Expecting a baby brings much excitement. However, pregnancy hormones can also bring about changes to your body, even in your sinuses.
What Pregnancy Hormones Can Do to Your Sinuses
Rhinitis is extremely common during pregnancy and can affect all women, even those who don’t suffer from allergies normally. It can start immediately in pregnancy or at any point during gestation but disappears after childbirth. It’s important to understand how your ever-shifting hormones can cause this issue.
The common symptoms you can experience with rhinitis during your pregnancy are nasal congestion, runny nose and sneezing. Pregnant women can be diagnosed to distinguish between this type of rhinitis and issues such as seasonal allergies or the common cold. This is done through a physical exam with a doctor and blood tests.
Pregnancy hormones that are common when you’re expecting a child are the cause of these sinus symptoms. Estrogen, progesterone, PGH and VIP all contribute to the notable changes in your nasal mucous.
A study was performed from 2009 to 2010 while looking at 117 pregnant women in West Pomerania. Researchers found that around 39% of the participants dealt with rhinitis during the course of their pregnancies. The problem began to manifest in the women between the 13th and 21st weeks of pregnancy.
Nosebleeds Increase During Pregnancy
In addition to rhinitis, nosebleeds are also very common during pregnancy. Pregnancy hormones cause the blood vessels in the nose to grow larger, which is a huge contributor to this issue. Of course, women also have higher blood volume at this time to accommodate their growing baby. Around one out of every five pregnant women experiences nosebleeds.
There is good news if you’re expecting a baby and get nosebleeds: it won’t harm your baby.
To handle incidences of nosebleeds, sit and move slightly forward while keeping your head higher than your heart. Pinch the lower portion of your nose while breathing through your mouth for around 10 to 15 minutes.
You may also be able to stifle the bleeding by using ice on your nose to shrink the blood vessels. Avoid lying down. Keeping hydrated at all times is essential. It helps you and your baby and allows you to avoid dryness of the sinuses.
How to Ease Your Sinus Symptoms
It’s important to ease your sinus symptoms as pregnancy hormones continue to change your body. The following practices can help you to feel better:
- Be careful when you blow your nose, and keep it gentle to avoid a nosebleed. Close one nostril with your thumb while gently blowing out of the other nostril and repeat.
- Keep your nose well-lubricated. You can ask your doctor for suggestions for keeping your sinuses moist. They may recommend petroleum jelly or saline spray.
- Ask your doctor about over-the-counter medications to relieve your symptoms. Antihistamines and decongestant nasal sprays are safe if you use them short-term.
- Keep the air moist. You can run a humidifier to keep moisture in the air, which can ease your sinus issues.
- Discuss taking additional vitamin C during your pregnancy with your doctor. An additional 250 milligrams should be effective for easing your sinus symptoms. You can also eat more foods rich in vitamin C such as tomatoes, bell peppers, kiwis, oranges and grapefruit and drink more orange or grapefruit juice.
There are additional steps you can take to ensure that the sinus symptoms you experience due to pregnancy hormones can be kept at bay. Above all else, you should keep your nasal passages clear. You may want to try some natural methods, which you can discuss with your doctor.
Eating a well-balanced diet is important and can keep your sugar levels even. You need to consume only an additional 300 calories per day during pregnancy, so don’t go crazy when you eat.
Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water every day. You should aim to drink as much water as you can in order to avoid dehydration. Around one to one and a half liters each day is appropriate.
You should also have a regular exercise routine during your pregnancy. This can relieve stress and keep your pregnancy hormones better balanced. You don’t have to do anything too strenuous and can even do some light aerobic activity like walking for 30 minutes per day.
There is hope for your sinus issues during pregnancy. Speak with your doctor to find what works best for you.