From physical to emotional aspects, a woman undergoes a lot of changes during the nine months of pregnancy. However, many moms-to-be forget to take proper care of their intimate areas due to a lack of knowledge.
Gynaecologist Dr Anne Henderson has now shared relevant information about vaginal health during pregnancy, reports Female First.
According to Henderson, the vagina changes during pregnancy because of the "immunosuppression and the change in blood flow to the vagina".
"This is when women are much more likely to experience increased discharge, risk of infection and other intimate problems," she added.
Henderson also spoke about vaginal infections.
"The classical change at ovulation which most women, particularly those trying to get pregnant become aware of, is that there's a huge increase in discharge around ovulation. It becomes less gelatinous and more liquid. The liquid nature of the discharge helps sperm penetrate through the cervix, into the uterus to fertilize the egg. The odour will change slightly, largely because the pH level changes and the whole consistency of the mucus change.
"It is worth noting that infected discharge doesn't change. Once you've got an infection, whether it's thrush or BV, your discharge will remain consistent until you treat it; it doesn't change from day to day. If you've got thrush, it's pretty much there unless it's treated," she said.
Talking more about infection, Henderson added: "However, if you don't have an infection, due to natural hormonal changes, your discharge will frequently change; after two or three days it will change. It may get thicker, thinner, change in consistency, then it will change later on again in the cycle.
"It would be completely illogical for an infection to change unless it's actually being eradicated. So that's quite a good sign for women. If the discharge is day in, day out and it's a nuisance then the chances are it's probably an infection."
Henderson also urged women not to get anxious on seeing discharge from their vagina unless there is some pain or itching involved.
"There is a huge focus on discharge and why we have it. It is worth noting that it is quite abnormal for women to have no discharge at all. The difference is when the discharge steps across the boundary from being a healthy physiological discharge which has antibacterial and antifungal properties to when the discharge becomes more harmful.
"It sweeps bacteria away from the vagina and keeps it healthy, but problems can start when you have an overgrowth of certain bacteria or pathogens. It can be very difficult for women to understand what's physiological and doesn't need treatment and what is abnormal and does need treatment. Worries normally arise if you are suffering from symptoms such as pain, burning and itching in and around the vagina," she added.
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