Do you have rhinitis of pregnancy? If you do, you are not alone. Nearly every pregnant woman will suffer from this sinus congestion during pregnancy. The annoying nature of nasal allergies without the prescription medications to alleviate the pressure and pain.
Sinus congestion during pregnancy is extremely common. Nearly 1/3 of all pregnancies are affected by sinus congestion without any link to nasal allergies or other infections. Some researchers believe this congestion of the nasal membranes is related to the increase in estrogen and blood flow.
Why Am I So Congested?
Estrogen is one of the hormones of life during pregnancy. This does not mean there are no negative side effects of running the body on a huge tank of estrogen without a regulator. The nasal membranes swell when a large amount of estrogen is in the body. These estrogen levels are determined by the female reproductive system and thus the treatment will be reactive instead of proactive.
Blood volume is another reason for sinus congestion during pregnancy. There are many tiny blood vessels in the nose. With blood volumes increasing up to 40%, the nose will have more than its share of blood. In addition to the swelling and sinus congestion felt during pregnancy, there could be an increase in nosebleeds especially in women who have frequent nosebleeds before they are pregnant.
Treating Sinus Congestion During Pregnancy
Sinus congestion can be treated during pregnancy, but women should not expect a complete recovery until after the baby is born. Treatments to relieve the symptoms include:
- Steaming showers or face mask. Steaming the nose will reduce the swelling. After the steaming is complete, the sinus congestion will most likely return.
- Increase humidity. A humidifier or vaporizer can increase the relative humidity in a room. This humidity can decrease the swelling of the nasal passages and thus help to relieve the pressure. It is important to change the water in the machine every day and to follow the bacteria treatment guidelines. Pushing bacteria into the air and breathing those bacteria is not a good idea for anyone, especially a pregnant woman.
- Environmental factors. There are factors in the environment that can increase the amount of swelling in the nose. These factors include smoke and sudden changes in the temperature. Some of these factors cannot be avoided while others are pure choice. It is better to wait for friends who smoke to finish and then join them than it is to place yourself and baby in a position that could cause sinus congestion during pregnancy or other fetal complications. Alcohol should also be avoided as it increases swelling during pregnancy.
Medications and the Pregnant Mom
There is a list of medications that can be taken by pregnant women. This medication list will differ from doctor to doctor, so the pregnant women will need to see her obstetrician for more information. The list will often include various treatments for symptoms associated with pregnancy and common illnesses. This list will contain the only medications approved for use in pregnant women because they either do not harm the fetus or they do not cross the fetal wall.