Sneezing During Pregnancy: Causes and Tips to Get Relief

6 min read

Sneezing During Pregnancy

Sneezing during pregnancy can be an uncomfortable experience for the expecting mother, especially when she is already battling other symptoms such as morning sickness and bloating. Continuous sneezing can put pressure on the lower abdomen, cause throat pain, and nasal congestion, and result in breathing difficulty too. Despite the inconvenience, it is important to remember that sneezing during pregnancy is not dangerous, it is just troublesome.

Pregnancy is a period of constant worry for the expecting mother. With so many unknowns and body changes to factor in, it becomes an anxious time for the pregnant woman where she may worry about every little thing. If you are experiencing constant sneezing during your pregnancy and are worried, we explain everything you need to know. Read ahead to know more.

In This Article

What Causes Sneezing During Pregnancy?

pregnant women dusting and sneezing

Sneezing during pregnancy can happen for various reasons ranging from low immunity to allergies. We explain the main causes of sneezing when pregnant.

1. Allergies

Women who are prone to allergies will experience increased allergic reactions when pregnant. Allergies can cause symptoms such as sneezing, a blocked nose, and throat pain. Dust allergies, smoke allergies, and allergies to pollen are some allergies that can cause increased sneezing during pregnancy.

2. Pregnancy Rhinitis

This condition is one of the leading causes of sneezing in women. As per an article published in the National Library of Medicine, rhinitis is extremely common during pregnancy and symptoms include sneezing, running nose, and congestion. Almost every woman experiences this condition at some stage of pregnancy, and it lasts for about six weeks on average. Increased blood flow to the mucous membrane and imbalances are mainly responsible for pregnancy rhinitis.

3. Weak Immune System

When you are pregnant, all your body’s resources get diverted to take care of the growth and development of the foetus growing within you. One of the consequences of this is a lower immunity level. As a result, you may quickly catch bacterial and viral infections and also experience sneezing. This is one of the reasons why your doctor will ask you to be extra careful during pregnancy and limit exposure to infections and illnesses.

[Read : 5 Tips To Boost Your Immune System During Pregnancy]

How do You Feel While Sneezing During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, you can experience a sharp pain in your lower abdomen area while sneezing. A pregnant woman already experiences round ligament pain since the uterus muscles are stretching to accommodate the growing foetus. Sneezing can add to this pain and discomfort. Some women can also experience stress incontinence or sudden unexpected pee leaks when pregnant. This is also normal and there is nothing to be worried about.

Does Sneezing Affect the Pregnant Mother and Her Baby?

Sneezing does not affect the pregnant mother and her baby and is not harmful though the mother may feel uncomfortable and experience aches and pains due to all the sneezing. When you are pregnant, you may feel worried at the slightest signs of illness. Sneezing can be quite a stressful period both physically and mentally. You may be worried that all the sneezing which can cause sharp abdominal pain at times will somehow affect the fetus growing within you. But doctors and medical experts suggest that there is nothing to worry about.

Your baby is safe and well-protected, and your body has its own safety and protective mechanisms to ensure that your little one is well-cushioned from external harm and influences. However, you, as a mother, may need to consult your doctor if your constant sneezing is becoming problematic and uncomfortable.

Urine Leakage Due to Sneezing During Pregnancy

When a pregnant woman sneezes, urine leakage is a common experience. Your uterus is located in close proximity to your uterus. As the uterus grows and expands to create room for the growing fetus. As this expansion happens, it naturally puts pressure on the urinary bladder. This is one of the reasons why most women experience frequent urination during pregnancy. Sneezing, as we explained earlier, can put sudden pressure on your abdominal area resulting in urine leaks. Stress incontinence is the medical term that doctors like to use here.

Though not harmful, leaking urine suddenly and unexpectedly can be quite embarrassing. Here are a couple of measures you can take to avoid embarrassment when in public places.

  • There are certain exercises that can help strengthen pelvic muscles and reduce urine leakages during pregnancy. You can consult your doctor to learn these exercises and practice them regularly to reduce the occurrence of such unexpected accidents.
  • Pantyliners are a great boon for pregnant women. If you are among those who experience stress incontinence, you can wear these pantyliners when going out. They absorb unexpected pee and reduce discomfort.

[Read : Top 5 Benefits of Kegels during Pregnancy]

How to Deal With Sneezing During Pregnancy?

How to Deal With Sneezing During Pregnancy

Sneezing during pregnancy can create discomfort both physically and mentally for the pregnant woman. If you are experiencing constant sneezing and are looking for solutions, we offer some tips here.

1. Avoid Exposure to Known Allergens

If you were allergic to dust, smoke, pollution, or pollen before getting pregnant, you must ensure that you avoid exposure to these factors during pregnancy since the incidence of allergies increases when you are pregnant. You can wear a mask when going out to reduce the chances of sneezing. In addition, using an air conditioner during pregnancy also helps you stay comfortable and avoid exposure to mold and other irritants.

2. Inhale Steam

Inhaling steam can be the best solution to any problem. This home remedy is quite effective when you are suffering from issues like colds and flu. It unclogs the clogged passages and provides relief from blocked nose and chest congestion.

3. Consult a Doctor

During pregnancy, it is important to trust your instincts. If your sneezing problem is going out of control and you are worried, you can always consult your doctor. They will do a physical examination, understand the factors that are triggering the sneezing and advise you accordingly.

When Should You Consult a Doctor?

As we mentioned earlier, when your sneezing situation gets out of control and unbearable, it is time to consult your doctor. Apart from that, here are a few more sneezing-related situations where you can see your doctor. You can consult a doctor or a gynaecologist when you are

  • Having trouble sleeping or having irregular sleeping patterns due to sneezing.
  • Facing breathing difficulties due to severely blocked nose and chest congestion.
  • Having constant fever along with sneezing which may indicate a bacterial or a viral infection.
  • Along with sneezing, you also have a sore throat which may indicate an upper respiratory infection.

Sneezing during pregnancy can be an inconvenient experience but is not dangerous for the expecting mother or the foetus. To increase your resistance levels, you can increase your intake of vitamin C-rich fruits like kiwis, orange, and lime. Remember to consult your doctor when the sneezing seems to gradually increase, and you have other symptoms such as fever and sore throat.

[Read : How To Deal With Upper Respiratory Tract Infection During Pregnancy]


1. What Can a Pregnant Woman Take to Stop Sneezing?

A pregnant woman can take the help of certain home remedies such as inhaling steam and plain saline nasal sprays to reduce the severity of sneezing. You can also install a dehumidifier at your home and reduce your exposure to irritants. Drink a hot beverage to relieve blocked nose and congestion.

Never self-medicate without consulting your doctor. Not all medicines are safe during pregnancy, and you must always talk to your doctor before taking any type of medication for your sneezing problem.

2. Is Sneezing Normal During Pregnancy?

Yes, sneezing is normal during pregnancy and happens due to hormonal changes and increased blood flow to the mucous membrane. It doesn’t harm your pregnancy or the baby growing within you.

Read Also: Cold And Flu During Pregnancy

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