Why Is My Vagina Swollen?

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If you've read our blogs before, you know that we like to get real.

And getting real means we answer the questions that we know people are thinking (or Googling) but may not want to actually say out loud.

So, let's talk about it.

 "I'm 8 months pregnant and my vagina (and/or vulva) is so incredibly swollen. Why?!?"

Every person and every pregnancy is very different. We all experience different symptoms of pregnancy- but this is one that is not as uncommon as you may think. It's just not discussed very often. But then came PNW Doulas... and we discuss everything.

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"It felt like there was a hot dog between my legs."

Swelling in pregnancy isn't just for your ankles. One of the causes of swelling appears to be the increased blood supply during pregnancy. With the amount of blood already working it's way through your nether-regions, 50% more seems like it has the potential to cause some trouble. 

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"You know those fish that puff up when they're scared? The swelling came on so suddenly!"

What happens during your first pregnancy isn't always true for your next pregnancy. The muscles around your vulva area may be a little weaker or more stretched with subsequent pregnancies- allowing more swelling to take place. (And the thought of sex while that swollen may sound a bit like a form of torture.)

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"The circulation was so bad that my lady bits turned a dark red/purple."

Varicose veins aren't just for legs. During pregnancy, the combination of extra weight from your uterus, hormones, and higher blood volume can lead to vulvar varicose veins. Research shows that happens to about 10% of women. (In other words- you're far from alone in the swollen hoo-ha issue.)

Some comfort ideas for your swollen va-jay-jay: 

  • Support garments - to hold things up.

  • Ice - to reduce swelling and stop the "it's gonna explode" feeling.

  • Lay down with your feet up - to reduce blood flow to the area.

  • Sleep with a pillow between your legs - to allow for better circulation.

  • Change positions frequently.

As always, if you feel that something is not right (or other symptoms accompany the swelling), please contact your medical provider. You know your body the very best.