As any woman who has been pregnant can attest, their bodies undergo a host of uncomfortable changes during the nine months it takes to birth a baby. From morning sickness to back pain, one must not be surprised to be landed with bodily changes that are irritable and less than tolerable. While most of these changes are talked about in abundance, any irritation in the genital area is particularly difficult to discuss and therefore less likely to come up in discussions. A swollen vagina with irritable skin in the nether regions is one such change that affects most women who are expecting a baby soon.
The presence of swollen vagina lips is not a condition limited exclusively to pregnant women. Changes in the body are natural for people hitting puberty and for young girls having their sexual awakening, a swollen vagina may be the cause of hormonal tumult in the growing up years. Pregnancy makes the bodies of older women similarly susceptible and therefore they face some of these issues as well.
In this article:
Swollen Vagina in Pregnancy: 8 Causes and Remedies
Causes of Vaginal Swelling
Here are some of the probable causes behind why you may be having issues with a swollen vaginal area:
Most women experience occasional bouts of yeast infection in their genital areas which cause swollen vaginal lips along with itching, irritation and redness. This is often accompanied by a discharge not unlike cottage cheese from the vaginal opening. It usually goes away and does not pose a threat to your baby and is caused by the multilokcat of Candida albicans in the area owing to hormonal imbalance. Unless the infection recurs on a regular level, it is not dangerous to your baby.
If you have intercourse with your partner repeatedly while pregnant, or if it tends to be on the rough side, that might also account for vaginal swelling. During pregnancy blood tends to rush to the pelvic region, making it more obvious.
If you are pregnant and you opted to try a new brand or underwear or soap to use, the vaginal swelling may be a symptom of an allergic reaction to a new chemical compound. Owing to increasing sensitivity in the area, you might even develop a reaction to familiar products, so it always helps to be alert.
Failing to maintain proper hygiene during pregnancy can cause the vagina to swell up. This triggers bacterial multiplication that can cause the area to swell up.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Although highly unlikely, the biological possibility of vaginal swelling as a symptom of an STD cannot be dismissed.
Cysts in the internal areas of the vagina and vulva can also cause recurring redness and swelling in the vagina. Make sure you talk to your doctor about them if only to rule them out as a probable cause.
Insertion of Foreign Objects
The vagina swelling can be a side effect of extreme sexual experimentation during pregnancy. The area is already sensitive at this time and cannot take much abuse before your skin starts responding to it negatively.
You should take it easy during your pregnancy but if you have been exercising a lot, cycling and biking lately, that might also be a possible reason behind swollen vaginal lips.
It is important to remember that self-diagnosis and prescription of conditions like a swollen vagina is highly discouraged. If you deem medical attention necessary and wish to take steps, make sure you book an appointment with your doctor before trying out anything at home. Especially with a baby on the way and your body reacting to things differently, it is best to seek care from an expert in a strictly monitored manner.
Should your doctor decide to prescribe you with medication, it will usually be anti-thrush ointment that needs to be applied on the swollen vaginal lips as instructed. Your doctor will, in all probability, avoid oral prescription keeping in mind that you are with child. You may be asked to opt for clotrimazole or miconazole in the area for about 3-7 days.
In most cases, the swollen vagina lips are temporary and tend to go away before the week is over. But dismissing the danger of it is also not advisable. Make sure that you are alert about what is going on down there so that you can make the call to see a doctor when you feel like things are getting out of hand. Making these decisions will also help you prepare for the challenging year ahead of you when you have an infant in your arms and an accompanying tendency to panic at the ready. Pay close attention so that you can make the decisions if and when necessary.