Many normal changes occur in the vagina during pregnancy. Your vagina has more blood flow, which may cause it to have a swollen appearance or look darker. You will likely experience vaginal discharge that is white and slightly acidic. This is normal. Pain in the vagina or pain in the crotch area during pregnancy can result from a number of causes including varicose veins, round ligament pain, and pressure on the cervix.
Causes of Vaginal Pain During Pregnancy
- Round ligament pain- The round ligaments help support the uterus. Stretching of these ligaments can cause pain in the abdomen, hips, pelvis, groin, thighs and vagina. If you get sudden sharp or shooting pains in your vagina, stretching of the round ligament is a likely cause.
- Braxtion Hicks- Braxton Hicks contractions are “practice” contractions that occur in the uterus to exercise it and prepare it for childbirth. They could possibly cause vaginal discomfort.
- Vaginitis- is any infection that causes abnormal discharge, redness, soreness or itching around the vagina. This can indicate bacterial infection or possible an allergy. See your doctor is you have these symptoms.
- Yeast Infection-some vaginal discharge is normal during pregnancy. When you have a yeast infection this discharge becomes, thick, white and creamy like cottage cheese and is accompanied by intense itching and irritation in the vagina. See your doctor if you have these symptoms.
- Pressure from the baby on the cervix- As your baby grows and drops lower in preparation for birth they may put pressure on the cervix, causing vaginal pain.
- Baby Kicking the cervix- Your baby can kick your cervix, causing vaginal pain.
- Cervix Dilating- As your cervix begins to dilate you may experience pain in your vagina.
- Varicose Veins- Varicose Veins can occur inside the vagina and are quite painful.
- Thrombosis- baby can pinch on a vein causing pain in the vagina.
- Labor Contractions and Childbirth.
Treatment for Vaginal Pain during Pregnancy
- See the section about round ligament pain.
- Wear support pantyhose.
- Lay down and elevate your legs and feet.
- Take a warm bath.
When to Call Your Doctor
- You are having severe pain or think you might be in labor.
- You have abnormal vaginal discharge.
- You are have a fever accompanied by pain.