Clitoris pain during pregnancy isn’t uncommon. All that extra vaginal blood flow can do crazy things to your body, and it’s not always fun — so, let’s explain it!
Before we get started, I want to be really clear that if you’re having pain that area you should make an appt with your gynecologist or midwife ASAP. There could be other issues, and you’ll wan to discuss it with them.
But first, how do I know all of this? Hi — I’m Hilary — The Pregnancy Nurse 👩⚕️. I have been a nurse since 1997 and I have 20 years of OB nursing experience, I am also the curly head behind Pulling Curls and The Online Prenatal Class for Couples. 🩺 I am really well-versed in the changes that happen to a woman during pregnancy, and I’ve talked to thousands of women about the symptoms they’re having — so I’m a good resource for this one!
And if you want to simplify the labor process, come join me in The Online Prenatal Class for Couples — I’d love to get you prepared for your birth in just three hours!
What & Where is your Clitoris?
Your Clitoris is just in front of your urethra (the hole you pee out of) at the point where your vulva makes a V in front of it. That V is called the clitoral hood.
It is soft tissue that is full of nerve endings. So, since you feel SO much there, any small changes can make for BIG feelings. The common causes of clitoris pain aren’t the same when you are pregnant. Things are just different during pregnancy. Since the clitoris is mostly used sexually, the hormones that affect you during pregnancy (or sex) can have a big effect on it.
Also, because those tissues are so soft, that means it can easily swell or be irritated. Which is super annoying, I agree.
What is the cause of clitoris pain?
Clitoris pain can be caused by a variety of things, but it’s not always just your clitoris that hurts. It can also cause pain in your vulvar region. Pain in the vulvar reason without a reason is called Vulvodynia.
Soap can cause clitoral pain, most often they recommend you just use water to was that area due to the sensitive nature of those tissues. Hygiene products can really irritate it.
Increased blood flow — your clitoris is full of nerve endings. When there is increased blood flow to that area it can make it uncomfortable, some even call it a “burning” sensation.
Also, it is more likely that you’ll get things like a yeast infection, vaginitis or a bladder infection. All of those can cause issues with the clitoral area. So, if you’re having pain there, you’ll definitely want to talk with your provider to make sure something else isn’t going on.
Also, there is a chance of vaginal or vuvular varicose veins. These are just like varicose veins on your leg, but are in your vagina or your vulvar region. These can be extremely painful. They are caused from all the pressure on your veins due to the baby (and then the weight of baby as your pregnancy progresses).
Issues with your pelvis or your pelvic floor can complicate things for your clitoris just because there are so many nerves there. If your pelvis is twisting oddly due to the hormones that tell it to open up it may sting.
Pregnant woman can suffer from constipation, and if you’re pushing a lot to have a BM, that can even increase the blood flow more to the clitoral area.
What other symptoms might occur with clitoris pain?
There may be an increased discharge due to irritation. And it may extend to your entire vulvar region.
You may find itching in that area, a “raw” sensation, it may throb at times. Some people even talk of a shooting pain.
There is a thing called lightning crotch (usually caused from pelvic separation), but that is felt more in your bones than the actual clitoris. Sometimes it is hard to differentiate the different types of nerve pain.
You want to be really specific when you describe the pain to your provider, it can really help them diagnose it. I know it can feel silly to use words like throbbing, or sharp pain. But it really does help your healthcare provider make a better diagnosis.
And yes, we do talk about healthcare communication in here. I really try to make all of that easy for you!
How your clitoris may change during pregnancy
It may get more sensitive, it may get less sensitive sexually. It can be both easier to orgasm or some people say it’s harder to get an orgasm. Sexual arousal can be very different during pregnancy.
Some people report it being bigger (or small). Just with all the hormonal changes a LOT can happen in that area, and it really varies person to person.
What are the potential complications of clitoris pain?
You may have difficulty sitting, walking, or sexual activities.
The main issue is the reason causing the clitoral issues. Is it a bladder or yeast infection, or a bladder infection? These things can cause preterm labor issues, so you definitely want to make sure that’s not the cause.
How can clitoral pain be treated?
It depends on the cause of the pain.
If it’s an infection, you’d obviously treat the infection.
If you’re having clitoral pain definitely talk with your provider to see if there are options to help.
Is it normal for the clitoris to hurt after birth?
Yes. If you have a vaginal delivery the tissues can stretch/tear in that area, which can be painful.
You can actually tear through the clitoris, but it is unusual.
Sorry for the bad news there.
So, to sum this up:
- Clitoral pain isn’t unusual.
- You should talk with your provider about what you’re experiencing to find out the cause and what they can do to help it.
- You should take a prenatal class, preferably one you can lay down and watch — like The Online Prenatal Class for Couples. 🙂
And, if you’re not quite sure you’re ready for that whole thing, check out my free prenatal class. It’s your first step toward getting in the driver’s seat of your birth.
- About the Author
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A nurse since 1997, she has worked in various fields including pediatrics, geriatrics & hospice.
She has 20 years of labor and delivery experience in the San Jose, CA and Phoenix, AZ areas.