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Body Odor & Pregnancy

By Lori A. Selke ; Updated August 14, 2017

Changes in your personal body odor can be counted among the many odd symptoms and side effects of pregnancy. You might find it embarrassing and hard to cope with, but in fact it's perfectly normal. In fact, you may be the only one to notice.

Sensitivity to Odor

It's possible that it's not your body odor that's changed, but your nose. Your sense of smell becomes heightened during pregnancy because of high levels of the hormone estradiol in the body. Odors and fragrances that never bothered you before can suddenly seem much stronger or more pungent, sometimes to the point of triggering nausea. You may merely be more sensitive to your own natural aroma than you were before you were pregnant. If you're the only one who has noticed the change, this may be the explanation.

Hormonal Changes

If you're not the only person who has noticed the changes in your body odor, however, then it's likely because of the hormonal changes your body is experiencing. Your body odor, especially your vaginal odor, may become muskier; your vaginal secretions may also increase.

Increased Sweating

A change in your body odor during pregnancy can also be the result of increased sweating. Your body temperature rises during pregnancy. It's also easier to overheat, and your body compensates for this by sweating more.

When to See a Doctor

You're not immune to the chance of getting a bacterial or fungal vaginal infection during pregnancy. In fact, your chance of experiencing a yeast infection increases while you're pregnant. If you're experiencing any vaginal secretions other than a clear discharge, or your vaginal odor is fishy, consult your doctor.

Easy Remedies

Wear loose natural fabrics whenever possible and shower regularly, especially after exercising. Use an unscented deodorant containing baking powder; you can also powder especially sweaty areas, such as under your breasts, with cornstarch or a cornstarch-based powder.

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