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Erika Rasmusson Janes

Vaginal Itching or Swelling During Pregnancy

Got weird stuff going on down there? This could be why.

What is vaginal itching or swelling during pregnancy?

This happens when the skin in or around your vagina gets irritated (not fun!).

What might be causing my vaginal itching or swelling during pregnancy?

“This is a very common symptom during pregnancy,” says Jennifer Keller, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at The George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences. “Because there’s an increase in  vaginal discharge during pregnancy, it can cause irritation of the skin of the vulva.” So it could just be because of your discharge, or it could be a sign of an infection like a yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis,  herpes or HPV. You may also be experiencing irritation from a soap, lotion or detergent you’re using.

When should I go to the doctor with my vaginal itching or swelling during pregnancy?

You should go to the doctor if your itching or swelling doesn’t go away, or if you’re also experiencing abnormal discharge — or if you notice anything abnormal on the skin of the vulva such as ulcers, small cuts or raised bumps, Keller says.

How do I treat my vaginal itching or swelling during pregnancy?

Keller says it’s safe to use the over-the-counter treatments for a yeast infection, but you probably should see your doc before making that call. “If you treat yourself, it may make diagnosing you more difficult for your physician,” she says.

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