Have you detected a strange odor in your vaginal area in the recent past? Are you wondering if it's connected to pregnancy and whether it is normal or not?
Odor or a bad smell emanating from the vaginal area is typically unpleasant and awkward to discuss. However, keeping it a secret, even from your doctor, is not a good idea since it may cause you to develop needless anxieties. Vaginal odor is prevalent during pregnancy and should be handled as soon as possible.
Some of the changes your body undergoes throughout pregnancy are completely unexpected, and you would never have predicted them. You certainly knew your vagina would have to stretch to push out a baby, but you probably didn't realize you'd get a completely different smell down there as a result. In this post, we'll cover all you need to know about vaginal odor during pregnancy, including what causes it, when you should visit your doctor, and how to get rid of the smell completely.
Strong Vaginal Odor During Pregnancy
A woman's life is transformed when she becomes pregnant. Some of these transformations are pleasant, while others are less so. Morning sickness, back pain, nausea, headaches, and other pregnancy symptoms are all common, and you should be aware of them at all times. While these symptoms are described in great depth, additional symptoms, including vaginal discharge and vaginal odor, are sometimes overlooked or neglected altogether.
The consistency and quantity of vaginal discharge vary, with most women reporting an increase daily. During pregnancy, vaginal discharge can become rather heavy. Sometimes women have more vaginal discharge that is thicker or waterier, while some might not have.
Having vaginal discharge in pregnancy is beneficial. Vaginal discharge is enhanced during pregnancy to lower the risk of infections affecting the uterine and vaginal walls.
The vagina works overtime, creating fluids to keep your cervix sealed, wet, and healthy. However, consult your gynecologist if your discharge is an odd color, smells terrible, or leaves your vagina irritated or itchy. You might have an infection.
The color and amount of vaginal discharge might fluctuate throughout pregnancy. During pregnancy, white discharge is usual, although it might contain pink mucus in the last several weeks. It's a sticky, jelly-like substance that indicates your body is preparing for labor.
Let's look at what causes bad vaginal odor and what you may do to eliminate that noxious odor.
Causes: What Causes Vaginal Smell During Pregnancy?
A strong vaginal odor may be caused by a changed pH balance, perspiration, infections, and hormonal and nutritional changes during pregnancy. If a medical problem does not cause the smell, it will go once the baby is delivered. Even women who aren't pregnant can have an odorous vagina due to sweating and nutritional changes.
Vaginal infections in pregnancy might produce an unpleasant or pungent odor. A yeast infection is caused by an abnormal amount of naturally occurring fungus multiplying in the vagina—the fungus results in chronic itching and a foul-smelling discharge. However, bacterial vaginosis discharge is an infectious disease caused by bacteria proliferating in the vagina. During pregnancy, it may result in a foul-smelling discharge.
pH Level Changes
The vaginal pH ranges typically from 3.8 to 4.5, which is somewhat acidic. This acidic pH is created by helpful bacteria or naturally occurring vaginal flora inside the vagina and produces lactic acid. During pregnancy, the pH changes due to the increased blood flow to the vaginal area. The pH change exposes the vagina to bacterial infections like vaginitis resulting in fishy or foul-smelling vaginal discharge.
The body of a pregnant woman undergoes several hormonal changes during pregnancy. While pregnant, the secretion of two hormones, estrogen, and progesterone, increases dramatically. The substantial rise in both hormones aids in creating the placenta and supplies sustenance to the infant. When a woman becomes pregnant, the prolactin levels increase, which aids in creating breast milk later on. These hormonal changes might result in an increase in vaginal discharge and an unpleasant odor.
Dietary modifications during pregnancy are also contributing to the unusual vaginal discharge throughout pregnancy. For example, if you eat more spicy or garlic foods during pregnancy, the odor of the vaginal discharge may change as a result.
Vaginal Odor During Pregnancy Remedies
For you to cure and prevent vaginal odor and foul discharge, you should take the following measures:
You should take precautions to keep your vagina clean and dry during your pregnancy. Shower more regularly and clean your vagina using lukewarm water to keep the bacteria at bay. If your doctor has prescribed it, you can also use a gentle detergent or a feminine hygiene wash to clean your period. Maintain a short and tidy pubic hairstyle as well.
