Vaginal Pressure or Pelvic Pressure, Discomfort, Heaviness During Pregnancy

Feeling pressure in the vagina or pelvic region as a whole can be a sign of many different things. It can be due to a disease, a pregnancy or other causes all of which shall be dealt with in this article.

What is vaginal pressure?

vaginal pressure

Pelvic pressure, at times referred to as vaginal pressure, is a feeling of discomfort, fullness or heaviness around the pelvic region. It is different from abdominal pain given that it occurs lower than abdominal pressure.

The cause of vaginal pressure will be identified by focusing on the other symptoms it has whether from a disease or a pregnancy.

Causes of pressure in the vaginal area

What causes pressure down there?

The causes of pressure in the vagina or the pelvic area are many. Identification of the specific cause will require gathering all the other signs and symptoms of this issue with a focus on finding a cure for it.

Even with that, the pressure may not need any solution as the case is during a pregnancy.

The most common causes of pressure in the vaginal area include;

1. Shingles (herpes zoster)

Shingles are blisters that appear on the body mostly on one side. They are caused by the varicella-zoster virus. This is the same virus that causes chickenpox and, after infecting the body with this disease.

The virus will live in the body then be triggered by an event mostly in the nervous system.

Among the symptoms of shingles are;

  • Muscle weakness
  • Pressure around the pelvic region
  • Headaches
  • A rash on your face and ears.
  • Fever and chills
  • Fatigue
  • A rash wrapping around the torso.
  • Blisters filled with fluids and they break easily.
  • Red patches on the skin

2. Uterine cancer

Cancer of the uterus is also known to increase the level of pressure you may feel in the abdomen. Besides this type of pelvic pressure, the other symptoms for uterine cancer include;

  • Pain in the pelvic area
  • Pain when engaging in sexual intercourse
  • Pain during urination
  • Spotting and bleeding that is not related to menstruation

3. Premature labor

Premature labor is giving birth before the 37th week of your pregnancy. Given that a normal pregnancy should take 40 weeks, an allowance is made on the lower side up to the 37th week. Anything earlier than that is premature labor or preterm labor.

You are likely to have premature labor if you have multiple births, have had a preterm labor before, and have a problem with your reproductive system. Among the signs of preterm labor include;

  • The change or increase in the amount of vaginal discharge.
  • Abdominal cramps at times accompanied by diarrhea.
  • Pressure in the pelvic area with the feeling that the baby is coming out.
  • Dull pain in the lower back. This pain may be intermittent.
  • Intermittent cramps similar to those felt in a period.
  • A watery fluid from the vagina.
  • When you have five or more contractions in the uterus for every hour.

If you notice a group of these symptoms, make sure you call your doctor.

4. Foreign object in the vagina or cervix

While medications, diaphragms, and tampons are designed to be inserted into the vagina, others that are inserted here are foreign objects. For this reason, the foreign objects will have symptoms such as;

  • Vaginal pressure especially when the object is larger than the natural width of the vagina.
  • A rash on the vagina
  • Redness in the private parts
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Burning sensation when urinating or engaging in sexual activity
  • A foul-smelling vaginal discharge
  • Vaginal itching
  • Occasional spotting
  • A vaginal discharge with a weird color such as yellow and green

5. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

A pelvic inflammatory disease is a group of symptoms which generally lead to a discomfort in the pelvic region. The causes of this condition are many and include diseases and irritation of the female reproductive system.

Sexually transmitted diseases and douching are among the most known causes of the pelvic inflammatory disease.

Its symptoms include;

  • Having pain and inflammation in the pelvic area
  • Pressure around the pelvic region
  • An abnormal discharge with a bad odor
  • Fever
  • Bleeding and spotting between periods
  • Pain during sexual intercourse and urination

The symptoms of the pelvic inflammatory disease are the symptoms of its root disease (s).

6. Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is one of the most lethal sexually transmitted diseases as it affects all areas of the body that are moist and warm. That includes the urethra, anus, eyes, vagina, throat and the whole of the female reproductive system.

Gonorrhea is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae and then transmitted through oral, anal and vaginal sex.

Its symptoms include;

  • Fever
  • A sharp pain in the lower abdomen
  • You can also have pressure in the vaginal area
  • Pain during sexual intercourse.
  • Sore throat
  • Periods are heavier than usual
  • Occasional spotting
  • Frequent urination
  • Pain when passing urine
  • A slightly green, watery and creamy discharge.

7. Endometrial cancer

Cancer of the endometrium affects the inside lining of the uterus. It is an easy cancer to spot given that it produces symptoms that are quite uncomfortable and easy to tell apart. Like all types of cancer, its cause is not known as such.

The symptoms of endometrial cancer include;

  • Pain and pressure in the pelvic region.
  • Abnormal bleeding such as between periods.
  • Vaginal bleeding when menopause has set in.
  • The discharge is of a watery and bloody nature.

8. Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease which affects both sexes but has severe symptoms in women compared to men. If not treated, chlamydia can cause infertility and ectopic pregnancies.

Chlamydia can be transmitted through anal, oral and vaginal sex.

The symptoms of chlamydia include;

  • Pain when urinating and having sex
  • An abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Pressure in the pelvic area
  • Burning sensation during urination

9. Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis, often simply referred to as trich, is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the protozoa Trichomonas vaginalis. It affects the lower vaginal region including the urethra, cervix, vagina and the vulva.

