“When a woman becomes pregnant, her v**ina largely takes on a personality of its own,” says Sheryl Ross, M.D., an OB/GYN and women’s health expert at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA.
#1. Your vag!nal discharge has a new consistency. One of the earliest signs of pregnancy is an increase in vag!nal discharge and this continues throughout pregnancy. Normal v**ina discharge (leukorrhea) is thin, clear or milky white, and mild-smelling. As pregnancy progresses, this discharge usually becomes more noticeable (often times yellow and slimy) and is heaviest at the end of your pregnancy. One of the signs that labor has begun is that your discharge will contain streaks of thick mucus or blood called show.
Here’s what doctors and experts DON’T tell you about how your v**ina changes from pregnancy and childbirth:
#2. Your urine smells bad. My friend Anne described her urine as super smelly and pungent. Your kidneys produce more urine in response to the hormones and the needs of your growing unborn baby. Some mothers are more sensitive to the smell than others. It must be particularly annoying having bad smelling pee and having to go to the bathroom so often.
#3. You get what’s known as “cheeseburger crotch.” There’s increased blood flow to the area during pregnancy which can result in the v*ginal area swelling.
#4. You may develop vag!nal varicose veins. Twenty percent of women with leg varicose veins who have children, have v**ina and vulva varicose veins. It used to be that there wasn’t any treatment for this, but now there’s a special duplex scan called TVS (transvaginal duplex scan). The ultrasound scan shows which of the veins in the pelvis are causing the problem.
#5. Your v**ina stretches. In the late second and early third trimester, the hormone relaxin is secreted. It relaxes the ligaments so they can stretch, softening and widening the cervix.
#6. You can form blood blisters on your labia. It can be distressing if you rub these the wrong way and they start to bleed. The blood blisters should go away on their own.
But the stitches are only used to repair any torn tissue in the v*ginal area; they have nothing to do with how your v**ina looks. In some circumstances, the tearing might be so invasive that it actually damages the rectum and the rectal muscle, in which case a specialist will be asked to administer the stitches.
#8. You will probably get bruises down there. Your entire body goes through a lot with pregnancy and childbirth, so expect lots of bleeding and soreness in your v*ginal area. It may be old-fashioned, but ice-packs help with the pain.
#9. You may have urinary stress incontinence. Kegel exercises may help to tone the pelvic floor muscle, or you can opt for Laser v*ginal Rejuvenation surgery to help tighten up the muscles and give your v**ina a more youthful appearance.