Avoid cosmetics such as vaginal wipes, scented feminine sprays, and similar products. As a last precaution, avoid using any soaps that are abrasive on your skin and can take away the good bacteria that exist in the vagina, leaving it open to infection.
Instead of synthetic underwear, go to cotton underwear to feel more comfortable. It is crucial to wear soft cotton underwear to help the skin breathe properly and absorb any extra perspiration. Changing your underwear will also help minimize the dampness and the odor.
It is unavoidable to make dietary modifications while pregnant. Ensure you're consuming lots of fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and protein. You might also try avoiding specific foods, like broccoli and garlic, and bring in probiotic-rich foods, including kefir, yogurt, and sauerkraut. This can change the fragrance of perspiration and minimize vaginal odor. However, if you take too many sugary foods, it may stimulate yeast to grow.
If you suspect an infection is the source of your vaginal scent, see your doctor and follow their instructions on the use of antibiotics.
Most Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Normal to Smell Down There While Pregnant?
The presence of a faint or strong vaginal discharge is completely normal in a pregnant woman's body during this time. Some women may also detect a foul odor or ammonia-like emanating from their vaginal area. Vaginal odor is much more frequent than you would imagine during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Normal vaginal discharge is odorless or mildly scented. But, a color change is a reason for alarm. The vaginal discharge you may experience during pregnancy is comparable to that between periods but heavier. However, the symptoms should not upset you greatly because several home remedies for vaginal odor might assist deal with it quickly.
Do You Get a Fishy Smell When Pregnant?
Most women who are not pregnant also encounter some discharge during their cycle. However, this discharge may be increased during pregnancy which is a significant pregnancy symptom that may emerge around the 13th week. As your pregnancy advances, the amount of discharge produced is certain to increase, which is a side consequence of your vagina working extra to maintain your cervix wet and healthy.
The discharge is intended to guard the birth canal against infection and keep a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria and flora inside the vagina. Occasionally, the discharge will be somewhat brown or pink; this is fine if there is no bleeding.
When Should I Call the Doctor?
Usually, you may address vaginal odor caused by food and hormonal changes at home with over-the-counter medications. However, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, you should consult your doctor.
- When the odor persists for an extended period, neither remedial treatment is effective.
- The odor is followed by atypical vaginal discharge in this situation.
- If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms: redness, inflammation, itching, or painful urination.
It's important to remember that while vaginal disorders such as odor are humiliating, they are treatable. Ensure that you are practicing adequate hygiene to prevent the foul smell from the vagina and the likelihood of contracting vaginal yeast infections. It will be unnecessary to take any medicine during pregnancy if you follow simple precautions and natural remedies. However, if you require medicine to treat the odor, you should follow the doctor's directions.
How Can I Get Rid of a Smelly Smell During Pregnancy?
When you are pregnant, many of the reasons for body odor are related to the typical changes in the body as the fetus develops and grows. You may not be able to prevent the causes of body odor, but you may assist in maintaining and treating the odor. Among the possible solutions are the following:
- Take a daily shower and use deodorants and antiperspirants.
- Dress in loose-fitting clothes made of natural fibers or moisture-wicking textiles.
- You should use foot powders on your feet.
- Consume a nutritious and well-balanced nutritional diet
- Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
While it is true that vaginal odor is extremely frequent during pregnancy, it is typically just related to hormonal imbalances and will subside after you deliver your baby. But be on the lookout for any signs of infection.
Some signs of infections are a "fishy" odor, irritation, burning, or redness on the skin. Home cures such as practicing appropriate hygiene, avoiding douching, using cotton undergarments & pantyliners, avoiding scented soaps, modifying your diet will, to mention a few, will help alleviate the stink and minimize perspiration.
If you are concerned about restoring your vaginal odor-normal or other symptoms, you should consult your physician. In extremely rare instances, you may require medical attention for a significant underlying condition.