Runny Nose During Pregnancy: Causes and Treatment

Check out the causes and treatment of a runny nose during pregnancy. Rhinitis during pregnancy is fairly common and so are its symptoms and treatments.

runny nose during pregnancy

Later in pregnancy, the runny nose often presents Mom with a lot of inconveniences. This symptom is often seen by doctors as a sign of respiratory illness. However, the runny nose during pregnancy can also be found of an independent nature.

Causes of Runny Nose During Pregnancy

In their practice, gynecologists that care for pregnant women often diagnose them with rhinitis or a runny nose. It is worth noting that the first cause of its appearance is the weakening of the body’s immune forces. This confirms the frequency of occurrence of the common cold in women in early days of pregnancy.

With pregnancy, there is an increase in the susceptibility of the organism to infections and viruses. Therefore, even a slight hypothermia can result in an acute respiratory viral infection.

There are many other reasons causing a runny nose during pregnancy as well. Some of these that are necessary to mention are as follows.

  1. Changing Hormonal Background
  2. Hormonal Change

    With the onset of the process of bearing a baby, synthesis of progesterone increases in a female body. This hormone partially promotes fluid retention in tissues, resulting in a runny nose.

    At the same time, nothing disturbs a woman. Coughing, aches in joints, headaches, characteristic for ARVI, are all absent. A change in the hormonal background can provoke edema of the mucous membranes of the nasal cavity. This edema can occur both at an early and later date.

  3. Dryness of Mucous Membranes
  4. In the course of pregnancy, the body of the expectant mother has an increase in the volume of circulating blood. A woman and a future baby, for the duration of its stay in the womb, create a single circulatory system. This increases the stress on the blood vessels. The increase in the volume of mucus produced can be caused by too dry air in the room as well.

  5. Allergic Reactions
  6. During pregnancy, the susceptibility of the organism to allergens increases.

    This is the most common and immediate cause of runny nose during pregnancy or in general as well.

    It is advisable to be take precautions to avoid major allergic reactions at this time.

  7. Anatomy of Nasal Cavity
  8. The rhinitis of the patient with curvature of the nasal septum is another common cause. This can be the reason of runny nose during pregnancy. There are other side effects of this problem as well. These include snoring, mild to severe pain, nosebleeds and at times loss in sensing smell.

  9. Diseases of Upper Respiratory System
  10. The presence of polyps, sinusitis, adenoiditis is often accompanied by the appearance of a cold as well. Disease of upper respiratory system almost always cause runny nose even when not pregnant.

Rhinitis in Pregnancy

Rhinitis or runny nose during pregnancy is quite common. However, to understand how to treat, it we first need to learn what type it is and what causes it. This can all be done by noticing the symptoms. Then, we can characterize it by its type and understand what caused it. So, here are the different types of rhinitis along with their causes and symptoms during pregnancy.

  1. Acute Rhinitis in Pregnancy
  2. Acute rhinitis in pregnant women commonly occurs due to the presence of viruses or infectious agents in the body.

    acute rhinitis

    Often the doctors consider the acute form of rhinitis as a symptom of ARVI, acute respiratory disease or influenza.

    Causes of Acute Rhinitis

    There are several factors that can cause this disease in one way or another. Sometimes it’s the combination of these factor that end up causing runny nose during pregnancy. Let’s see what these cause are.

    • supercooling;
    • decreased immunity;
    • trauma to the nasal mucosa;
    • irritation with chemicals &
    • second hand smoke.
    Symptoms of Acute Rhinitis

    Acute Rhinitis starts with a woman feeling sudden discomfort in the nasal cavity like excessive dryness, burning and constant itching. Breathing becomes heavier and the perception of odors is disturbed. As the disease develops, the virus multiplies in the nasal cavity. Due to which there are abundant mucous discharges from the nose.

    Symptomatic is accompanied by the appearance of a headache, a violation of overall well-being and a decrease in appetite. The third stage is also possible in the absence of therapy. Here the mucopurulent discharge happens and the crust starts to form.

