Why Is My Labia Swollen During Pregnancy?

Why Is My Labia Swollen During Pregnancy?

So, you’re clued up about the serious fatigue, and the morning sickness… 🤢

You’ve even come to terms with the sore breasts, peeing more often, and the cravings.

(Oh, the wild and weird cravings 🤣)

But, did you know that having a swollen labia is also a pregnancy symptom? 🤯

(Quick definition: the labia is another word for the inner and outer lips at the opening of your vagina — more on this later 👇).

So, why does your labia swell, and what can you do about it?

We got you — let’s go through it all together.

In this article: 📝

  • What is a swollen labia during pregnancy?
  • Why do you get a swollen labia during pregnancy?
  • How to relieve a swollen labia in pregnancy
  • When to worry about a swollen vulva in pregnancy
  • Will my labia still be swollen after I’ve given birth?

What is a swollen labia during pregnancy?

So, first off, let’s go through the basics of what we’re dealing with.

And that comes in the form of basic vaginal anatomy. 👩‍🔬

The labia is a part of your vulva, and it refers to two sets of lips:

  • 👄 Labia minora: These are the inner lips (which may or may not be visible).
  • 👄 Labia majora: These are the larger, outer lips (the fleshy parts with pubic hair).

In pregnancy, either set of lips can become swollen.

And, sometimes, it may just be one lip, or even two lips, but just on the one side. 🤷‍♀️

They may also feel itchy, irritated, puffier, and the skin may appear darker.

Common with a swollen labia, you may also notice varicose veins (blue or purple veins) on your swollen labia

These can be caused by baby growing in your uterus and compressing these veins into your genital area.

Then, that can increase the pressure inside them, as well as pregnancy hormones having a part to play here, too.

Basically, it’s all fun and games. 😄

When would your labia start to swell in pregnancy?

It completely depends. 🤷‍♀️

Some women may start to see some swelling as early as their first trimester, but for others, it may happen as the pregnancy progresses.

Sometimes, it can happen when the baby “drops” — this is when the baby’s head moves down into position for labor.

Why do you get a swollen labia during pregnancy?

Well, firstly, not everyone does.

Although it’s fairly common, it doesn’t happen to everybody during pregnancy.

But, if you do experience some swelling, you may be wondering, why? 🙄

  • 🩸 Increased blood flow: Changes to your vulva during pregnancy can be due to an increased blood flow to the area. This happens as, while baby grows, they (rightfully so) demand more from your body.
  • 👶 Increased pressure: As your pregnancy progresses, your uterus and baby will get larger, which applies more and more pressure down there.
  • 💧 Fluid retention: Another reason could be down to excess fluid getting trapped in your body’s tissues during pregnancy, leading to swelling.
  • 🦠 Infections: Pregnancy can also spur on some unwanted yeast infections, too. 🥴 Infections like these can then cause inflammation and irritation, which could lead to your labia swelling (especially if you give into the temptation of scratching 😬).

🔍 Read More: Everything You Need To Know About Swollen Vaginas 💓

How to relieve a swollen labia in pregnancy

So, you’re well into your pregnancy, you’re dealing with a whole bunch of other symptoms, and now your vulva is playing up too?!

We hear you. 🙃

But, there are some things you can do to relieve any discomfort caused by the swelling:

  • 🦵 Keep elevated: Keeping your legs elevated above your heart is a great way to improve circulation, which can help to reduce some discomfort of swelling.
  • ❄️ Keep it cool: Use a cold pack covered in a cloth to relieve any discomfort by applying this to your vulva.
  • 🏃‍♀️ Keep it moving, girl: Now, we don’t mean you should be charging around everywhere at full speed. But, changing your position often is a great way to offer some relief from vaginal swelling. Just try not to stand/sit down in the same position for too long, as it can cause discomfort or irritation down there if it’s already swollen.
  • 🧦 Keep compression/support garments to hand: Most commonly used as stockings for varicose veins in the legs, there are products out there that give support to your vulva, too. You can also look for compression bands, support straps, or underwear which can help.
  • 👖 Keep it loose: Comfortable, loose clothing is a must if you’re suffering from the effects of a swollen labia, especially your underwear. Keep it light, loose and breezy down there!
  • 💦 Keep hydrated: Drinking water regularly can actually help to reduce fluid retention (as weird as it sounds 🤯), which would then hopefully alleviate some of the swelling if it’s caused by fluid buildup.

When to worry about a swollen vulva in pregnancy

As they can be pretty common, in most cases, a swollen labia is no cause for concern.

But, sometimes, there might be something else going on.

If your swollen labia is causing you pain or discomfort, there are treatments you could have to reduce the swelling.

This study says that treatment of a vulva edema (severe vulva swelling) is necessary, as it may be alarming, painful, and uncomfortable for the patient.

But, in most cases, the symptoms are manageable enough to not need any medical treatment.

Also, watch out for any signs of lumps or bumps in or around your vulva.

If you notice that your swollen inner lips also have a lump, this could be a vaginal boil, or Bartholin’s cyst.

This type of cyst happens when fluid is stuck in the glands on either side of your vulva.

So, in short, if something doesn’t feel right, or you spot any lumps, bumps, pus, or anything unusual, be sure to check in with the doc as soon as possible. 👩‍⚕️

Will my labia still be swollen after I’ve given birth?

Sorry, ladies — but yes, it can be. 😬

But, try not to worry — any changes that happen during pregnancy are almost always temporary.

The amount of time it’ll take for the swelling to go down depends on the cause of the swelling.

For example, if your swelling was due to fluid retention, or you’ve had varicose veins, this typically disappears within a few days or weeks after you’ve had your baby. 💦

Bartholin’s cysts, though, may take a bit longer to scram.

But, if you’ve noticed no significant improvement after around 2 weeks postpartum, be sure to get your healthcare provider to check you over.

Remember, if anything is concerning you during your pregnancy, or things just don’t feel quite right, ask your doctor about it.

In pregnancy, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!

And, you may want to speak to some like-minded women who’ve gone through it all before.

Enter, Peanut. 🥜

Join in the conversation today.


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