Your Pregnant Body
Side effects: Frequent urination, bladder infections, itchiness
You knew you would go to the bathroom a lot, but you may not have known that you would go so little, so frequently. That's because the bladder never completely empties during pregnancy; it's 30 to 50 percent full at any given moment as a result of progesterone's relaxing effect on the muscles. At the same time, the kidneys work about 40 percent harder to remove waste from both you and the baby. Aside from the uncomfortable sensation of never emptying your bladder, this phenomenon also increases the risk of urinary infection -- and may make it harder to detect when you have one. If going to the bathroom becomes painful at any time, contact your obstetrician.
You may experience itchiness during the third trimester, especially on your abdomen. It's typically the annoying but harmless result of hormones and stretching skin. If it becomes intense or prolonged, though, tell your doctor; it could indicate a liver problem known as choletasis.