July 13, 2024
Swollen Vagina in Pregnancy

Swollen Vagina in Pregnancy [Definitive Guide]

During your pregnancy, you will experience many different emotions ranging from extreme excitement to nervousness and anxiety. As your pregnancy progresses, so will your enthusiasm until you can’t wait to hold your little bundle of joy in your arms.

Unfortunately, certain health issues experienced during pregnancy can be so severe that it may ruin your chances of having a happy pregnancy. Problems such as nausea, morning sickness, and back pain are all common ailments experienced by pregnant women,  but did you know that something like a swollen vagina in pregnancy can not only make you feel extremely uncomfortable but can become the cause of more severe problems?

Even though vaginal swelling is not an uncommon ailment, many women are unaware of what it is and how it affects them. In the following article, I will discuss what vaginal swelling is, what causes it, and the various symptoms and different ways of treating it.

The Shape of the Labia in Pregnancy and Childbirth

Women come in all shapes and sizes, and so do the shape and size of their labia. Known as the “lips” of the vagina, the labia consist of the outer lips or ‘labia majora’ and the inner lips, ‘labia minora.’

The outer lips in different sized women can fluctuate according to weight and can range in shape anywhere from flat to full, in the same way as their breasts do. The inner lips or “labia minora” can be anywhere from 0.7 to 5.0 cm when measured from the lowest hanging edge to the uppermost skin fold.

The inner lips can be hidden entirely by the upper lips and sometimes the bottom edge of the labia minora may protrude below the labia majora. The function of the labia is to protect the clitoris and vagina from irritation and injury.

Typically, the shape and size of your labia are determined by genetics and not by hormone levels or sexual activity. You will have to accept that the shape and size of your labia are what Mother Nature has given you and is not due to any external factors.

Labia Changes Experienced during Pregnancy

During pregnancy, hormones can cause all sorts of weird changes to take place throughout your body that may result in anything from swollen feet to nasal congestion. Many of these symptoms are caused by pregnancy-induced increases in the levels of hormones like estrogen and progesterone.

These hormones are responsible for increasing blood flow throughout the body, including the labia, and supporting the growth of the baby. As a result of this increased blood flow, your labia minora and labia majora may become swollen during pregnancy, causing a slight increase in size.

The color of your labia may also become temporarily darkened due to the increased flow of blood. Sometimes, the outer lips may retract slightly, causing the inner lips to appear larger or become exposed for the first time.

Labia Changes during and after Childbirth

Many pregnant women are concerned about how pregnancy and childbirth will affect the shape and size of their vagina and labia. Fortunately, the tissue of the labia is very elastic and will generally remain intact during pregnancy and childbirth.

During labor and delivery the labia minora may stretch slightly and can even tear, but the labia majora will not stretch. Tears to the vagina and labia during labor and delivery will usually heal within 7 to 10 days from birth but the area may remain sensitive for a few weeks afterward.

Is Swelling of the Vagina Normal During Pregnancy?

Although it is something that no one really talks about, vaginal swelling is normal during pregnancy, and a lot of women experience it. The most likely cause is increased blood flow to your productive organs and can start as early as 8 to 12 weeks into your pregnancy but generally gets worse towards to end of your pregnancy.

As the baby grows, the weight will put extra pressure on the veins in the area making it hard for blood to flow. This pressure can lead to a condition known as ‘vulvar varicosities’ that can cause lumps in the veins of the vulva to protrude. This edema can sometimes cause the area to become very sore, painful, and itchy. Fortunately, in most cases, the condition will improve shortly after delivery.

Some women experience shooting pains along with the edema which could be due to long hours of standing or sitting too long in one position. However, should you experience shooting pains during urination or a thin grayish-white discharge accompanied by itching around the vagina, you should consult your gynecologist immediately as it could be an indication of bacterial vaginosis.

If you experience a burning sensation and pain during urination and you observe redness around the vaginal area accompanied by a thick yellowish-white discharge with or without a foul smell, it could be an indication of a yeast infection such as candidiasis that should be treated by your doctor.

