How to Deal with Itching in Pregnancy ?

by Tanvi Kaushik
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How to Deal with Itching in Pregnancy? Pregnancy comes with lots of responsibilities and medical problems. From mood swings to various medical conditions, anything can happen during pregnancy. Lots of changes take place in a single human body. The changes could be emotional, mental or physical. Emotional changes can be tackled very easily but some medical problems are the reason to worry and it is advised that if you feel any abnormal change in your body during this period, consult a doctor as soon as possible.

Among those problems, one could be itching. Although mild itching is very common in most of the pregnancy cases if it becomes severe then it is a reason for concern. Generally, the mild itching is due to the supply of blood which increases in pregnancy or maybe because the skin stretches but if you are having a lot of itching then it may be due to some serious liver condition which is called CHOLESTASIS that occurs only in pregnancy.

What is cholestasis of pregnancy?

Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy or ICP is a condition in the liver in which the normal flow of bile is affected by the increases amounts of pregnancy hormones. It occurs in about 1 out of 1000 pregnancies during the third trimester of pregnancy. It is diagnosed when the total bile acids are measured at  10 micromole/L and above. It can also be due to some hereditarical conditions.

pregnancy sleeping positions 2

 Symptoms:

  1. Itching (mainly on hands and feet)
  2. Jaundice
  3. Fatigue
  4. Dark urine color
  5. Loss of appetite
  6. Depression

Effects/Risks:-

It may increase the risks for fetal distress, the birth of a premature baby or stillbirth.

Treatment:-

If itching is mild:
  1. Try wearing loose and cotton clothes so that they do not stick on the body or irritate the body.
  2. Apply moisturizer daily so that skin can be moisturized all day long.
If itching is due to ICP:

Normal methods-

  1. Cold or iced water slow down the flow of blood in the body by decreasing temperature so try taking cold bath if possible.
  2. Take Vitamin K supplement as it is necessary for proper blood clotting.
  3. Try using Calamine lotion as it is seen beneficial in severe itching.

Medications-

  1. Regular blood tests to determine liver function and bile serum levels
  2. Ursodeoxycholic acid may work to decrease the concentration of bile acids.
  3. Medicines with corticosteroids may work.
  4. Dexamethasone is a steroid which can increase the maturity of the baby’s lungs.
  5. Weekly tests which involve fetal heart monitoring.

But before taking any medication always consult a doctor first.

Despite having the above problems one can also face problem down there which is called vaginal itching.

What is vaginal itching?

Vaginal itching may be because of an increase in vaginal discharge during pregnancy which can cause irritation around the vagina. It may be due to excessive sweating or it could be due to some various infections like a yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, sensitivity to products or a UTI.

Treatment:-

Consult a doctor as soon as you feel severe itching in your vaginal area or if you see abnormal discharge during pregnancy.

Some natural treatments include-
  1. By soaking baking soda in your bucket before bathing which can soothe your itching
  2. Cold bath may also help reduce itching
  3. Eliminate the products like soaps or body wash if you think it is because of them
Preventions:-
  1. Wear undergarments made up of cotton so your skin inside it can breathe.
  2. Maintain your vaginal pH.
  3. Avoid using products that contain chemicals or scents.
  4. Be hygiene conscious. Wipe front to back after going to the bathroom.
  5. Try reducing your stress level.
  6. Perform prenatal yoga, meditation or deep breathing.
  7. Eat healthy like more and more yogurt.
  8. Don’t use vaginal douches.

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