Symptoms and advice for pregnancy rhinitis

An ongoing runny nose in early pregnancy could be pregnancy rhinitis

Stuffy, runny nose an early sign of pregnancy?

Early pregnancy symptoms can include a stuffy, runny nose and congestion is called pregnancy rhinitis (also known as non-allergic rhinitis)

Pregnant woman with a runny nose

What is pregnancy rhinitis?

It is stuffy, uncomfortable nasal congestion that some women develop as a symptom of pregnancy.

What are the symptoms of pregnancy rhinitis?

The symptoms can be a stuffy nose that doesn’t clear for several weeks or a runny nose that again persists for weeks. It can increase the amount and thickness of mucus too.

What is the cause of pregnancy rhinitis?

The increased level of oestrogen and blood in your body during pregnancy is thought to be the cause of pregnancy rhinitis, also known as non-allergic rhinitis. This results in the swelling of the mucus membranes inside the nose and causes the mucus to thicken which causes the feeling of stuffiness in the nose. It’s the same hormone that helps relax and prepare your body for birth and regrettably it can kick in early and relax your sinuses, so you may find you’ve got a runny nose as well

When does pregnancy rhinitis start?

Pregnancy rhinitis can be an early pregnancy symptom that can start during the first trimester, although pregnancy rhinitis can develop at any stage of pregnancy. You can experience it for your entire pregnancy and for some it can continue a few weeks after giving birth.

How can pregnancy rhinitis be treated?

There isn’t a treatment as such to cure you of the condition. Pregnancy rhinitis usually disappears in the weeks after your baby is born, but it can be uncomfortable until then. To help ease the symptoms, you can try to increase your fluid intake and sleep with your head propped up more than usual, perhaps with an extra pillow. Also try facial steam inhalation or a salt water nasal spray to ease congestion. There are several sprays available at the pharmacy to treat the condition generally but some may not be safe for use in pregnancy, so do make sure you tell the pharmacist you are pregnant when asking for advice. If you are really struggling do talk to your GP or midwife for advice.

Symptoms and advice for pregnancy rhinitis