Signs and Symptoms of a Swollen Vulva in Pregnancy

Other symptoms and problems with the vagina and labia besides inflammation may include the following:

  • Vaginal swelling with generalized or localized irritation and pain and the appearance of sores or blisters that may or may not bleed
  • Vaginal swelling accompanied by consistent or periodic discharge with a foul odor that may affect your genital and personal hygiene
  • Most pregnant women find that vaginal swelling interferes with normal urination usually accompanied by a sharp, stinging sensation while urinating.
  • The most common symptom of vaginal swelling is inflammation in the vaginal area that causes itching and discomfort.

The symptoms of vaginal swelling during pregnancy should not be self-treated, even if you think they are mild such as slight itching and scarce or irregular bleeding. Many serious diseases can be averted and good health can be maintained throughout your pregnancy if symptoms are detected and treated early by visiting your gynecologist as soon as these symptoms appear.

Causes of Swollen Vagina during Pregnancy

There are many reasons your vagina might swell during pregnancy such as elevated hormones, increase blood flow, and reactions to things like cleaning products. Here are some possible causes of a swollen vagina while pregnant:

1. Pregnancy

In fact, pregnancy itself may be the reason for the swelling. A fetus that is developing can place pressure on muscles and blood vessels and this can cause vaginal swelling.

As the fetus continues growing, it will place additional pressure on the pelvis region and nearby muscles as well as blood vessels. This can lead to inflammation and affect blood fluid from the lymphatic system which might cause swelling.

To determine if you’re pregnant, you can get an over-the-counter pregnancy test. If you find that you’re having vaginal swelling while pregnant, you will want to ask your doctor about taking safe medications.

2. Hormonal Changes and Increased Blood Flow

When you’re pregnant, your body will go through many changes and this can impact your vaginal region as well. The hormones change in a way that has an effect on the flora of your vagina.

These changes can cause bacterial growth that causes swelling. Your body will also increase the amount of blood flow around the pelvic region to help support the growing fetus. This additional blood flow can lead to mild or moderate vaginal swelling. It might also cause heightened sensations around that area.

3. Inflammation

Edema can be caused by inflammation of the vaginal arteries. That condition can then lead to an accumulation of fluid that is being discharged. This can cause the vaginal region to swell.

To treat the edema, a doctor will need to identify it. In some cases, some gentle massaging can help reduce the swelling, but it should usually only be done with the guidance of a doctor.

If veins become compressed in the uterus while pregnant, then it can cause some swelling.

4. Bacterial Vaginosis

If you develop bacterial vaginosis, you will usually be prescribed some antibiotics. Some of the symptoms that go with this condition include fluid discharge and vaginal swelling as well as a terrible smell.

Keeping the vaginal area clean can work as a preventative measure to stop bacterial vaginosis. It may be necessary to avoid douching as this can cause an imbalance in good and bad bacteria.

5. Cellulitis, Intercourse, and Irritation

Bacterial infections that develop in the inner layers of the skin is known as cellulitis. This condition can cause the area to become red and tender as well as swollen. When bacteria gets into a cut, then a person can develop this condition.

A good example is if you shave the area and cut it during shaving this would be when the bacteria could get into that area. If you keep it clean, you can reduce the infection but if it continues then the doctor might recommend antibiotics.

If you engage in sexual intercourse and you don’t become naturally lubricated, then prolonged activity can cause vaginal swelling. If you engage in rough sex and consequently tear vaginal tissue, then this too can cause swelling and infection. If you need it, it may be necessary to use a lubricant during intercourse.

If you have swelling, then you could take an NSAID as these often help. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen are also available. When your body is exposed to specific products, you can experience an allergic reaction that causes irritation.

These reactions to various chemical ingredients can cause vaginal swelling. Fragrances are one of the standard products used that cause this condition. Other products that can cause a reaction include toilet paper, laundry detergent, various types of soap, and perfumes.

You may find that when you wear certain clothes that it irritates the vaginal area and causes swelling. Some types of underwear can irritate the skin. Even the cut of the underwear might be the problem. As an example, thongs or G-strings may create friction that causes swelling.

