We reveal the gross pregnancy side effects no one talks about and how to deal with them.
You’ve probably heard all about the good pregnancy symptoms, such as bigger boobs, glowing skin and no periods (woohoo!). More troublesome ones like morning sickness, back aches and cankles might be on your radar too. But don’t worry if you’re experiencing some side effects that you’ve never heard about and would be well, too embarrassing to share. They’re a lot more common than you think and we’ve got tips to provide some relief.
You might get hairier
Your overactive hormones can cause your hair to grow much faster, as well as in new and embarrassing places. Unfortunately, you might have to bear with this hairier state throughout your pregnancy but it’s something a good waxing salon can fix.
You might have digestive problems
This affects many women because the increase in hormones causes your stomach muscles to relax, which can slow things down in your digestive tract. As your baby grows, pressure is also exerted on your bowels, causing more problems. Constipation, gas, bloating, burping and flatulence are likely. Drink lots of water, up your fibre intake with 5–7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day and keep up the exercise. Massaging your tummy might also help to get things going.
You might drool uncontrollably
Nobody knows why but some women produce more saliva when they’re pregnant. If this happens to you, brush your teeth more often, chew some sugar-free gum to keep your mouth dry and drape a towel over your pillow at night.
You’ll have more vaginal discharge
Once again, you have your hormones to thank for stimulating the extra clear to yellowish discharge. It does help to flush out bacteria from the vagina so at least your body isn’t doing it just for fun. Don’t douche or use a tampon because that can cause other problems. Just wear a light panty liner to keep yourself fresh.
Your gums might bleed
Red, swollen, tender gums that bleed when you brush or floss is common among pregnant women and is known as pregnancy gingivitis. Your gums become more sensitive to bacteria in plaque so dental hygiene is even more important than usual. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush twice a day, floss daily and see your dentist regularly.
You might have haemorrhoids
Haemorrhoids are veins around your rectum that get swollen, itchy and sometimes painful. They’re caused by the increase in blood flow to the uterus, pressure from your growing uterus or constipation. The best way to avoid haemorrhoids is to prevent constipation by eating more fibre and drinking lots of water. Don’t wait if you need poop, try not to strain when moving your bowels and don’t linger on the toilet because these put more pressure on the area. Don’t sit for long hours, especially if you have a desk job. Get up every now and then to walk around. When you’re at home, lie on your left side to take the pressure off your rectal veins and help the blood flow back from your lower body.
You might have itchy skin
As your skin stretches to accommodate your growing belly and breasts, it may become dry and itchy. Apply moisturiser liberally after a shower and switch to a mild soap that won’t strip away your skin’s natural oils.
You might get nosebleeds
Pregnancy makes the blood vessels in your nose expand and with your increased blood supply putting more pressure on the delicate vessels, your blood vessels might rupture more often. To prevent nosebleeds, lubricate your nostrils with petroleum jelly, blow your nose gently and go easy on nasal sprays or decongestants.
While many of these symptoms can be annoying and uncomfortable, it’s unlikely you’ll find yourself affected by all of them. If you are experiencing some of them, just remember that many other women have gone through the same discomfort and we promise that it’ll all be over soon, so hang in there!