Chadwick sign: meaning, cause and importance

What is Chadwick sign?

Pregnancy comes with several changes in women. Some of these changes are hormonal, physiological and physical.

Chadwick sign happens to be one of the physical changes that occurs in women during pregnancy.

It is a dark bluish or purplish discolouration of the cervix, vagina, and vulva as a result of an increased venous blood flow to the mentioned areas during Pregnancy leading to venous congestion.

In some women, this discolouration is noticed very early after conception (in the 6th to 8th weeks of pregnancy).

Chadwick sign is actually one of the early signs of pregnancy.

Causes of Chadwick sign

It is caused by an increased venous blood flow to the cervix, vulva, and vagina areas in women during pregnancy.

This increased blood flow to these areas lead to venous congestion which appears bluish or purplish.

Remember that blood circulates oxygen, water and nutrients around the body.

In pregnancy, the demand for these (oxygen, water and nutrients) increases around a woman’s reproductive system where baby stays.

To meet the increased demand for oxygen, water and nutrients, blood flow to the reproductive system increases too.

A consequent increase in venous blood flow in the vulva, vagina, cervix causes Chadwick sign (dark bluish or purplish discolouration of these areas).

Importance

Chadwick sign on its own does not have any importance; however what triggers it (which is an increased blood flow to women’s reproductive systems during pregnancy) helps the fetus to receive adequate oxygen, water and nutrients.

Some women use it to confirm pregnancy. So, it helps these set of women in knowing when they are pregnant.

Remember that women have myriads of signs in early pregnancy. When some of these classical signs of pregnancy are there, having Chadwick sign too can serve as a confirmation of pregnancy.

Note that you should not depend on Chadwick sign to confirm if you are pregnant or not. Only pregnancy test can be used to confirm a pregnancy.

How long before it clears off

Chadwick sign disappears few days after delivery. Remember that it appears as a result of pregnancy.