During the last few weeks of pregnancy you may experience an increasing and annoying upper and lower abdominal pressure as the uterus rapidly increases in size. Because of the pressure of the uterus on the bladder, which lies directly in front of the uterus, you may experience frequency of urination and may have some difficulty holding your urine.
You may experience increasing irritability of the uterus; it will periodically contract and become hard. These contractions normally do not cause discomfort; however, the contractions may be a sign that the uterus is preparing for labor.
You also may notice rectal pressure, more frequent small bowel movements, or the urge to have a bowel movement. There is also a tendency for increased swelling of the legs and swelling of the lips of the vagina.
There may also be an increase in your vaginal discharge during this time, but this discharge should not cause irritation, itching or soreness. If it does, please notify your provider. Disposable panty shields help when the discharge is heavy.
If you are experiencing any symptoms you are concerned about, please contact your doctor immediately.