The changes happening to your body are probably happening much more slowly than with your baby, but by now your uterus has risen above your pelvis and your uterus just about fills it. It is starting to shift upwards and slightly forwards, as it grows larger, so it may not feel as if it?s pressing on your bladder quite as much now. Enjoy the less frequent bathroom trips while you can, because they will be back soon, when your uterus grows larger and is sitting on your bladder once again, towards the end of the second trimester.
If you press your fingers into your belly just above your pubic bone, you may be able to feel your uterus. Your doctor or midwife can feel your uterus during an external abdominal exam at this point. Your uterus will grow and expand in capacity about 500 to 1,000 times the size it was prior to pregnancy, to hold your growing baby, growing placenta and ever-increasing amniotic fluid. You?ve almost made it to the second trimester and your uterus is about the size of a grapefruit already. You probably still aren?t needing maternity clothes quite yet, unless this isn?t your first pregnancy.
You may discover that your typical vaginal discharge is increasing. This odorless (or possibly mild-smelling) milky white, yellowish or clear pregnancy discharge is often called ?leukorrhea? and is a very common thing. It tends to increase as your due date draws closer and closer. As your pregnancy progresses, you may have to resort to wearing a panty liner for comfort, if it becomes an annoyance. Leukorrhea is caused by the ever-increasing blood flow to your vaginal area (including the skin and muscles) and also possibly because of increased levels of estrogen. If this discharge turns green, yellow or is foul-smelling and becomes itchy or causes irritation, you may have an infection. In this case, you would need to contact your doctor or midwife to get a prescription for an antibiotic which can be safely used during pregnancy.
Increasing blood flow to the vaginal area also causes other changes as well, particularly one called the Chadwick?s Sign. Increased blood flow leads to engorgement in the genital area, causing the vaginal tissue and cervix to darken. This tissue is normally a shade of light pink pre-pregnancy, but early in pregnancy it takes on a more bluish or purplish shade. This is visible to your doctor or midwife if they perform a pelvic exam, even as early as the 6th week of pregnancy sometimes. Goodell?s Sign is yet another change which occurs from the increased flow of blood to the vaginal region. This is described as when your cervix becomes significantly softer usually stating between 6-8 weeks along.