Are you worried about feeling increased pressure in the vaginal area? You can probably pinpoint a reason why you experience this pressure when you are pregnant, but why do you experience it when you are not pregnant? A number of issues may cause vaginal pressure and other issues. Keep reading to discover more.
Pressure in Vaginal Area, What Could It Be?
More than 80% of women feel pelvic pain at some point during pregnancy. Most of them experience it in their final trimester because the pressure on the pelvic region is quite intense at that time. Once your baby drops into the pelvic area just before labor starts, the pressure in vaginal area becomes even more noticeable.
How does it feel?
It feels like cramps to have pressure in the rectum and pelvic area. You may experience groin pain with persistent backache. For pelvic pain, the symptoms include difficulty when walking and wrenching pain in the area.
Why does it happen?
The main reason you feel pressure in vaginal area during pregnancy is the growing size and weight of your baby. As time passes, your baby burrows deeper into your pelvic to get ready for delivery. That little head of your baby will start pressing against your hips, bladder, and pelvis, which will increase stress on the joints, bones, and muscles in your back and pelvis. Once your baby “drops”, it takes pressure off your lungs and diaphragm, so you can finally take deeper breaths.
What can you do about it?
- Perform some pelvic exercises, such as pelvic tilts.
- Take plenty of rest and try to relax with your hips elevated.
- Buy a belly sling, which is made of elastic fiber and supports your belly to reduce pressure.
- See a therapist to get a prenatal massage or try alternative therapies.
- Try acupuncture to deal with pregnancy problems including pelvic pain.
- Talk to your doctor and ask for pain relievers you can use safely during pregnancy.
2. Pelvic Floor Disorders
It is rather obvious to understand why you experience pressure in vaginal area when you are pregnant. It is not that straightforward to pinpoint exactly what causes pressure in your pelvic and vaginal area when you are not pregnant. It may happen due to a condition called pelvic floor disorders.
What are the symptoms?
You experience symptoms when you are straining, upright, or coughing. You may find sexual intercourse a bit painful as well. You do not experience serious symptoms in mild cases, but it becomes more prominent as you become old. The most common symptoms include pressure in the pelvis or vagina, a lump at the opening of your vagina, and recurrent urinary tract infections. You experience some pain relief when you lie down.
How many types of pelvic floor disorders are there?
There are differenttypes of pelvic support problems. This depends on the organ that bulges into your vagina. For instance:
- Cystocele (bladder): You experience this when your bladder bulges into your vagina. You will notice a bulge in your vagina with difficulty emptying your bladder completely.
- Rectocele (rectum): It occurs when the rectum bulges into the vagina and makes it difficult to evacuate completely during bowel movements. You are more likely to have small, frequent bowel movements in this case.
- Urethrocele (urethra): It occurs when urethra bulges into your vagina. You may experience stress urinary incontinence.
- Uterine prolapse (uterus): You experience this when your uterus and cervix push down into the vagina.
- Vault prolapse: This refers to the top of your vagina falling into your vagina. This usually happens after you have had a hysterectomy.
How is it treated?
Your doctor will consider your symptoms and then determine the exact cause of pressure in vaginal area to select the most appropriate treatment option. Your treatment may include:
- Diet: You will have to decrease intake of caffeine if you are dealing with urinary leakage. It is also important to maintain a healthy body weight to prevent pelvic floor problems.
- Exercise: Maintain an active lifestyle and perform Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles that support your internal organs, including the bladder, uterus, and intestines.
- Pessary: Consider placing a pessary in your vagina to support your rectum, bladder, and uterus. It is quite like a ring and is easy to insert into your vagina. It provides support and relieves pain until you are ready for surgery. Some women decide to use a pessary on an ongoing basis to avoid surgery.
- Medications: You may consider making use of vaginal estrogen creams that provide support to your pelvic floor especially after menopause.
- Surgery: When other options do not work, you may have to consider going for a surgical procedure.
3. Pelvic Pain (Pelvic Congestion Syndrome)
You usually feel a dull ache but it becomes worse at the end of the day. The pain gets better when you lie down for some time. You may experience painful intercourse and notice your pain become worse after sexual intercourse. With pelvic congestion syndrome, you will also experience aches in the legs, low back pain, and abnormal vaginal bleeding. Some women even experience watery discharge from the vagina with some other symptoms such as headaches, mood swings, fatigue, and abdominal bloating.
What causes pelvic pain?
You experience pain in this area due to many different reasons, including endometriosis, chronic pelvic inflammatory disease, fibroids, interstitial cystitis, and digestive diseases such as diverticulitis and diverticulosis. See your doctor immediately to identify what is causing problems in your case.
How to treat it?
You may find physical therapy quite useful to relieve pressure in vaginal area. Your therapy may include strengthening and stretching exercises. Trigger point therapy is also effective – it involves applying pressure to trigger points on your pelvic floor to relax them. Here are some other treatment options:
- Medications: Your doctor may give you anti-inflammatory drugs or other pain relievers to manage pain. They may also prescribe antidepressants and muscle relaxers to help you deal with pain and discomfort.
- Topical anesthetics: You have to apply these anesthetics to the vulva. They are usually combined with topical estrogen.
- Peripheral nerve block: This treatment option involves giving patients an injection to a group of nerves that causes pain.
In some cases, your doctor opts for Botox injections to weaken the muscles and prevent spasms. Trigger point injections are also available – they contain multiple anesthetics and are injected into the trigger points on your pelvic floor. Sacral nerve stimulation is another effective technique in which your doctor implants a device in your lower abdomen to stimulate the sacral nerves. The use of acupuncture needles is another option available to reduce pain.