If you believe an irritant is the problem, you need to try and identify it and then avoid it. In most cases, once the person stops using the problematic product, then the swelling will go down. If that happens, then they know they have found the problem. If you can’t see the reason for the vaginal swelling, then you will need to go to your doctor.

6. Some Products Might Be the Problem

Some products can affect different people differently and the use of them might cause the vagina to swell. Typically, the product triggers an allergic reaction in the area of your vagina which causes redness and inflammation.

The vagina is more sensitive than some other parts of the body and it can react to different ingredients found in a variety of products. Some everyday products that cause a problem include body lotions and creams, a variety of soaps, pads and tampons, lubricants, contraceptives, douches, and condoms.

You should pay particular attention if you suddenly start using a new product and find that you have swelling. If you think that a particular product is a cause, then you should stop using it to see if the problem goes away. If it doesn’t, then seek the advice of a doctor.

7. Hygiene, Unhealthy Foods, and Bartholin Cysts

Improper hygiene can also lead to vaginal swelling. Failing to keep the vagina clean can lead to unwanted breeding of microbes which then cause inflammation and swelling. There are lots of people who don’t think about the foods they eat as being a reason for swelling but it can be. Commonly, junk food can cause vaginal swelling and infections.

Also, Bartholin glands are on both sides of the vagina. They are there to provide the vagina lubrication. A cyst can develop and go for a while unnoticed until it is infected. At that point, it could abscess. The skin around your vagina may feel painful and become inflamed. In some rare cases, you might experience bleeding or even a burning sensation.

In other cases, the abscess or cyst can be small and drain on its own. To ease the pain, you might take a warm bath along with over-the-counter pain medicine. In more difficult cases, antibiotics may need to be taken or in severe cases, surgical drainage may need to be performed.

8. Gartner’s Duct

Along with other types of cysts that can develop, it is possible to have them form a duct in the fetus when the sexual organs and urinary tract are developing. These disappear after birth.

The part that remains is called Gartner’s duct. If this attaches to the wall of the vagina, then it can develop a cyst. These cysts are usually harmless, but they can pose a problem if they grow.

If it becomes infected or begins to swell and cause pain, then it’s a problem.  This may become a growth on the outside of the vagina and if that happens, then surgery may be necessary.

9. Yeast Infection

If candida becomes overgrown, then it can lead to a yeast infection. Statistically three-quarters of all women develop yeast infections sometime during their life. This condition can cause the vagina to swell and it can come with other symptoms as well.

Some of the symptoms include pain during sex, a burning sensation, chunky discharge, pain during urination, and irritated skin. These infections are usually treated with an antifungal medication. It’s always best to consult with the doctor because what may appear to be a yeast infection could be the symptoms of something else.

10. Genital Herpes

When an outbreak of herpes takes place, there is a cluster of small and painful blisters that will appear around the vagina. If these burst, they can be painful.

A few people will not experience any symptoms but others will have swelling and aches and pains during an outbreak. Currently, there is still no cure for this condition but some prescriptions can reduce the number of outbreaks and shorten the time they last.

11. Cervicitis and STIs

These conditions are infections and they can lead to inflammation of the cervix which is known as cervicitis. When someone is experiencing this, they will often have pain if engaging in intercourse and they will also notice bleeding in between their periods along with abnormal discharge.

Chlamydia is an STI that can cause damage to a woman’s reproductive system. It can also cause unusual discharge and painful urination.

12. Gonorrhea

This condition is usually mild in women and this can make it easy to confuse it with a urinary tract infection. Some of the symptoms can include bleeding in between a woman’s menstrual cycles and an increase in discharge.

13. Trichomoniasis

This is a parasite and sometimes has no symptoms. If symptoms do appear, it’s typically soreness and itching and unusual discharge. A woman may also experience some pain when urinating. This is a sexually transmitted disease that affects almost 4 million people. If someone thinks they have an STI, they really should see a doctor.

