A pregnant woman’s body goes through a lot of hormonal changes which will affect her vaginal discharge and will result in a strong feminine odor. Certain odors during pregnancy are normal but sometimes there is a strong fishy smell which might be a sign of an infection.
If a woman continues to have a strong feminine odor during her pregnancy, she needs to see her doctor who will determine if it is an infection or not. If the cause of the odor is not an infection there are a number of ways to treat it without harming the baby.
A woman will experience vaginal discharges which might result in a strong feminine odor during different phases of her pregnancy. The first phase is normally during early pregnancy in which there is an increase in her vaginal discharge which is normally a white runny discharge which is the body’s way of cleaning out the vagina to prevent harmful bacteria from harming the baby.
As her pregnancy progresses, the vaginal discharge will become heavier and thicker which will eventually lead to a large amount of jelly-like discharge in the last few weeks of her pregnancy. Sometimes this jelly-like might include some blood which is normally a sign that she might deliver within the next twenty four hours. Finally, when the amniotic sac breaks, just before a woman gives birth, it will result in a large amount of vaginal discharge. All of these discharges might result in a strong feminine odor.
Vaginal discharges are normal during pregnancy and can be quite helpful but normal, healthy vaginal discharges do not have a strong smell. If the discharges have strong smells, or have blood in them, or are like cottage cheese, or smell like yeast, or are yellow or greenish in color, result in itching and inflammation and result in pain during sexual intercourse and urination.
All of the above are signs that something is wrong. Most of the time, the cause of a strong feminine odor might be an infection such as yeast infection or bacterial vaginitis. Yeast is present in the vagina but its balance in the vagina is normally disturbed by changes in hormones that occur during pregnancy. The yeast fungus in the vagina grows out of control resulting in itching of the vagina and a strong feminine odor that smells like yeast or bread. Additional information can be found here.
When the pH balance of the vagina is disrupted, the result is bacterial vaginitis which is the number one cause of the fishy feminine odor of vaginal discharges. This infection results in sever itching, burning, pain, and inflammation. The pain and burning normally occurs during sexual intercourse and urination.
A yeast infection is not harmful to the baby but it is necessary to treat it immediately by using an anti-fungal cream which needs to be prescribed by the doctor. This is very important because over the counter remedies can be harmful to the baby. Only what the doctor approves should be used.
Bacterial vaginitis on the other hand can cause serious complications for the baby. It can result in underweight babies and preterm labor. This is why it is very important for a woman to seek immediate medical attention if she notices a strong feminine odor. It might just be bacterial vaginitis which will need to be treated as soon as possible. It is normally cured by antibiotics which should be prescribed by the doctor to prevent harm to the child.
Sometimes the strong feminine order might not be caused by an infection. In such cases, women are advised to wear and change white cotton underwear often, to use panty liners without a scent, to avoid soaps with a scent or scented feminine sprays, to shower more often using a mild soap and clean water to wash the exterior of the vagina, and to use unscented wipes after urination. They can also keep their pubic hair short to prevent a bad feminine odor during pregnancy.