From a facial hair to a leaky bladder, MH speaks to the experts about some of the most embarrassing pregnancy symptoms and how to deal with them.
WORDS CHRISTEL GERALYN GOMES
If you’ve been pregnant awhile, you’ll know that pregnancy comes with a whole host of sometimes unexpected symptoms. Each woman will experience pregnancy differently and we’ve compiled a list of the most embarrassing and most common. Read what the experts have to say!
Pregnant women sometimes experience hair growing on the face, boobs and other unwanted areas. According to Dr Tan Siew Kiang, specialist in dermatology and consultant at Raffles Skin & Aesthetics, most pregnant women develop some degree of hirsutism – unwanted male-pattern hair growth. It is usually more pronounced on the face, such as on the upper lips, chin and cheeks, but, the arms, legs, chest and back can also get it.
“Excessive hair growth is a result of hormonal fluctuations – increased in ovarian and placental androgen secretions, and this usually regresses spontaneously within six months postpartum,” says the doctor.
You can safely tweeze, shave or wax, but stay away from laser and IPL hair removal
during pregnancy as darkening of the skin after these procedures may be
a side-effect if done during pregnancy.
On the flipside, a happy side effect is that some women may find that the hair on their scalp has gotten thicker. “During pregnancy, higher levels of oestrogen slow down the hair’s conversion from growth phase to resting phase, resulting in less hair shedding. Postpartum, a greater than usual number of hairs enter the resting phase thus leading to hair shedding in one to five months, but that ceases within 15 months,” says Dr Tan.
If you’re in your first trimester and feel like your vagina is leaking all the time or at least more than usual, fret not because this is a fairly common symptom. “It is common to have vaginal discharge during pregnancy and some women may notice more discharge than usual. However, it is important to let your gynaecologist know, so as to exclude infection or premature rupture of membranes (water bag leakage). Most of the time if there is no blood, is odourless and non-itchy, it is normal and due to increasing hormone production and increased blood flow to the vagina in pregnancy,” says Dr Ong Xiaohui, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Hsuan & Xiaohui OG Clinic, Thomson Medical Centre.
Lost Sexual Desire
If sex has become the last thing on your mind since you became pregnant don’t beat yourself up over it. On the other hand, if you’ve been suddenly feeling friskier than usual, that’s also normal. Pin both situations down to hormonal fluctuations and changes – both psychologically and physically that are inevitable during pregnancy. What you should know is that sex is perfectly safe if you’re having an uncomplicated pregnancy.
Whatever your symptom, don’t fret about confiding in your doctor – remember, they’ve probably seen it and heard it all!