14. Foreign Object Lodged in the Vagina

If a foreign object becomes lodged in the vagina, then some symptoms can occur when it tries to expel it. These symptoms include itching, pain, fever, swelling, and unusual discharge. There are cases where a doctor is needed to remove the object. A woman can keep her vagina clean and doing so will help prevent a foreign object from becoming stuck there.

15.  Sexual Assault

If a woman is raped or sexually assaulted, it can lead to vaginal bleeding and swelling. It may also cause pelvic pain. Some resources are available for those who have been forced to have sexual activities. There is RAINN and they have free and confidential support. 1 800 656-4673 is the toll-free hotline.

It’s best for a woman to be examined by a doctor if she’s been raped or sexually abused. A healthcare professional can talk with them about their options and possible treatments.

Rule Out Any STDs

Further complicating a self-diagnosis, which is typically not a great idea in the first place, normal vaginal swelling because of pregnancy might also cause pain and itching, both of which are symptoms that generally point in the direction of more severe conditions.

A third indicator is a vaginal discharge, which also happens more during pregnancy. Bumps, rashes, and strong smell in your vaginal discharge aren’t symptoms of pregnancy, so you need to report such things to your doctor immediately.

Fortunately, the chances of sexually transmitted infections are rare in monogamous relationships, mainly since you likely got tested for a lot of them when you had your initial prenatal appointment.

Other potential causes are related to pregnancy, including yeast infections; these aren’t pleasant, but they’re easily treatable and not likely to interfere with an otherwise typical pregnancy. You need to have a doctor look over things, just to make sure though.

How You Can Treat Your Vaginal Swelling while You Are Pregnant

Treatment is going to depend mainly on whatever is causing your labia’s swelling. The following are some effective ways to treat swelling down there while you’re pregnant:

1. Don’t self-treat.

It’s recommended that you seek medical help just as soon as you notice the symptoms of vaginal swelling. Don’t self-medicate or self-treat yourself because that might cause pregnancy complications.

Quite a few antibacterial or antifungal drugs are actually contraindicated during pregnancy because when unsupervised, they can create toxic interactions.

2. Don’t scratch.

You might feel uncomfortable and even itch, but it’s advisable that you don’t go scratching any oozy lesions or blisters in your vaginal region, since it might spread your infection, causing even more complications.

3. Take your prescribed medications.

Allopathy medicines generally aren’t prescribed during pregnancy. As such, once an infection is confirmed, your physician might prescribe you simple OTC topical ointments and creams. Stronger medicine might be given if the infection spreads to other places.

4. Keep your hygiene up.

It’s crucial to maintain your hygiene so that you can avoid infections from aggravating or even spreading further. On the other hand, don’t wash too much, since this might also spread any infections into other areas.

Just be sure you don’t stop keeping up with your genital hygiene and overall personal cleanliness, given how many infections happen because of poor sanitary conditions.

5. Workout

Once you talk to your physician about it, try engaging in exercises that are pregnancy-safe. If your doctor lets you do this, it can help out the overall flow of blood within your body.

6. Get More Serious Treatment

Labia irritation from sex or allergies might respond to prescription or even OTC steroid and hydrocortisone creams. However, a Bartholin’s cyst that proves especially problematic might have to be drained or lanced, and possibly also removed surgically.

Potential Home Remedies for Prenatal Vaginal Swelling

Even though it’s not advisable usually to use allopathic medication, there are a number of home remedies that might help you out with the discomfort. Such treatments might be used alongside drug therapy to soothe itching and irritation.

1. Cold Packs

You might use cold packs for easing vaginal inflammation and swelling. On the other hand, you might just take a cold-water bath too.

Use Tucks or other medicated cooling pads to numb the affected area and speed up healing. They also have witch hazel. They’re essential for postpartum recovery since they might help with soreness, hemorrhoids, and swelling which are common after birth.

2. Use some garlic.

Garlic can be a very powerful friend in the treatment of vaginal swelling. It has both antibacterial and antifungal properties that work out well in reducing swelling. You can even make a garlic paste that can be applied to your vagina for several days to get swelling relief.

