Are you pregnant and have an ongoing runny and stuffy nose? Do you know the cause of nasal congestion in pregnancy?
With all its joys, pregnancy is full of small and big complications that can cause you trouble and decrease the quality of life for you. Most of these side effects are caused by hormonal changes in the body. This problem is known as rhinitis of pregnancy.
What is Pregnancy Rhinitis?
“Pregnancy Rhinitis,” or more commonly “pregnancy drip,” is a medical condition that causes stress in pregnant women. Pregnancy rhinitis is one of the unpleasant symptoms of pregnancy, resulting in the airways becoming congested.
In these cases, no other symptom (such as a respiratory tract infection or allergy) can explain the airway congestion. If you are wondering when pregnancy rhinitis start, it is said that the condition starts after two months of pregnancy and reaches its peak in the last trimester of pregnancy. Fortunately, after two weeks of delivery, these symptoms disappear completely. Although rhinitis is not an obvious sign of pregnancy as it is true for morning sickness or back pain, it is very common among pregnant women.
How Common is Rhinitis in Pregnancy?
About 30% of pregnant women have symptoms of pregnancy rhinitis. However, nasal congestion during pregnancy can occur at any time; the peak is between the third month and the seventh month of pregnancy. In many cases, rhinitis of pregnancy continues until the delivery.
What causes Rhinitis in Pregnancy?
To relieve nasal congestion in pregnancy, you must know the causes of this problem. However, it must be noted that no one knows for sure what the cause of this problem is, and pointing to hormonal changes as the root of the problem is only speculation. It is generally said that the start of rhinitis in pregnancy can be due to environmental or allergic factors or infection and non-allergic factors.
Some have linked progesterone hormone to this problem. It is said that this hormone can cause inflammation and swelling inside the nose and affect the airways. With swelling inside the nose, the airway feels blocked, and it is at this time that the pregnant woman feels a congested nose.
Researchers suggest that another reason that may be considered the cause of rhinitis in pregnancy is the presence of excess fluid in the body. If you've been through pregnancy, you have noticed that this period is associated with more blood volume and fluid production, an issue that causes inflation. This condition can also occur in the nose and can lead to swelling of the blood vessels in this part of the body, which can cause nasal congestion.
Others believe that as the placenta grows in the mother's womb, a human hormone called HGH is released into the body, which is associated with severe nasal congestion.
Smoking in women prone to nasal congestion can also lead to rhinitis of pregnancy.
What are the Pregnancy Rhinitis Symptoms?
Now it's time to look at the pregnancy rhinitis symptoms. This condition can lead to unwanted problems for mothers and babies if left untreated. For example, sleep disturbances and lack of oxygen intake are among the problems that may interfere with fetal growth.
Suppose this problem is accompanied by various symptoms such as fever or discomfort and causes you to wake up frequently. In that case, it is best to consult your doctor to determine the cause of pregnancy rhinitis and eliminate it. Common symptoms of nasal congestion include:
- Airway congestion
- Congested nose
- Frequent sneezing
- Runny nose
If your symptoms are accompanied by itchy eyes, itchy nose or throat, and watery eyes, the cause may be an allergy. Therefore, the best treatment for you is to find the cause of the allergy and eliminate it.
How to deal with Rhinitis in Pregnancy?
Regardless of the cause of rhinitis in pregnancy, following some tips can effectively reduce the symptoms of this complication or even eliminate it permanently. Some people may take treatments that are common for nasal congestion—for example, using anticonvulsant nasal sprays without a doctor's prescription.
However, taking such medications may temporarily alleviate the problem, but sometimes they can make the situation worse. On the other hand, if a pregnant woman's rhinitis is due to an allergy, the treatment will be different, which requires a medical examination. On the other hand, there are also safe medications for pregnant women that your doctor may prescribe. But here are some home remedies for rhinitis during pregnancy.
Nasal irrigation or neti pot
One of the best natural ways to treat your nasal congestion is to clean nasal passages it with salt water or serum. This solution will always work, whether you know the cause of rhinitis during pregnancy or when you do not know the cause of the problem.
The good thing about using this method is that it has no side effects for your fetus. To use this method, use a clean syringe or disinfected spray to pour the solution into one nostril and allow salt water to drain out of the other.
Intaking more fluids
Drinking plenty of water and fluids will not only be very beneficial during pregnancy, but you can also reduce nasal congestion to some extent. In addition to drinking fluids, keeping the home environment moist can also help. Therefore, you should increase the humidity of the environment, both naturally and through a humidifier.
As said, swelling in the nasal arteries can cause rhinitis in pregnancy. In this case, regular exercise effectively reduces swelling and nasal congestion. Exercising during pregnancy can also help regulate sleep, control weight, improve blood circulation and reduce swelling.
Keeping head above the body
When sleeping, remember to keep your head above your body. An extra pillow can help you sleep better and keep your nose open at night. In addition, hot showers, water vapor inhalation, vitamin C intake, adequate rest, and the use of Vaseline are effective ways to eliminate nasal congestion.
What makes Rhinitis During Pregnancy Worse?
Besides the causes of Rhinitis in pregnancy, the symptoms and treatment of this complication, some factors may worsen the symptoms of rhinitis. It is better to know these factors and avoid them.
- Avoid taking OTC nasal decongestants. Such drugs are not safe for pregnancy.
- Do not use nasal stimulants such as cigarettes.
- Do not stay in contaminated environments.
- If you are allergic to certain substances, such as flowers, remove them from your house.
- Do not remain in a cold environment without a mask.
Rhinitis in pregnancy is one of the most common complaints of women in this period, which is usually confused with colds, flu, sinusitis, or Covid-19. There are simple ways to treat rhinitis in pregnancy, and by avoiding some activities, you and your baby will be safe. Talk to your doctor as soon as you notice any unusual or severe symptoms to prevent the condition.