What can you do when discomfort includes sharp pain in the vagina during early pregnancy? This is a dilemma shared by many expecting moms. Looking at the possible causes and remedies can be quite beneficial, especially if you are not aware of what to expect during those first few weeks or even if this pregnancy is "different" than your last one.
There are many possible explanations for sharp vaginal pain in the early stages of pregnancy. Most of these result from the changes that your body goes through to make way for a growing baby. Another important factor to remember is the change in hormone levels that cause the stretching of the uterus.
The following conditions contribute to this type of the pain:
- Cramping - This happens because the muscle tissue in the uterus and its surrounding area stretches throughout the duration of the pregnancy to make room for the growing baby.
- Pressure from the baby - During the second trimester, the baby is growing at a rapid pace and therefore might add pressure on the lower pubic area. This affects the nerves and muscles in the vaginal area. In this situation, the pain might last for a longer period of time or suddenly stop if the baby changes positions.
- Ingrown Pubic Hair - If you continued the practice of waxing or shaving the pubic area during pregnancy, you might notice that hormone changes cause hair to grow back faster than before. Plus, during pregnancy, you will sweat more; so keeping clean and watching for any skin changes is very important.
- Urinary Tract or Yeast Infection - Pain that results from an infection varies from just one spot to the entire pelvic region. For the most part, a UTI or even a yeast infection are preventable by maintaining some healthy habits, like drinking plenty of water. Anytime you experience vaginal burning or itching, or painful urination, you should call your obstetrician immediately.
- Swelling due to Increased Blood Flow - Considering the changes during pregnancy, you can expect blood circulation to increase to provide nourishment for the baby. Therefore, because most of the blood flow is routed toward the uterus, you could expect some slight swelling in the vaginal area. This swelling causes the vagina to become very sensitive.
- Vaginitis - This inflammation can also be brought on by hormone changes triggered by pregnancy, which can alter the bacterial environment in this area.
Why You Shouldn't Panic
In most cases, sharp pain in the vagina during early pregnancy is nothing to be alarmed about. As mentioned, the pain is caused by changes that are perfectly normal as the baby develops.
Furthermore, the intensity of the pain is going to change with each trimester.
In any case, you should listen to what your body is telling you and don’t be afraid to ask your doctor any questions if something seems out of the ordinary. It’s always better to get the answers and reassurance that you need.
How to Lessen the Pain or Deal with the Discomfort
In spite of some of the vast changes that your body will go through during the early stages of pregnancy, you can still manage most discomforts that come your way. Here are some ideas that might help alleviate sharp vaginal pain.
- Kegel Exercises - Doctors often recommend these exercises after childbirth since they strengthen the muscles that surround the area between the vagina and anus. They can also be helpful before your due date when dealing with vaginal soreness.
- Warm Shower - The warm water, especially before turning in for the evening, can relax all tense muscles and help you to fall asleep more easily.
- Gentle Stretching Exercises - If you are experiencing a normal pregnancy with no complications, some easy stretching relieve muscle pain and also help release tension. Plus, you would gain some great muscle conditioning to better prepare for labor.
- Getting Adequate Rest - During the day, if you are hurting, try to sit down for a few minutes or even lay down on your left side for a short while until the pain stops. At night, you should try to get at least eight hours of sleep. You will need the rest to prepare for upcoming weeks ahead.
- Cold Pack - If you place a cold pack on your pelvic region while sitting or lying down, the cooler temperature will sooth inflammation to ease the pain.
- Sexual Intercourse - Believe it or not, this activity will relieve vaginal pain unless the cause of it is an infection or if your obstetrician advises against intercourse due to complications with the pregnancy. In that case, you would need to heed your physician’s advice.
- Over-the-Counter Medication - Again, under the close supervision of your doctor and as a last resort, you might try some mild over-the-counter pain relievers and only the smallest dose possible.
[ Read : How to Maintain Your Health during Pregnancy ]
So as you can see, there are many options to choose from in relation to dealing with vaginal pain or irritation. You would simply need to explore the choice that works best for you while following your doctor’s orders, but one thing to remember is that the memory of the soreness will pale in comparison to the joy of your new little arrival.
When You Should Notify Your Practitioner
Nonetheless, you should contact your doctor for any or all of the following symptoms:
- If the pain level intensifies or “travels.”
- If the pain is accompanied by fever and/or chills (this can indicate an infection)
- If spotting or bleeding occurs
- If you find a bright yellowish, dark brownish or a green discharge
Basically, you will have to come to terms with a certain amount of cramping or soreness during early pregnancy as your body adjusts to the new little life growing within you. However, remember that you are not helpless against the changes, there are ways to cope:
- Practice some light stretches to relieve pain and condition your body for labor.
- Get plenty of rest and do not over exert, if possible. Listen to what your body tells you.
- Contact your obstetrician if you have any concerns. That’s what he or she is there for.
All in all, most discomfort can be blamed on hormone changes and internal muscles stretching, but there are many options for relief from light exercise to getting some rest until the pain subsides. Please feel free to comment if you have any questions on this topic.