It's Not Asparagus

credit: creative crop/digital vision/getty images

I was nine months pregnant.  Hadn’t so much as touched Serge with a ten-foot pole since, oh, I’d say seven months along or so.  And even that was a mercy session because sex in the third trimester?  I think we looked a little something like this. (Pro Tip: wait until at least eight seconds in.) But not as graceful. More awkward. A LOT more.

Despite all that, there I was on a cold Saturday night in January, begging Serge to take the ol’ steamboat to tuna town because I heard sex can jump start labor and I wanted this baby out!

I bared a fat, hairy, waterlogged leg and wiggled it seductively embarrassingly. He grudgingly agreed to my proposition and I arranged myself in the only position in which a ninth-months pregnant woman can get it on.

So he was behind me and I was waiting and there was all this silence.

“We doin’ this?” I asked. It was romantic as hell.

“Um. I don’t think so.” Was the shocking response.

“WHAAA?”

More silence.  Serge not wanting sex?  Something was very wrong here.  It took me twenty minutes to get it out of him.

“Something smells… different.”

“Define different.”

“Not good.”

Welcome to being pregnant! Glad to have you on the team!

Maybe your pregnancy-powered olfactories have noticed and maybe they haven’t. But the smells down there? They’ve changed.

I noticed it right away. I was three or four months pregnant with Violet when I noticed a *cough* distinct smell wafting from my lady parts every time I availed myself of the facilities. But it wasn’t just stinky pee. It was everything emanating from that region.

Later in my pregnancy I’d even catch a whiff while sitting at my desk at work. It’s not the usual unpleasant smell that can indicate a yeast infection. Not even the smelly vaginal odor many women use feminine deodorant sprays for. You know that smell. Like you accidentally left your lady parts out in the sun too long and now they’ve gone bad. The pregnancy smell is kind of like that but more chemical-y. I can’t explain it.

So during my last visit I asked my doctor for an explanation. Rather, I DEMANDED an explanation. “Hormones.” He said. You’re smelling your hormones. And all that other stuff in your uterus. Think of all the stuff that’s in there that isn’t usually there.” Also, he said your olfactories are really powerful during pregnancy, which I’m sure you’ve noticed. The good Doc said I was the only one smelling the odor with my super sniffer. I decided not to tell him about the aborted sex session with Serge during my last pregnancy.

Makes sense, thought I. But I decided to get a second opinion from none other than Doctor Google. I hit up the search engine with a couple of “why do pregnant ladies stink” queries. Surprisingly, there isn’t much to be found with the exception of a few wiseacres on the Yahoo Answers feature.

Closest thing I found was this:

The urine of pregnant women contains substances not normally found in urine–that’s the reason a home pregnancy test can use urine to confirm the presence of a baby. The hormone hCG, which is produced by the developing embryo’s growing placenta, makes its way into the mother’s bloodstream, and from there into her urine via the kidneys. Some women are able to smell the hormone on their urine, and note that it has an odd odor.

So in case you were wondering, what’s that smell? Stinky hormones. You’re welcome.

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