Heed caution though, as garlic usage might trigger burning, so make sure that you only start by using only small quantities.

3. Increase your probiotic intake.

Increasing your consumptions of probiotics might help balance yeast and bacteria and overgrowth in your body. If you want to improve your probiotics intake, consider adding yogurt and buttermilk to your diet.

4. Drink lots of water.

Drinking lots of water can be a cure for vaginal swelling. Not only will it help you with reducing any burning sensations, but it’ll also reduce the odds of infection spreading. Since you’ll go to the bathroom more frequently, you’ll have less bacterial multiplication in your bladder.

5. Soak in apple cider vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties which might provide relief from your vaginal swelling. Put some ACV in your bathtub so you can soak in for 15 minutes.

6. Support bands for vulvar varicosities.

Also, think about getting a special support band, such as a baby belly band. In addition to offering comfort and support from vulval varicosities or vaginal varices, it can help with many other common complaints in pregnancy, including pubic symphysis dysfunction, and pain in the hips, back, and abdomen.

7. Put your feet up.

It’s best to put your feed up as frequently as you can. That’ll help you even out your circulation, relieving a lot of the pressure. Along the same lines, you should try wearing clothing that is loose—in particular, your underwear.

Change positions a lot; never stand or sit for long periods of time without changing. If your living arrangements allow it and you’re not too modest, consider sleeping with nothing at all from your waist down. You might even try aiming an electric fan in that area. Don’t worry, it’s not going to catch a cold.

8. Don’t use soap.

Stop using it. Only clean a bikini area with water. A lot of things, even Vagisil, can increase your infection risk.

Additional tips include massaging the area, sleeping with a nice pillow between your legs, and swimming since it helps the blood flow and takes pressure off of the pelvis. Anytime you think something isn’t quite right, seek medical advice.

How Is It Possible to Prevent Vaginal Swelling?

Like many other medication conditions, it’s possible to prevent vaginal swelling or even control the intensity while you are pregnant. The following are a few tips you can use to avoid vaginal swelling from happening while you are pregnant.

1. Follow a diet that is healthy and nutritious. Don’t eat unhealthy foods which might trigger your odds of vaginal itching and swelling.

2. Add probiotics and yogurt that have live active cultures into your diet.

3. Always wear underpants that are comfortable, especially ones made out of cotton fabric.

4. Don’t wear underwear that is tight. Let your skin, even down there, to breathe.

5. Don’t use scented soaps for cleaning private parts since they might cause allergic reactions.

6. Keep the area of your vagina moisturized in case the skin gets itchy or dry.

7. As stated already, drink lots of water.

It can mean that your urination is free of pain. Also, regularly emptying your bladder can minimize your risk of the infection spreading if any, as well as preventing bacterial multiplication in the first place.

8. Always maintain your vaginal hygiene.

Improper cleanliness will potentially expose your organs to things like exogenous inflammatory substances that might interfere with normal flora integrity, leading to other possible complications. Pregnancy might make you personally more prone to things like infections, so take great care in this time might help you prevent infections.

9. Do not douche.

It might actually upset your vagina’s healthy balance of good versus bad bacteria.

10. Consult your physician about alternative birth control methods if you are allergic to spermicide or latex.

11. If sex is painful, refrain from it.

12. Use lubricants to minimize friction during sex.

Additionally, you might want to look into herbal treatments. One study showed that a vaginal cream of thyme and garlic was just as effective in the relief of vaginal yeast infections as clotrimazole, a commonly prescribed antifungal cream.

Organic coconut oil, oil of oregano, and tea tree oil are all possibly therapeutic, although this isn’t scientifically confirmed. Anyone of these potential herbal treatments might trigger an itchy rash and other symptoms, should you be sensitive to them.

Vaginal swelling is quite an uncomfortable and painful experience to go through during pregnancy. On the other hand, with appropriate care and prompt medical intervention, not only can your condition be managed well, but you can avoid complications too.

