General Practice 2022

Stuffy nose in pregnancy: main causes and what to do

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Stuffy nose in pregnancy: main causes and what to do
Stuffy nose in pregnancy: main causes and what to do
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A stuffy nose in pregnancy is a common situation, especially between the 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy, and it happens in most cases due to the common hormonal changes of this period, which favors greater production and accumulation of secretions.

In most cases this situation improves after childbirth, however it is interesting that the woman adopts some home practices that help to eliminate excess mucus, promoting the relief of symptoms. So, it might be interesting to take a shower with hot water, inhale water vapor and wash your nose with saline solution, for example.

Main causes

The main cause of stuffy nose in pregnancy is gestational rhinitis, which usually happens between the 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy and is a consequence of the increase in estrogen levels during this period.Thus, due to hormonal changes, it is possible that there is an increase in blood volume and dilation of the veins present in the nose, which favors greater production and accumulation of mucus, leaving the nose clogged.

In addition, a stuffy nose in pregnancy can also happen as a result of respiratory infections, such as colds or flu, sinusitis or allergic rhinitis.

Regardless of the cause, it is important that some steps are taken to reduce nasal congestion and discomfort, and the obstetrician may indicate the use of nasal decongestants or natural treatments. In addition, it is important to initiate appropriate treatment to reduce the risk of complications due to changes related to oxygen circulation, such as maternal hypertension, preeclampsia and changes in intrauterine growth, for example.

What to do

A stuffy nose in pregnancy usually gets better after childbirth, however to relieve discomfort and prevent complications, the doctor may recommend some homemade and natural measures to make the secretions more fluid and facilitate their elimination, some of which are:

  • Taking a bath with hot water, blowing and washing your nose while showering;
  • Wash the nose with saline solution, using a nasal washer that you can buy in pharmacies or drugstores;
  • Inhale water vapor, using a basin with hot water;
  • Drink about 1.5 L of water a day;
  • Increase consumption of foods rich in vitamin C to strengthen the immune system, such as guava, broccoli, orange or strawberry;
  • Place several pillows or a wedge on the bed to keep your head higher when you are lying down.

In addition, women can also make use of an air humidifier, because by increasing the humidity of the air, it facilitates breathing and helps the nose to unclog. A homemade option to humidify the air is to place a basin of hot water or a wet towel in the bedroom or living room. See other homemade tips to unclog your nose.

Learn about other options to unclog your nose by watching our video with home remedy recipes:

Can a pregnant woman use nasal spray?

The use of nasal sprays should only be done when the doctor who monitors the pregnancy indicates, because some nasal sprays can, in addition to causing dependence, interfere with the baby's development.

So, before using a decongestant, it is important to consult a doctor so that the most appropriate nasal spray can be indicated, which in most cases is Sorine or Neosoro, and the method of use.

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