As soon as you receive your pregnancy confirmation, you know what’s in store for you. Morning sickness, weight gain, sleepless nights are just what you have heard over and over again. But there are lesser discussed details that you might not be aware of and might scare you if you happen to have one of these symptoms, know for sure that it is normal, and there is nothing you need to worry about:
About 20% women experience spotting mostly during their first trimester (1). Spotting mostly occurs because blood is pumped into the cervix in higher volume. In a few cases, spotting is the result of embryo implantation in the lining of the uterus. An implantation bleeding can usually happen in the first two weeks after fertilization. Spotting might be characterized by brown or light pink blood which is normal, but if it is bright red or heavy as in your periods, then it is time to talk to your doctor because it could also be a symptom of a miscarriage. However, good news is that 50% of women who have bleeding during pregnancy can have successful pregnancies.
2. Increase In Vaginal Discharge:
It is common to have excess vaginal discharge because of the hormonal changes that happen during pregnancy. It is the act of hormones that make the vaginal glands secrete in greater volume and appear as leucorrhea. An increase in vaginal discharge is also possible when you are near your due date because the cervix is just about mature and is preparing for the process of birthing. If you see a white to light yellow discharge, it shouldn’t be much of a concern. The purpose of the vaginal discharge is to prevent any infection traveling from the vagina to the womb (2). But it if it gets itchy or emanates odor, it could be a symptom of a yeast infection. A persistent watery discharge simply means that your waters have broken, in which case you must rush to the doctor at once.
3. Skin Tags:
Around the fourth or six months of pregnancy, you can expect skin tags to develop. Skin tags are small outgrowths or excess skin that manifest in the creases of the body like your underarms, the neck, breasts or the groin (3). The reason for the skin tags to occur is not known, but there is a genetic link to it and most likely occurs due to weight gain and hormones. Skin tags become a frequent feature with age as well. Many a time skin tags fall after pregnancy, but if stay on or don’t regress, then your dermatologist will remove them off. In case you see moles or lesions, it might be a sign of a skin cancer too but is treatable during pregnancy, but you will have to let your doctor know the symptom.
4. Bleeding Gums And Bloody Noses:
Your nose and gums are hypersensitive during pregnancy. Thanks to the pregnancy hormones that increase the blood vessel supply throughout the body and make the tissues of your nose and gums sensitive. So expect bloody notice or bleeding gums while brushing your teeth. It might be a good idea to keep the environment humid. Use a saline nasal spray to keep your nasal tract moist. You gentle toothbrush and stroke gently as you clean your teeth.
5. Varicose Veins:
As your baby grows and there is surge in the blood volume, you might experience pressure on the large blood vessels making it harder for the blood to flow back to the extremities (4). The blood can accumulate and lead to varicose veins in your vulva and your legs. The condition occurs in approximately 10% of the women.
The best-recommended means to avoid the condition is by not gaining excess weight in pregnancy and going for a walk to keep up your blood circulation. More than often the condition gets better post pregnancy, but if you still feel the discomfort, you can go in for treatment. You could use ice-packs too.
If varicose veins appear in the vulva, they are most likely to disappear on their own if you had a vaginal delivery.
6. Increased Pumping In The Heart:
There is an in an increase in blood volume. Therefore your heart needs more blood to pump throughout your body. So don’t be surprised if you feel your heart is racing or even if you can hear the sound of the pumping in your ear.
7. Numbness And Tingling:
A hormone called relaxin that helps in opening your pelvis during delivery might also loosen other joints in your body too. This is what can cause a pain like that of sciatica begin in the lower back and radiates down the legs. In most cases, you can have relief from the pain through prenatal yoga or massage during pregnancy, but if you feel numbness or tingling sensation, you might as well have a herniated disc in the lower back that’s compressing the sciatic nerve. You need to treat it in time; else it could cause a nerve damage permanently.