About the Other Crazy Stuff That Will Happen to Your Vagina While You Are Pregnant

When you are pregnant, you are probably aware of the fact that your baby will more than likely come out of your vagina. Yet there is a lot of things that happen down there while you are pregnant. Below are a few weird and strange ways pregnancy results in changes to your vagina:

1. There might be blood.

Pregnancy does end your period temporarily, yet spotting during the 1st trimester is relatively common and is usually not something to worry about. In most cases, small amounts of blood are caused by implantation inside the uterus along with the placenta that starts to form.

In some cases, spotting might indicate that something else is wrong, like yeast infections. With this in mind, anytime you do experience bleeding, even if it has stopped, you need to tell your doctor about it.

2. Your vagina becomes itchy.

Hormones related to pregnancy can result in excessive growth of the naturally occurring fungus and bacteria in the vagina which results in BV (bacterial vaginosis) or a yeast infection.

These are both very common while you are expecting and produce a discharge that is yellowish-white associated with yeast infections or grayish-white linked to BV. They both result in a very itchy sensation.

When your vagina expels a white or clear egg-like, odor-free discharge, there is nothing to worry about and it is normal. The vagina and the cervix go through many hormonal changes while you are pregnant, which causes vaginal discharge and cervical mucus to increase.

This goo which is mucusy will change during each trimester of the pregnancy from sticky and thick during the initial stages onto watery and thin in the later parts of your pregnancy.

3. Your vagina is going to turn blue.

Pink may be the usual color of your vagina, yet when you have a baby in your womb, the hue might change to purple or blue. This is known as Chadwick’s sign and this change in color is usually the first clue that you are in fact pregnant.

In the first 6 weeks into a pregnancy, the cervix, labia, and vagina might turn a shade of purple or blue, due to an increase in the blood flow to this area.

4. Your vagina might release gas.

There might not be much medical literature available on the topic relating to vaginal farting. Yet this is a description of how it happens: An air pocket that is trapped inside the vagina will eventually be expelled and will make a farting sound as it passes out.

This is not something to worry about, and it is still not known why pregnancy may be the cause of this to occur more regularly. It is most likely the combination of a growing belly, exercise, intercourse positions, or even pelvic-floor muscles that are overworked.

5. You may get varicose veins on your vagina.

This may come as a surprise, but the legs are not the only place that is susceptible to these purple, painful, and bulging varicose veins. When you are pregnant, your vagina can also experience them. This is due to the increase in blood flow, the uterus that becomes enlarged, and pregnancy hormones.

Around 10% of women who are pregnant will experience “vulvar” varicose veins, which typically occurs around month 5 into a 2nd pregnancy. These risks continue to increase with every new pregnancy. They look like the normal varicose veins, yet they appear on your labia, and in some cases on the inner thighs.

Fortunately, this issue typically goes away within 6 weeks after delivery. Yet you do not need to wait that long to obtain relief when the veins are painful and bothersome.

Take warm baths, try sleeping on your left-side along with elevating your feet as much as possible. It is also important to exercise as well as avoiding extended periods of standing or sitting.

6. The aroma of your vagina changes.

The pH of your vagina will change while you are pregnant which may result in a subtle change to the odor of your vagina, which usually make it slightly more acidic. Some pregnant women are more sensitive to this smell. However, unless you are experiencing burning or vaginal itching, this is entirely normal.

When Should You See A Doctor?

Swelling of the vagina is very typical in pregnancy, which is why it should not result in panic or worry. However, while we fully understand that this is might be a sensitive subject that many women are afraid or too shy to see their doctor about, here is a list of when you need to see a gynecologist associated with this issue.

  • You experience chills or a fever which may be an indication of an infection.
  • If in addition to vaginal swelling or/and itchiness you notice a vaginal discharge that is unusual, especially the discharge that smells bad and it looks yellowish, white or gray.
  • When the itchiness or swelling has persisted for over 48 hours.
  • When you notice visible changes that are unusual to the skin of the vulva such as sores or blisters.
  • You are finding it hard to urinate and when you do it is excruciating.
  • When you notice vaginal bleeding regardless of how little it was.
  • When you are experiencing unbearable and painful symptoms.