Although a very common sexually transmitted disease, it is quite difficult to identify it given that only about a third of those with trichomoniasis will exhibit any symptoms. Among the symptoms are;

  • Pain during urination
  • Vaginal pressure
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Soreness
  • Redness
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Fishy smelling vaginal discharge of a yellow, clear, greenish or white color.
  • Sexual pain

10. Vaginitis and Vulvovaginitis

Vaginitis is the inflammation of the vagina. When the inflammation spreads to the outside parts of the vagina, the condition will be called Vulvovaginitis. Both of these conditions can be caused by;

  • Vaginal infections such as yeast, trichomoniasis, gonorrhea, and others.
  • The use of some products that have irritants such as soaps and spermicides.
  • Physical injuries to the pelvic region.
  • Bacterial vaginosis.
  • Hormonal imbalances and changes such as during menopause.

The symptoms of vaginitis include;

  • The pressure in the vagina or pelvic region.
  • Itching vaginal opening.
  • Pain in the pelvic area.
  • Burning sensation in the vagina.
  • Vaginal odor.
  • Pain during sexual intercourse.

11. Urinary tract infection

An infection of the urinary tract will affect the urethra, the bladder and may eventually reach the kidney if left untreated. These infections can be caused by many factors including sexual intercourse and wiping the wrong way after relieving yourself.

Among the symptoms of a urinary tract infection include;

  • Chills or fever in the advanced stages of the disease
  • Being fatigued most of the time
  • Urine of a dark, cloudy, bloody and with a weird odor
  • Back and abdominal pain
  • Pressure in the pelvic area
  • Frequent urination
  • Burning sensation when you pass urine
  • Pain during sexual intercourse

12. Cervicitis

Cervicitis is the inflammation of the cervix. It is often caused by sexually transmitted diseases such as;

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Trichomoniasis
  • Genital herpes and others.

Other times, cervicitis might be caused by trauma or a physical cause. In its advanced stages, cervicitis might spread to the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, and the uterus to cause the pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

While cervicitis does not have symptoms until it is really advanced, the symptoms include;

  • Pain when having sex
  • A vaginal itch
  • Pressure in the pelvic region
  • A vaginal discharge that is bloody
  • Vaginal spotting and bleeding between periods
  • Pain during urination

13. Vaginal yeast infection

A yeast infection is among the most probable causes of pressure in the pelvic area. Yeast infections in the vagina are caused by the bacteria Candida albicans. For this reason, vaginal yeast infections are also referred to as candidiasis.

While it can be spread through sexual intercourse, vaginal yeast infection is not classified as a sexually transmitted disease. It is also common given that, at any moment, you have yeast and bacteria in your vagina.

It only requires an imbalance in the vaginal conditions for the yeast to go out of hand to cause symptoms.

The symptoms of yeast infections include;

  • A rash
  • Vaginal redness
  • Soreness
  • Pain during sexual intercourse and urination
  • Vaginal itching
  • Vaginal swelling
  • Vaginal pressure

The yeast infection will have these symptoms when they grow out of control. The factors that may lead to such a situation include;

  • Lack of sleep
  • Being diabetic
  • The use of antibiotics
  • Stress
  • Having a weak immune system
  • A hormonal imbalance towards and around your period
  • Poor eating habits such as foods that salty, fatty and sugary

Vaginal pressure during pregnancy

Having pressure in the vaginal area during your pregnancy can be a sign of labor. Although the pressure on the vagina increases as the baby grows in size, the one which signifies labor will be different from the normal one and will be accompanied by other signs of labor.

vaginal pressure during pregnancy

However, the vaginal pressure during pregnancy should not worry you unless accompanied by other signs. Whether it is preterm labor or the right time has come, always call your doctor when you experience the signs of labor.

Pelvic pressure in the third trimester

The third and last trimester of your pregnancy is when you expect your baby. Some of the signs of your baby coming especially after the 37th week is the increase in the pressure in the pelvic region.

This increase can start way before the 37th week but, ideally, your baby will be born between the 37th and 40th weeks of your pregnancy.

Pressure down there and not pregnant

If you have pressure in the vaginal area but are not pregnant, it could be one of the many other causes. These include diseases and physical causes such as foreign objects in the vagina.

Pressure in pelvic area but not pregnant

Pressure in the pelvic region when you are not pregnant leaves you with some options such as;

  • Vaginal yeast infection
  • Cervicitis
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Vaginitis
  • Chlamydia
  • Trichomoniasis
  • Uterine cancer
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Gonorrhea
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Shingles
  • Foreign object in the vagina

Vaginal pressure during period

The pressure in the pelvic area before period can be a sign of a pregnancy. Conception is known to cause heaviness or pressure in the vaginal region.

Given that a week to your next period you could have become pregnant, it is easy to point out that you could be having a baby in its early development.

Do not be quick to conclude that you are pregnant. Look for the other early signs of a pregnancy including;

  • Frequent urination
  • Food cravings and aversions
  • Mood swings
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Sore breasts
  • Nausea
  • Light spotting

References:

Pregnancy symptoms: Top 11 early signs of pregnancy | BabyCenter

Uterine Cancer Causes, Symptoms, Signs & Treatment – MedicineNet

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) – CDC Fact Sheet

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