Vaginal Changes During Pregnancy

Submitted by Nic on January 17, 2012

During pregnancy, a number of changes take place in an expectant mother’s body. The hormonal changes in early pregnancy are responsible for most of these changes which are crucial for a successful pregnancy. On successful implantation, the pregnancy hormone hCG is released into the blood stream and based on the presence of this hormone, a pregnancy is confirmed. This hormone is also responsible for the nausea and vomiting which are two of the most common pregnancy symptoms.

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The increased production of the estrogen hormone stimulates the mucus glands in the cervix causing an increase in vaginal discharge. Estrogen is also primarily responsible for the enlargement of the breasts as they prepare for milk production.

Progesterone is responsible for the quick and deep breathing pattern observed during pregnancy. This is because it signals the brain to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the blood stream. The hormonal changes also cause fatigue, dizziness and hindered concentration. Mood swings are also a result of hormonal changes. These hormones are also responsible for indigestion, heartburn and constipation as they affect the digestive tract by slowing down the digestive process. The hormonal changes also affect the body’s ability to produce insulin and this in turn increases the chances of high sugar levels in the blood thus increasing the risks of gestational diabetes.

The increased production of cervical secretions and the increased volume of blood flow to the pelvic region are responsible for vaginal changes in early pregnancy. Most women get worried because of the constant discharge that they experience during pregnancy but this is absolutely natural. Vaginal discharge during pregnancy tends to increase towards the end of the pregnancy term as the baby’s due date nears. This is because the protective mucus plug that blocks the entrance of the uterus is expelled in the form of a thick discharge or a mucus blob in preparation for active labor. This mucus generally has traces of blood and is usually expelled after the 36th week of pregnancy. During pregnancy, vaginal infections also become common. These infections could also cause vaginal changes during pregnancy. Symptoms of infections include a change in the color and texture of vaginal discharge. A yellowish, greenish or grayish discharge with a cottage cheese-like appearance is most likely to be indicative of a vaginal infection. Infections are also accompanied by a burning or itchy sensation, experienced especially while urinating. Consulting your doctor if you have any qualm with regard to these changes is advisable.

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