Better orgasms and varicose veins… expert reveals all the things that happen to your vagina when you're pregnantBetter orgasms and varicose veins… expert reveals all the things that happen to your vagina when you're pregnant

YOUR body can change dramatically during pregnancy – that's to be expected.

After all, you are growing a whole new person.

But did you know that your vagina can change before you've even given birth?

It's not just the whole "pushing a baby out" process that can cause things to change down there…

1. Stronger, better orgasms

"There hasn’t been a lot of research into whether women really do orgasm more often during pregnancy" admits Dr Sarah Jarvis, GP and clinical director of Patient.info.

"However, there is definitely more blood flow to the vaginal area during pregnancy, so it makes sense that many women say they’re more sensitive during pregnancy and some women report more orgasms.

"The good news is that orgasms in pregnancy won’t put you into early labour or damage your baby."

Well, any excuse…

2. Change of colour

Your labia (that's the fleshy part on the outside) can change colour during pregnancy, due to the increased blood flow to the area.

As your uterus and baby grow, more blood is needed southwards.

More blood fills the veins than normal, and that can make your labia look almost blue-ish.

"There’s no doubt that most women notice a change in the colour of their vulva – the area outside the entrance to the vagina," Dr Jarvis told The Sun.

"That’s because of increased blood flow. Veins carrying blood back to the heart increase in size and this can lead to a bluish tinge, as well as a feeling of fullness."

3. Varicose veins

That extra pressure can lead to varicose veins on your vagina.

And they tend to get worse as the pregnancy progresses.

As your uterus gets bigger, it can block the flow of venous blood, which adds to the swelling.

Varicose veins can also be a result of hormonal changes, which cause the veins to widen and relax.

The experts at Texas Children's Hospital say that around 4 per cent of women experience "vulvar varicosity".

4. More infections

The upside may be that you have better sex but the downside is that you're more prone to getting things like thrush.

"Partly because of the pH change, you’ll be more likely to get thrush during pregnancy," Dr Jarvis says.

"This usually leads to itching and discharge (usually thick and white – some women describe it as ‘like cottage cheese’). It can also cause soreness."

Thrush in pregnancy can be easily treated, but don’t forget to check your GP knows you’re pregnant as not all treatments are suitable in pregnancy.

And you're also more prone to UTIs during pregnancy.

Dr Jarvis says: "If untreated, urine infections in pregnancy can occasionally lead to premature labour and kidney problems."

So if you get symptoms such as burning or stinging when you wee, blood in the wee or low tummy pain accompanied by needing to wee (even) more often than usual, see your doctor.

5. Increased discharge

Pregnancy can cause women to start producing a lot more discharge than usual.

Because pregnancy can change your hormonal balance, it can cause you to start producing more cervical mucus and discharge, and it changes from being thick and sticky, to thin and watery.

Generally, vaginal discharge is a bit thinker and whiter than usual – and there's a lot more of it.

The further along you are, the more you produce.

Some women might think that their waters have broken (it's usually really obvious when that does happen), but it's actually just a hefty about of thin discharge.

Burning, itching or any discharge that isn’t clear or white is not normal and neither is blood or pink-stained discharge isn’t normal either – do see your GP if you get any of these symptoms.

6. Different smell

Your vagina has a very slightly acidic pH level usually.

But during pregnancy, that can change – meaning that the smell also changes.

You may notice a change in the normal smell, or you start noticing a smell when there wasn’t one before.

But any nasty smell isn't normal and does need checking out – especially if it's accompanied by a burning or itching sensation too.

Ultimately, as with everything, it's about knowing what's normal for you.

If you're worried about anything during your pregnancy (or in general), get it checked by your GP.

There's nothing you can show or tell that they haven't seen or heard before.

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