Pregnancy and Vaginal Odor: When You Need To Be Concerned About The Horrid Smell
Pregnant women undergo a significant hormone change in a relatively short time period. During all pregnancy phases – early pregnancy to childbirth – the changes brought forth affect vaginal discharge, which can generate an odor.
Keep in mind that the vagina always smells of an odor; it’s when the odor smells like fish or is rather powerful that there might be trouble. If an odor during pregnancy isn’t strong and there are no possible infections, there are options to treating it that’ll keep the baby safe.
Vaginal Discharge Changes: What Does It All Mean?
There are four pregnancy-related phases that causes the discharge to become affected:
- In the beginning of pregnancy, there’s an increase of vaginal discharge due to hormonal changes and increase of blood flow to the region. Leukorrhea is a runny, white discharge that helps to protect the unborn child from harmful bacteria.
- As the pregnancy continues, the discharge becomes thicker and heavier.
- About two weeks before delivery, it’s common to see a significant amount of jelly-like substance. This is known as the mucus plug, which keeps the cervix blocked. If you see this, it typically means the cervix has begun dilating. If you notice blood or pink in the cervix, it means labor is about to begin within 24 hours.
- The amniotic fluid begins to leak before birth. If the amniotic fluid is gushing, it typically means labor has started.
Do Changes In The Discharge Mean There’s A Problem
Vaginal discharge is generally normal as well as helpful during pregnancy. However, if you notice a fish-like odor or some other bad smell emanating from the vagina, it could mean there is a problem. Should you notice these symptoms, you need to speak with your doctor right away, as infections tend to cause early labor and delivery problems. What should you watch out for?
- Discharge that’s similar in texture to cottage cheese
- Pain/discomfort during sexual activity or urinating
- Yellow/green tint discharge
- Discharge that smells like yeast
- Bloody discharge (and you’re not having your period)
- Itchiness/inflammation of vagina
Pregnant With Vaginal Odor: What Does It Mean
If you notice any of the above signs and you’ve got vaginal odor, it typically means you’ve got an infection. There are two key infections that are extremely detrimental to have during pregnancy:
- Bacterial vaginosis
- Yeast infection
Bacterial Vaginosis – This typically occurs when the vagina’s pH balance has been disrupted. Not only do you experience the fish smell but you’ll also experience sexual activity discomfort and pain, urination pain and discomfort, severe itching and inflammation.
Yeast Infections – This begins when fungus, which naturally occurs in the vagina, spirals out of control. Hormonal changes tend to disrupt the yeast’s natural balance. Yeast will also use sugar for its fuel, and the amount of sugar seen in the discharge rises during pregnancy. Yeast infections typically give off a bread-like smell in the vagina. However, they do cause discomfort, itching and inflammation.
Treatment During Pregnancy: How Can It Be Safely Done
Yeast infections, for the most part, don’t harm a baby; but, they need to be treated immediately. And, the treatment for yeast infections during pregnancy is the same as when a woman isn’t pregnant:
- Antifungal suppository or cream
It’s true that over the counter remedies will work. However, when you’re pregnant, it’s best to see what type of product the doctor suggests.
Now, if you’re diagnosed with bacterial vaginosis and pregnant, it’s imperative you seek treatment. No treatment will lead to further complications like underweight babies and preterm labor. If caught early on, treatment is easy; use strong doctor-prescribed antibiotics.
Pregnancy Vaginal Order Not Related To Infections: What You Can Do To Keep It From Happening To You
If your doctor has dismissed the possibility of infections being the cause of your mild-smelling vaginal odor, it’s probably a pregnancy-related side effect. With the six tips below, you can reduce your possibility of suffering with vaginal odor during pregnancy:
- Don’t use feminine sprays or scented soaps.
- Use panty-liners that are not scented; changing them regularly.
- Use white cotton underwear, changing them often.
- Bathe regularly using clean water and mild soap.
- After using the restroom, use unscented toilet paper or baby wipes.
- Trim your pubic hair short to maintain it.