  3. Chronic Rhinitis in Pregnancy
  4. chronic rhinitis

    In the absence of a necessary therapy and complete inactivity, the disease becomes chronic.

    In chronic rhinitis or runny nose during pregnancy, the outer layer of your nose starts to tear as well.

    This is not due to disease but because of the constant rubbing of nose.

    Causes of Chronic Rhinitis

    Chronic rhinitis in pregnant women is more likely to develop if there is a woman in the anamnesis like of.

    • frequent ARVI;
    • colds;
    • ARI.
    Affecting Factors of Chronic Rhinitis

    It is worth noting that a chronic rhinitis during pregnancy can be triggered by the use of a certain number of drugs that the woman used before her onset. Thus, frequent use of vasoconstrictive drops adversely affects the mucosa. Vessels lose the ability to self-contract, resulting in a constant release of mucus from the nasal passages. Chronic rhinitis can also be caused by the influence of irritating factors like.

    • dust;
    • tobacco smoke;
    • caustic, sharp smells.
    Symptoms of Chronic Rhinitis

    The chronic form of rhinitis has its own distinctive features. The main symptoms of this disorder are as follows.

    • nasal congestion;
    • persistent mucosal discharge;
    • breathing is difficult when the body is in a horizontal position.

  5. Allergic Rhinitis in Pregnancy
  6. Allergic Rhinitis

    Allergic rhinitis is the most common form of rhinitis with or without pregnancy.

    This is because it can happen by an allergen which your body is least capable to fight against.

    In other words, it happens because your body is vulnerable to certain allergen.

    Causes of Allergic Rhinitis

    This form of rhinitis is characterized by the development of reaction from the immune system when exposed to body allergens. Some of these allergens are as listed below.

    • dust;
    • animal hair;
    • food;
    • pollen of plants &
    • chemical substances.
    Symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis

    Because of the weakening of the immune system, allergic rhinitis in pregnant women is common. In this symptomatology differs from the classical periodicity. Symptoms of allergy can be fixed at certain stages of pregnancy and disappear on their own. Often, after the elimination of the allergenic agent, signs of allergic rhinitis disappear. The main manifestations of this form of the disease are as follows.

    • itching of the skin;
    • sneezing;
    • lacrimation.

  7. Vasomotor Rhinitis in Pregnancy
  8. Vasomotor Rhinitis

    This is the most different type of rhinitis as it is not associated with any infection or allergy.

    Vasomotor rhinitis in pregnant women is often provoked by a change in the concentration of sex hormones. It is more often fixed in later periods.

    This is when the edema of the nasal mucosa occurs because of the high concentration of estrogens.

    Causes of Vasomotor Rhinitis

    In such cases, a runny nose is caused by various factors some of which are as follows.

    • by inhalation of sharp odors;
    • getting dust in the nasal passages;
    • stress;
    • supercooling &
    • reception of some medical products.

    The rhinitis is of a permanent nature, the mucous discharge from the nose is transparent, not plentiful. Additional symptoms are completely absent.

Dangers of Runny Nose During Pregnancy

By itself runny nose during pregnancy does not pose a danger to the baby or the future mother. At times rhinitis is only a symptom of presence of an ARVI or an infection of the upper respiratory tract. If there is a headache on the background of mucous secretions from the nasal cavity, the body temperature rises and the state of health worsens then the pregnant woman should immediately consult her doctor.

  1. Dangers of Runny Nose in First Trimester
  2. In short term, runny nose is just another experience for pregnant women turning into a mother. However, it is time to sound the alarm when rhinitis has a viral origin that accompanies diseases.

    In this case, there is a probability of penetration of the pathogen into the bloodstream. This is fraught with the development of complications, among which there is spontaneous abortion.

    First Trimester

    In addition, the cause that provoked a runny nose can also change the correctness of the process of intrauterine development.

    However, the greatest concern of doctors is not the runny nose in pregnancy, but the breathing disorder in future mother. Due to stuffy and runny nose, the amount of oxygen that enters the mother’s body decreases. This in extension means the baby gets less oxygen than it originally gets.

