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Itching During Pregnancy

Pregnancy itching can range from a slight to severe, can be caused by many different things, and can affect many different areas on a woman’s body.

Itching during pregnancy is quite normal. The most common cause is dry skin, also known as xerosis, which can be caused by not staying well hydrated. Xerosis can be treated by increasing daily water intake and rubbing lotion on the itchy areas.

Other causes of itchy skin include a liver abnormality called intrahepatic (within the liver) cholestasis (pooling of bile salts) of pregnancy, chicken pox, Fifth’s disease, or even a possible reaction to prenatal vitamins or a new medication. If you have a rash that will not go away, or is accompanied by a fever, you should consult your doctor.

Some women may experience some vaginal itching during pregnancy. This itching can be caused by a sexually transmitted disease, or an infection, but is more commonly caused by the change in your vaginal PH level. Yeast infections during pregnancy are also very common and can be the cause of moderate to severe itching.

What Can You Do?
Before trying to treat vaginal itching with over the counter or home remedies, you should consult your doctor or midwife to rule out the possibility of any STDs. If it is determined that your itching is being caused by a change in your PH level, there are several things you can do to try to relieve the itch.

  • Run a bath and add baking soda to it
  • Make a paste of baking soda and water to put on the itchy areas
  • Place a cold compress on the itchy area

Preventing Vaginal Itching
There are many things you can try to do to help prevent the vaginal itching from starting or returning during your pregnancy.

  • Keep yourself clean and dry
  • Always wipe from front to back to keep bacteria away from your vagina
  • Refrain from douching
  • Use scentless detergents
  • Wear loose clothing and cotton panties
  • Take warm baths free of perfumed bubble bath, and use soap for sensitive skin to wash

If you still experience recurrent itching, whether on your belly, arms, legs or vaginal, consult your doctor to discuss other causes of itchy skin and what you can do about it.

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