Vaginal pain is a common problem in women during pregnancy. If it is frequent it is a matter to worry and indicates something serious. In most cases, it is not any sign of any serious complication. It can be due to several reasons as the body adapts to the new changes.
In this article:
A Guide for Vaginal Pain During Pregnancy
Causes of Vaginal Pain During Pregnancy
The following causes pain in the vaginal region –
- Blood flow – during pregnancy, there is usually an increased flow of blood within the uterus which can cause pain in the vaginal area. The area may get tender and swollen even when nudged. Pain can also be due to vaginal varicosity or enlarged blood vessels in the pelvic area in some cases.
- Infections – pain can occur due to fungal infections around the vaginal region. Along with pain other symptoms are vaginal discharge, nausea, diarrhea or backache. Candidiasis is a common infection during pregnancy.
- Cervix dilation – if the pain is stabbing especially in the later stage of pregnancy it can be due to the dilation of the cervix. The cervix dilates a few weeks before labor and that can cause pain along with bleeding.
- Fetal pressure –the growing fetus puts pressure on the pelvic area that stretches the ligaments and muscles leading to pinching pain. This pain may last for a few seconds or minutes and sometimes longer. It may occur in the first trimester when the uterus is enlarging and putting pressure on the bladder and rectum or in the second trimester when the baby is pressing against the pelvic region or in the third trimester as the baby is moving down.
- Ectopic pregnancy – vaginal pain is one of the symptoms of ectopic pregnancy which is usually difficult to diagnose. The other symptoms of this pregnancy can be abnormal bleeding, sore breasts, dizziness, lower back pain, fainting, shortness of breath and low blood pressure.
Remedies for Vaginal Pain During Pregnancy
Vaginal pain may subside with some simple measures like –
- Lie down on left as it might improve the blood circulation and reduce vaginal pressure and pain.
- When sitting, keep the feet elevated to get some relief from the pressure and pain.
- Warm water baths can help to relax. Stand under the shower and allow the water to fall on the back.
- Lie down with hips elevated.
- Get a pelvic massage by a trained masseuse.
- Do some simple exercises such as yoga and swimming after getting clearance from the doctor. It may improve blood circulation and strengthen the muscles thereby relieving the pain.
- Pelvic exercises such as pelvic rolls and tilts may also help.
- Use support belts that are designed to support the belly, lower back, pelvis and hips.
Avoid jerky movements and sudden twists at the waist. Do not take pain relief medications without a prescription by a doctor.
When to See a Doctor
Go for a prenatal appointment with the doctor to talk about vaginal pain if it is mild. But if the pain is intense and is accompanied by a fever, headache, dizziness, bleeding, painful and frequent urination change in baby movements and swelling of the face, hands, and feet, seek medical help by a doctor. Prompt treatment might help in avoiding any complications.
Types of Vaginal Pain During Pregnancy
Three types of vaginal pain during pregnancy are –
This is a common occurrence in pregnant women with prickling pain also coming under this category. This normally occurs from the 5th to 8th week of pregnancy, due to the stretching of uterine muscles. Another reason for this pain is flatulence that occurs in the expecting mother’s intestines. If the pain starts around the 37th week, it is usually due to the upcoming event of childbirth.
This is a widespread problem among women, not just pregnant women. This is usually caused due to inflammatory processes taking place in the fallopian tubes or the cervix. If the pain subsides quickly after treatment, there is no reason to worry, however, if it keeps increasing contact the doctor.
This is common during pregnancy and is probably the result of the uterus growing in size to accommodate the foetus. However, this can also be a symptom of cystitis in the early stages of pregnancy. If the pain occurs in the later stages of pregnancy, immediately call the doctor – it can de due to placental detachment.
Treatment for Vaginal Pain During Pregnancy
Vaginal pain is sure to occur at some stage in every mother, so it is helpful to know how to alleviate vaginal pain during pregnancy. Pain relief medications can provide temporary respite, so it is better to consult the doctor always for proper treatment.
Vaginal pain during pregnancy is common and not usually be cause for concern and can be a good sign that the body is releasing the right hormones and the uterus is growing as expected. Contact the doctor to avoid any complications.