What to Do When Your Symptoms Persist

If you are a person that is more reserved, we do suggest that at the very least to talk to a doctor. There might be a chance that your doctor can diagnose what is causing the itchiness or soreness in the area of your vagina without doing something you do not feel comfortable with.

However, in certain cases, the doctor will have to conduct an examination to arrive at an accurate diagnosis to determine what anti-fungal or antibiotic medication you will need to treat the problem.

In some cases, swelling in the vagina while you are pregnant may be an indication of an undetected medical condition which might need to be dealt with immediately.

Regardless of what you decide to do, it is never recommended that you try to self-diagnose. Or take any medication to try and solve the issue on your own.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Here are a few other answers to some of the common questions that many women have while they are pregnant.

1. Why am I so itchy down there?

The more common reason for an itchy vagina while you are pregnant is the pH levels that change in the vagina which can result in local irritations.

Yeast infections in the vagina are also well-known for causing persistent itching. Even though vaginal itching is usually not caused by an STI (sexually transmitted infection), it could be one of the potential causes.

2. What can I do about vaginal itchiness?

Before you try any OTC (over-the-counter) medications or self-treatments for itchiness in the vaginal area, especially while you are pregnant, visit your doctor to make sure you do not have an STI. Even though it is usually not something to be worried about, be on the safe side and have yourself tested.

3. Why is my vagina so dry in my pregnancy?

If you are feeling more dry than usual down there, it is usually due to pregnancy hormones. Parents state that while pregnant, a woman’s hormones might fluctuate rapidly, which can result in vaginal irritation or dryness.

Levels of progesterone can also contribute to vaginal dryness. It appears that any sexual activities whether with your partner or alone, the better option would be to use a water-based lubricant.

4. Are my labia going to go back to normal after pregnancy?

Fortunately, just about every change which occurs to your labia during and after your pregnancy is only temporary. After giving birth, your usual color will come back as blood flow normalizes. As the baby arrives, the labia (minora) usually retracts to an average size due to a decrease in blood flow.

5. Can vaginal swelling affect my baby?

In most cases, vaginal swelling won’t cause harm to your baby inside the womb. Yet if your vaginal swelling is caused by a GBS infection which is Group B strep, this could infect the baby too.

If you test positive for GBS, a doctor will prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection. If the baby contracts this infection, it can cause extreme lethargy and difficulties in feeding once they are born.


Vagina swelling is one of the common issues that most women experience at some stage in their life. Certain women will experience this common problem due to pathology that is underlying, while others will develop the condition at certain life stages such as pregnancy or menopause.

Yet, in some cases, a swollen vagina in pregnancy is a signal of an underlying disease which will demand attention immediately. Some women that experience vaginal swelling often make the assumption that it is just a type of yeast infection, yet there are many other possibilities. For example, vaginal swelling is also linked to rough intercourse, cysts, STIs, and even allergies. Treatment will be dependent on the actual cause.

For this reason, it becomes essential that all women are aware of the different aspects involved in vaginal swelling to assist them in handling any issue that could complicate pregnancy.

While some changes that you experience while you are pregnant might cause uncertainty or discomfort, keep in mind that many of the vaginal changes happen to be reasonable and common. If you have a question or concern, always consult with a doctor for further advice.


  1. Vaginal Yeast Infections. https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/vaginal-yeast-infections
  2. Trichomoniasis – CDC Fact Sheet. https://www.cdc.gov/std/trichomonas/STDFact-Trichomoniasis.htm
  3. What Is a Douche and Is Douching Safe? https://www.healthline.com/health/womens-health/what-is-a-douche


Helen is the founder and chief creative officer of ParentsList. Helen is a mom of three, two boys and a girl, her youngest. She’s a stay-at-home mom who just happens to love writing on the side. She loves spending time with her children, especially on warm, cozy Sunday afternoons when everyone’s just relaxed and enjoying each other’s company.

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