Does Your Vagina Get Thicker During Pregnancy?

Many pregnancy symptoms catch you by surprise. So if you're pregnant and shocked to find yourself wondering about the thickness of your vagina instead of, I don't know, shopping for super-cute onesies, I hear you. But does your vagina become thicker during pregnancy? Keep in mind that the vagina is a complicated place.

First, if you're feeling thickness (or concerned about potentially feeling it), remind yourself of the anatomy. Are you worried about vaginal lips, walls, or the whole darn thing (up to and including the vulva, the larger lips that protect it all)? Because there's a lot going on down there.

The Bump noted that vaginal lips actually do get bigger during pregnancy, usually not a lot, and most likely not until you're pretty close to your due date. This swelling is the result of increased blood flow to the uterus and placenta, and no cause for concern. Uncomfortable? Probably. Normal? For sure.

Now, about the vulva.

In my experience, if you have a pregnancy question, like: why do I feel crazy tired all the time? Or, what's up with all this discharge? The answer usually boils down to one of two things — increased blood flow, or blasting hormones (or both). During pregnancy, blood volume increases so much that back in the day, when a well-stocked CVS was harder to find and pregnancy tests involved injecting urine into animals, your first pregnancy clue might have been Chadwick's sign (think blue and purple genitals), likely accompanied by swelling.

So, hormones or blood flow? As usual, it's a bit of both. Mostly though, a colorful vulva is the result of all that extra fluid flowing through your veins. But don't worry. According to Parents, your crotch may feel more swollen during pregnancy than it actually is.

What about the interior decorating? Vaginal walls thicken shortly after conception, and this thickening is also likely responsible for any increased discharge. (And there will be discharge. Sorry.)

Your mother warned you about swollen feet, and your best friend warned you about chubby, swollen fingers. Did anyone warn your about vaginal swelling? Probably not. In their defense, it's a tough subject to bring up in casual conversation, right?

Bottom line: a feeling of vaginal thickening isn't anything to worry about — though if you're in pain, you should always call your doctor.

If that thicker feeling still weirds you out, repeat after me: millions of women are going through the same exact thing, even if they're not talking about it. Maybe they don't want to ruin the surprise?