vagina during early pregnancy?
The female genitalia go through a lot of changes, especially at the beginning of pregnancy.
Progesterone and estrogen levels are raised; this will lead to changes in the pregnant woman’s body, the vulva, the uterine lining and the cervical mucus.
A swollen vulva is very common during the first trimester, as the growing uterus is still inside the pelvis. As the pregnancy progresses and the uterus rises slightly higher, above the pelvis, the pressure in the area is released and the swelling will be reduced.
Some women might have difficulty passing urine during the first trimester, as the swelling of the area can affect the urethral opening. They don’t experience a burning sensation or any vulvar varicosities; it is just more difficult to open the urethral sphincter.
If this is the case for you, rest assured there’s nothing wrong with your body and this discomfort is temporary.
There are other vaginal changes that might also make your vagina feel weird.
You might have an infection – such as a yeast infection – or varicose veins or swelling….
Contact your doctor or healthcare provider if you’re worried. For example, you might be concerned about your vaginal discharge or vaginal itching. Always seek help if you experience any kind of vaginal bleeding.
Does the vagina get loose in early pregnancy?
The vagina is very elastic and stretchy. It stretches and adapts, as necessary.
Most women feel more discharge in the first few weeks of pregnancy. This increased discharge might lead many women to think the vaginal area is getting loose.
The pelvic floor muscles might need a bit of a workout. Even if you don’t feel like it, you need to exercise your pelvic floor. It’s always a good idea to keep the area fit as your growing belly develops and your vulva has to support more and more weight.
Increased sexual activity can also help exercise your pelvic floor.
Oxytocin, the love hormone, is released in high quantities with everything related to love and sex.
Filling up your body with oxytocin as much as possible during pregnancy will make your uterus a thriving environment – the best possible place for your unborn baby to develop.
Even if you’re not pregnant, keep your oxytocin levels as high as possible. As a women’s health expert, I can say this is the best advice I can give you.
How do I pump up oxytocin into my blood flow?
Love is almost always the answer. Well, it’s the answer in this case, for sure.
Love and sex are highly connected.
In the first hour after giving birth, there will be the highest oxytocin release anyone can experience. The more uninterrupted that moment is, the greater the release of the love hormone.
Just imagine how important it is for newborns to have love poured on them immediately. What a great start!
The second biggest oxytocin release comes with orgasm.
Don’t worry if what I’m telling you isn’t comforting right now. Your swollen vulva, morning sickness or any other pregnancy symptom might be making you refrain even from thinking about any sexy stuff.
Sexual intercourse, though, isn’t the only way to have oxytocin highs. You can spend time with loved ones, talk with relatives and friends, have people over, call your mother, or spend more one-to-one time with your child. There are many ways to increase your oxytocin levels.
You might like to read BellyBelly’s article Pregnancy Sex Positions – 7 Ideas For Pregnant Couples.
It might not be of interest right now but most pregnancy symptoms don’t last for long periods and it will be handy later on. There’ll be a time when your growing belly might not let you see your pubic hair but you will still feel like having sex!