We know what you are thinking? Yuck, right. Here you are pregnant and beautiful and glowing, and ‘smelly’? You knew that pregnancy was going to change things, but you may not have prepared yourself for the unpleasant side effect of vaginal odor. And now, every time you go to your prenatal visit, not only do you have to get used to being disrobed and poked and prodded, but you are concerned you are going to knock your provider out with your ‘vaginal odor.’
Vaginal odor during pregnancy is actually quite normal. Of course, if you begin to notice a pungent odor that is present with a chunky discharge, itching, irritation or pain – your best course of action is to contact your health provider. With increased hormone production (yep, its always the hormones) and increased moisture in the vaginal area – you may run a higher risk of vaginal yeast infections, or bacterial infections. And if a yeast infection is the source of the odor, your doctor is the best person to give you advice on how to handle it. They will also perform tests to make sure that the infection is not something more than a yeast infection.
Even so, around 65% of all women report that they have an odor, from strong to light – that seems to coincide with pregnancy. And many women are embarrassed about it. First of all, realize this: Your OBGYN or prenatal provider has literally seen, heard and smelled it all. They are in the business of vaginas, and taking care of women. So while you may feel embarrassed, there is no reason to be. Chances are you aren’t the first women to walk into the exam room horrified that your vaginal smell is going to make the doctor gag. It won’t (Pinky swear promise!).
Secondly, if all your tests come back negative – for yeast infections, bacterial infections and STD’s – it may just be the hormonal changes that are causing the smell. If this just showed up during pregnancy – chances are it will also go away once your baby is born. In the meantime, staying as dry as possible, changing your underwear frequently, wearing cotton underwear, using light pads and even carrying feminine wipes may help you to feel less self conscious. Thirdly, realize that while you may think everyone can ‘smell’ you – they can’t. Seriously, how often have you ever smelled another woman’s vaginal odor while she was fully clothed walking around the grocery store? Never, right. So try to shake it off as much as possible. As long as you have taken steps and have been checked out by your doctor – you will likely just have to wait it out.
In some cases, it may be the foods that you eat or the spices you use that are causing the smell. With increased secretions of the vaginal area and the sebaceous sweat glands during pregnancy, the foods and spices synthesized by your skin can often be the culprit. So if you eat a lot of spicy foods – try altering your diet.
Written By Stef, Mom of 4 @Momspirational
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2013. All rights reserved.