If you’re pregnant, you’ve got enough to worry about.
During pregnancy, many women find that they have all of the symptoms of a sinus infection: runny nose, sneezing, coughing, and congestion. Some women find that they’re having nasal itching, or even nosebleeds.
Why a runny nose is common
If you find your nose dripping during your pregnancy, you’re not alone. Sinus problems that arise during pregnancy are typically due to a condition known as pregnancy rhinitis, which is actually one of the most common ailments of pregnancy—right along with backaches and morning sickness. And, just like these other unpleasant experiences of pregnancy, it can really impact your quality of life—most particularly your ability to sleep.
Pregnancy rhinitis generally lasts about six weeks, and is most common in the first trimester. It occurs when the changes in your estrogen levels lead to increased mucus production in all of you mucus membranes. The mucus membranes that line your sinuses become over active, and those same estrogen fluctuations can also cause the mucus to become very thick or very thin. If it thickens, you may experience sinus pressure and pain. If it thins, you may get that lovely “faucet” effect. While there are few treatments for pregnancy rhinitis, there are some things you can do to be more comfortable while you wait it out:
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Avoid environmental irritants
- Humidify your home
While most pregnancy rhinitis clears up on its own, a lingering bout could indicate the presence of a bacterial infection, or sinusitis. This will probably not go away on its own, and may require antibiotics to treat. If you think you may have sinusitis, give us a call. We can discuss your symptoms and treatment options, and even offer opinions on potential baby names.
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