Mood swings, morning sickness, nausea, fatigue, headaches–pregnancy can cause a whirlwind of changes in the body. But unfortunately, the struggle for mommies-to-be doesn’t end here. Vaginal itching during pregnancy is yet another side-effect of this phase that they have to deal with. It may not be a commonly-discussed issue due to the taboo around vaginal health. However, according to a 2021 study, more than 50% of expecting mothers struggle with an itchy vagina, especially during the third trimester. Girl, you’ve got 99 pregnancy probs, but vaginal itching shouldn’t be one, right? So here’s all the info on vaginal itching during pregnancy and how to deal with it to make your life easier. Scroll down:
Is Vaginal Itching During Pregnancy Normal?
Folks, mild itching down there every now and then isn’t usually something to worry about. However, if you’re experiencing major bouts of vaginal itching during pregnancy, it could be a sign of infection or hormonal imbalance. To be on the safer side, you must consult with your gynae for proper guidance.
Causes Of Vaginal Itching During Pregnancy
Mommy bears, the best way to figure out the exact cause of your misery is to ask your gyae. But FYI, here are five possible reasons why you might be experiencing vaginal itching during pregnancy:
Vaginal itching during pregnancy accompanied by a fishy odour, greyish discharge, and redness is often a sign of bacterial vaginosis (BV). It happens when the healthy bacteria naturally present in the vagina are outnumbered by the harmful ones and is a common occurrence in sexually active women. Apart from this, an overgrowth of yeast in the vagina can also cause vaginal itching during pregnancy. The main indicator of yeast infection down there is cottage-cheese like vaginal discharge along with itching and irritation. The good news is that both these infections can be controlled with pregnancy-safe medication prescribed by your doc.
The hormonal changes during pregnancy can also trigger increased cervical mucus and vaginal discharge. The constant dampness due to them can soften the vaginal walls and irritate the surrounding areas like the vulva making it itchy and red. Conversely, the hormonal changes can also cause vaginal dryness, redness, itching, and pain during sexual intercourse. As a result, you may even experience vaginal itching during pregnancy.
During pregnancy, the vagina may swell up due to increased blood flow down there. This can stretch out its walls and cause irritation and itching. Additionally, the engorged vagina may also become more sensitive and react to products like body wash, detergents, and soaps.
Urinary Tract Infection
Pregnant women are at an increased risk of getting a urinary tract infection (UTI). That’s because the uterus that sits above the urinary bladder expands dramatically during pregnancy. This can block the expulsion of urine, causing an infection to occur in the urinary tract. Vaginal itching during pregnancy accompanied by frequent urination, burning sensation, and abdominal pain usually indicate a UTI.
Sexually Transmitted Infection
Sexually transmitted infections like genital herpes and HPV can also cause vaginal itching during pregnancy. Since they’re usually asymptomatic during the initial stages, you might be infected since before your pregnancy. But you can even contract it during pregnancy due to unsafe sexual practices like having unprotected sex with an infected partner. In case of an STI, vaginal itching during pregnancy may be accompanied by symptoms such as rashes, redness, burning sensation, warts or bumps, and fever.
Cholestasis Of Pregnancy
Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy, aka cholestasis of pregnancy, is a liver condition that can occur during the later stages of pregnancy. Even though the exact cause is unknown, it is believed to be caused due to extreme hormonal changes and genetics. It can cause itching in the entire body including your arms, palms, and the vagina.
How To Deal With Vaginal Itching During Pregnancy
Vaginal itching during pregnancy may or may not be serious. However, it is important to take adequate steps to prevent it from making your pregnancy tougher than it already is. For starters, you and your partner must get tested for STIs regularly–especially if you have unprotected sex or have multiple partners. This must be done before planning a baby or during the initial stages of your pregnancy to ensure that it doesn’t become severe and cause complications later. Using a condom even during oral sex is imperative to keep you safe from contracting an STI in case your partner is infected.
Other preventive measures like using clean washrooms and not touching your intimate area with dirty hands can also help keep infections at bay. As for those, who already experience vaginal itching during pregnancy, consulting with your doc is the best way forward. But you can count on cotton undies, pyajamas, and panty liners to feel comfier.
Sirona Recommends Best Products To Prevent Vaginal Itching During Pregnancy
Sirona Dry Comfort Panty Liners
Sirona’s Dry Comfort Panty Liners are ultra-thin, super-duper soft and absorbent. They’re are made with breathable material with a no-wear feel and come in handy when it comes to keeping your intimate area fresh and itch-free.
Sirona Refreshing Intimate Wash
Made with natural ingredients like Tasmanian pepper fruit, this intimate wash is gentle on the skin and safe for use during pregnancy. You can use it to clean your intimate area once or twice a day and stay comfy and fresh all day long.
Folks, the golden rule of enjoying this phase of life is to practice caution and maintain proper intimate hygiene to keep problems like vaginal itching during pregnancy or any other complications at bay. We hope that this helps. Happy pregnancy!
*This article has been reviewed by Dr Neha Yadav
Dr. Neha Yadav is an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with six years of experience in the healthcare field. She completed her Fellowship in Advance Laparoscopy and holds a special interest in high-risk pregnancy cases. She is presently associated with Saurabh Hospital in Surat, Gujarat.
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