Pregnancy can change your body in a ton of unexpected ways. Your hormones can make a huge impact and lead to excess facial hair, skin issues, all kinds of swelling, and even changes in your sense of smell and taste. The one thing you don’t hear much about is the vaginal changes you go through during pregnancy. While some women have an abundance of vaginal discharge, many often find it in low supply. If your nether regions are as dry as a desert, you may want to know how to cure vaginal dryness during pregnancy.
In an interview with Romper, Dr. Yen H. Tran, DO, OB-GYN, from Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California says that if you are pregnant and suffering from vaginal dryness, you can take a long relaxing bath, a sitz bath, or use a moisturizer. She adds that drinking plenty of water can help, too. It’s important to keep yourself well hydrated and avoid taking in too much caffeine or other foods that can dehydrate you. According to Pregnant Naturally, cervical mucus is 90 percent water, so drinking enough throughout the day should help keep your mucus production on track.
If you are feeling a little dry down there, you can blame it on your pregnancy hormones. According to Parents, during pregnancy your hormones can fluctuate rapidly, causing some amounts of vaginal dryness or irritation. Progesterone levels can also play a part. If your progesterone levels fall low during pregnancy, explained Healthline, you may experience vaginal dryness, along with other symptoms including low blood sugar, fatigue, spotting, abdominal pain, and tender breasts.
All women and all pregnancies are different, and the fluctuation in hormones affect them in different ways. Most pregnant women actually don’t suffer vaginal dryness because of this hormonal change, explains G. Thomas Ruiz, M.D., OB-GYN at Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California. Dr. Mary O’Toole, an OB-GYN with MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center in Laguna Hills, California, adds that the majority of pregnant women actually notice more secretions, and not really dryness. That being said, if you are suffering from dryness, O’Toole tells Romper that you can go ahead and use an ointment like Aquaphor or natural oil like coconut oil safely.
Believe it or not, there are also certain exercises you can do to combat your vaginal dryness. 34 Menopause Symptoms suggested that doing pelvic exercises, known as Kegels, can increase the blood flow to your vagina. The article also recommended trying other light physical activities like jogging or swimming to get your blood flowing, as long as you have your doctor’s approval.
If you are too dry to participate in sexual activity, Ruiz recommends using a lubricant. Just keep in mind that there are certain lubricants you should avoid during pregnancy. According to Parents, it’s a good idea to steer clear of lubes that contain any kind of glycerins, parabens, fragrances, flavors, or sugars, because they can end up causing a yeast infection or irritate your vaginal tissue. The article noted that silicone or oil-based lubes can also mess with the pH balance of your vagina, which could put you at a higher risk of infection.
It seems that for sexual activity, whether it be alone or with a partner, using a water-based lubricant is the best option. Birth and postpartum doula and founder of Birth Your Own Way, Liza Maltz, tells Romper that there are safe lubricant options you can use during pregnancy. She says that while many women have excess discharge during pregnancy, some may feel drier than others, in which case water-based lubricants should be safe to use.
While vaginal dryness can be annoying, if it is accompanied by pain or spotting, make sure you to give your OB-GYN, midwife, or doula a call. They can evaluate your condition, and advise you on the best remedies or treatment for your specific situation.
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