In this part of the world, it is common to hear most pregnant women express a wish to birth their babies vaginally. It is only fair to point out that whichever childbirth method applies, birthing a child is not child’s play! Safe to say it is necessary for you to know what changes you are likely to see down there during and after pregnancy.
Here are some of the unpleasant things that could happen to your vagina:
• A Stretchy Vagina
As pregnancy advances into the late second and early third trimester it is natural that the relaxing hormone ‘relaxin’ is secreted consistently although the relaxin hormone levels are at their highest in the first trimester. This hormone functions by relaxing the wall of the uterus so they can stretch thereby softening and widening the cervix as a result.
• Increase in Vaginal discharge
An increasing discharge from the vagina is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy and this continues throughout the duration of the pregnancy. The normal vagina discharge, known as ‘leukorrhea’ is usually thin, clear or milky white with a mild smell. As pregnancy progresses, this discharge usually becomes more noticeable; it is often-times yellow and slimy and is heaviest as the delivery day closes in. One of the signs of the onset of early labour is that your discharge will contain streaks of thick mucus or blood that is normally referred to as the ‘show’.
• Really Smelly Urine
When pregnant, a lot of pregnancy hormones are at play within your body system. It is therefore not surprising that your kidneys produce more urine in response to these hormones and also in reaction to the needs of your growing unborn baby. This also means that the pregnant woman urinates more often than she used to before she became pregnant. Some pregnant women are more sensitive to the smell of the urine than others. It must be really irksome having bad smelling urine and having to go to the bathroom often.
• You may have Urinary Stress Incontinence
This major distressing inconvenience happens as a result of loss of bladder control. Kegel exercises may help to tone the pelvic floor muscle, or you may opt for Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation surgery to help tighten up the muscles and give your vagina a more youthful appearance.
• A Swollen Vagina
There is increased blood flow to the vaginal area during pregnancy which can result in the swelling of the vulva; particularly the minor and major labia.
– 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 without the use of drugs.
• A Vulva with Varicose Veins
About twenty-one percent of women with leg varicose veins who have children also have vagina 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 (trans-vaginal duplex scan). The ultrasound scans shows which of the veins in the pelvis is the cause of the vulva varicose.
Trained specialists using the scan as a sort of map can then treat the pelvic veins under local anesthetic while X-rays are used to guide the catheter instrument into the right veins. Once the instrument is in position surgical coils are promptly installed into the veins; in this way, they are permanently closed.
• A Vagina Marked with Bruises
It is well known that your entire body goes through a lot with pregnancy and childbirth; in line with this you should expect a lot of bleeding and soreness in your vaginal area. It may be an old-fashioned way of getting relief, but based on what works for your body, either heat or ice-packs can help with the pain.
• Your Vagina May Get Torn
While this is not the case with all first-time mothers; most people do tear, especially the first-time mothers. This happens because the vaginal outlet does not get big enough in spite of the full dilatation of the cervix. Another reason your vagina may tear is that the medical expert might decide that you an episiotomy; this is a small cut made to the perineum. However, any tear or cut will be stitched up, and the stitches should dissolve on their own within six to eight weeks.
-It should be taken into account though that the stitches are only used to repair any torn tissue in the vaginal area; they have nothing to do with enhancing the appearance of the vagina.
– In some cases where the tearing is so extensive that it reaches further to the rectum and tampers with the rectal muscle, a specialist would be invited administer the stitches.
It is such a comfort to know that whichever childbirth method with its attending effects; pains and changes, is used in bringing forth a baby, when a mother eventually holds her baby in her arms, she feels that great sense of fulfillment.