    As a result, the risk of developing hypoxia or oxygen starvation of the fetus thereby adversely affecting its development increases.

  3. Dangers of Runny Nose in Second Trimester
  4. When a runny nose in a pregnant woman stays for a long time, you need to see a doctor.

    Second Trimester

    Rhinitis, which lasts for several weeks, can affect the development of the future baby.

    With an increase in the period, the placenta compensatory capacity decreases. And now the lack of oxygen directly affects the health of the fetus.

    In addition, you should know that breathing through mouth with a blocked nose is risky as well. This is true because it significantly increases the risk of developing SARS in a pregnant woman.

  5. Dangers of Runny Nose in Third Trimester
  6. Runny nose during pregnancy is less dangerous in later periods, but one cannot help paying attention to this phenomenon.

    Third Trimester

    The general deterioration of the state of health of woman in this situation may adversely affect the process of delivery.

    In addition, there is a high risk of fetal hypoxia, which is especially dangerous in later terms.

    The placenta no longer increases in size. It does not grow and so it cannot compensate itself for lack of incoming oxygen.

    Therefore, this situation requires constant monitoring by doctors.

Treatment of Runny Nose During Pregnancy

Like anything at this time, the treatment of runny nose during pregnancy should be done only after consulting a doctor. Independent use of medicines is unacceptable, since there is a risk of complications. Before curing a runny nose during pregnancy, the doctor needs to establish its actual cause. In accordance with this the therapy is prescribed and the cold is treated.

  1. Drops of Common Cold for Pregnant Women
  2. Expecting mothers are often interested in knowing which drop of common cold can be used during pregnancy. When answering this question, specialists draw attention of pregnant women to the inadmissibility of using medicines that constrict blood vessels.

    drops of runny nose

    The truth is most drops for common cold have this inadmissible effect. Therefore, as a result of their prolonged use there is a possibility of hypoxia. The general effect of use extends to the vessels of the placenta. Nutrients and oxygen arrive at the baby to a lesser extent due to its use.

    However, with severe nasal congestion, some doctors allow the use of vasoconstrictive drops once a day in pregnancy. Thus it is necessary to choose medicines in a children’s dosage. Duration of application should not exceed 4 days. Among the prescribed drops for runny nose during pregnancy are.

    • Nazivin;
    • Vibrocil &
    • Rinazolin.

  3. Spray for Common Cold During Pregnancy
  4. This form of the drug, like spray, greatly facilitates its use.

    Spray for Runny Nose

    Treatment of a runny nose during pregnancy can be done using the seaweed sprays. They can be used without restrictions and at any time in pregnancy.

    By promoting the cleansing of nasal cavity the nasal agents prevent the multiplication of pathogenic microorganisms. This excludes the possibility of infection.

    Among the common sprays for eliminating a runny nose in pregnant women, we have.

    • Aqualor;
    • Humer;
    • Marimer &
    • Aqua Maris.

  5. Inhalation for Cold During Pregnancy
  6. When talking about treating a cold in pregnant women, it is necessary to allocate such procedure, as inhalation.


    It helps to reduce the amount of mucus to be separated and quickly restore the patency of the nasal passages.

    Essential oils are used to increase the efficiency of manipulation. Good inhalations for runny nose during pregnancy are listed as follows.

    • eucalyptus;
    • tea tree oil &
    • menthol.

    Inhalations of steam are carried out 3-4 times a day. Contraindication for their implementation is an increase in body temperature, which is observed when an infection is attached. To increase the efficiency before the procedure, it is necessary to clean the nasal passages. So, blow your nose and remove the crusts before its use. The duration of 1 session should not exceed 10 minutes.

As mentioned above there are many causes, symptoms and treatment available for runny nose during pregnancy. However, what is also mentioned and should be paid special attention to is that nothing should be done before consulting a doctor. Remember this is not just about you anymore. So, if not for yourself consult the doctor for your child before using any treatment methods.

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Runny Nose During Pregnancy: Causes and Treatment