Vaginal Odor during Pregnancy: Is it a Serious Problem?

Vaginal Odor during PregnancyBad vaginal odor during pregnancy can be one of the many changes that happen in the body during those important nine months.  Many women worry that an unpleasant odor, or other changes in vaginal conditions, can be a sign of something that may harm their baby.  There are a few tricks you can use to determine what the cause of your vaginal odor is, and whether it’s a serious problem.

Check for infection symptoms
Vaginal odor during pregnancy could indicate an infection.  Depending on the type of infection, there is a risk of complications.  The two most common types of infections women contract during pregnancy are a yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis.  With a yeast infection, the main symptom is a thick, white discharge that has the texture of cottage cheese.  The presence of this discharge will easily clue you in to what kind of infection you have.  Luckily, a yeast infection rarely present a problem to your growing baby.  They should, however, be treated as soon as possible for your own health.

Bacterial infections, like bacterial vaginosis, are a little trickier.  They’re a more common cause of odor than yeast infections.  The odor experienced during a bacterial infection smells like fish, and is particularly strong after sex.  Bacterial vaginosis can cause complications with childbirth, including premature delivery and low birth weight.  Because of the risk of complications, bacterial vaginosis should be treated as soon as possible.

Maintain good hygiene
It might be hard to reach your vagina around a big baby bump, but not washing regularly can lead to vaginal odor during pregnancy.  If you’ve already ruled out an infection, the cause of odor could be as simple as this.  You should be washing the area around your vagina once daily with a gentle, unscented soap.  Douching isn’t recommended.

Eliminate irritants
Like poor hygiene, chemical irritants can cause vaginal odor whether the woman is pregnant or not, but the stress of pregnancy means little things like this often escape notice.  Few women think of irritants as something that could cause vaginal odor.  When the vagina is irritated, it typically produces more discharge in an attempt to rid itself of the irritation.  An unpleasant vaginal odor can be a result of this increased discharge.  Make sure your toilet paper doesn’t contain any fragrances or dyes.  Do the same with any feminine hygiene products you might be using, although this is often less of a problem for pregnant women who aren’t getting their periods.  Other possible culprits are bubble bath or any scented soap, feminine wipes, and laundry detergent.  Switching to a gentler variety should solve the problem.

What if none of these eliminate odor?
If you’ve tried all the things listed above and are still experiencing vaginal odor during pregnancy, you may want to see a doctor to make sure it isn’t anything serious.  Sometimes odor can simply result from hormonal changes or stress associated with the pregnancy process, but it’s better to be sure.  The health of your baby is worth it.

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