Vertigo During Pregnancy – Causes, Tips, and Treatment Options

6 min read

Written by Suma rp

Suma rp

Vertigo during pregnancy

Feeling dizzy or lightheaded during pregnancy is very common. Many pregnant women complain of feeling weak, fatigued, or experiencing a head rush when they get up suddenly. All of these can make you feel dizzy and out of balance. Have you heard of vertigo during pregnancy? No, they are not the same.

While both vertigo and dizziness during pregnancy, can make you feel off-balance and have similar symptoms, they are both very different. It is important to know the difference and treat your condition accordingly. Come, let’s find out more about vertigo during pregnancy and how it is different from general dizziness during pregnancy.

In This Article

What is Vertigo?

Vertigo in simple words is a false sensation of movement. You will either feel you are moving or everything around you is moving. Vertigo is a very common complaint among both men and women. Vertigo is also a common complaint among pregnant women.

Vertigo can make you feel off-balance even when you are not moving. It is not a disease by itself, but rather a symptom of other underlying conditions. In most cases, it could indicate a problem in your inner ear.

Vertigo can be classified into two types

  • Peripheral Vertigo – When there is a problem with your inner ear.
  • Central Vertigo – When there is a problem with your brain functioning.

Causes of Vertigo During Pregnancy

woman feeling dizzy

Some of the common reasons for a woman to experience vertigo during pregnancy are

1. Problem With Inner Ear 

Your inner ear is responsible for your balance and hearing. When there is a problem with your inner ear, it can disrupt communication with your brain about your body’s balance. It could be

  • Labyrinthitis – an infection or inflammation of the inner ear
  • Vestibular neuritis – an infection or inflammation of the vestibular nerve

2. Hormonal Fluctuations 

During pregnancy, the body produces more estrogen. The increase in this hormone can interfere with the brain’s association of spatial orientation, which in turn can disturb your sense of balance.


Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo is the most common reason for vertigo. When your head’s position changes suddenly, like when you sit up or stand up suddenly, you will experience vertigo.

4. Ear Infections 

Infections like Meniere’s disease or Cholesteatoma can lead to a build-up of fluid or non-cancerous growth of skin inside the ear. These infections can lead to vertigo episodes or even hearing loss.

Some of the other common factors that can cause vertigo in pregnant women are:

  • Migraine headaches
  • Diabetes
  • Hyperventilation
  • Surgery in the ear
  • Arrhythmia or stroke
  • Shingles
  • Syphilis
  • Infection in the brain.

Complications of Vertigo During Pregnancy

When you feel dizzy, suddenly or regularly during your pregnancy, you may face the following complications

1. Fall 

One of the biggest and most common complications of feeling dizzy while pregnant is falling. If you are walking or doing some work when you are hit by a dizzy spell, you might lose your balance and fall. Falling when pregnant can be very dangerous.

[Read : Falling During Pregnancy]

2. Aches 

Pregnancy is an already achy phase for every woman. Along with that dizzy spells and vertigo can cause sudden and severe headaches, and also neck pain. Prolonged vertigo episodes during pregnancy must be reported to your doctor. 

3. Affects Vision 

Vertigo during pregnancy may also affect your vision. Your vision may seem blurry or double, meaning you will see two of everything around you for a while.

[Read : Blurred Vision During Pregnancy]

4. Breathing Difficulty 

You might find it difficult to breathe properly or deeply when you are feeling dizzy. Take it slow, and do not do any activity that triggers vertigo for some time. If you feel concerned, do not hesitate to take this to your doctor’s notice.

Self-Care Tips For Vertigo During Pregnancy

pregnant woman lying on sofa

It is not possible to have someone watch over you throughout your pregnancy. If you are suffering from vertigo during pregnancy, you need to learn how to take care of yourself as you can find yourself alone many times.

Here are some self-care tips to help you stay safe during a recurring episode of vertigo during pregnancy

1. Take it Slow 

Anytime you want to get up from your bed or stand up, do it slowly. Do not be in a rush. Reducing sudden head movements can control your vertigo episodes.

2. Pillows

Use pillows to sleep with your head elevated. This prevents the rush or accumulation of fluids in your inner ear.

3. Sit Down 

Anytime you feel dizzy or light-headed, sit down immediately. Do not wait for the dizziness to pass and continue to stand. When you are seated, the chances of injury are lesser.

4. Squat 

When you want to pick something from the floor, squat and pick it up rather than bending over. When you bend over, your blood will rush to your head, which might make you feel dizzy. When you squat instead, the head continues to be in an upright position.

[Read : Squats During Pregnancy]

5. Change Position 

When you are in the same position for too long, any movement can be sudden movement, affecting your sense of balance. Keep shifting your position every few minutes.

Treatment Options For Vertigo During Pregnancy

sick pregnant woman talking to doctor

Vertigo can be triggered by multiple reasons. The treatment for vertigo will depend on the underlying root cause. Some of the most common vertigo treatments your doctor may suggest are

1. Medications (Only If Needed)

When you are pregnant, you cannot undergo most treatments or procedures. The safest and most non-invasive treatment option would be medications. The doctor will try to treat the underlying medical condition with the help of pregnancy-safe medicines only if needed.

2. CRP 

In case of BPPV with calcium deposits in your ear, the Canalith Repositioning Procedure will help move the calcium deposits to an inner ear chamber. Your body will absorb these deposits from here, thereby restoring your sense of balance. 

3. Vestibular Rehabilitation 

In case of an inner ear problem causing your vertigo episodes, vestibular rehabilitation can help strengthen other senses to compensate for vertigo. 

It is vital to note that doctors may not consider any other treatment options for vertigo when you are pregnant unless necessary. However, vertigo is also considered one of the side effects of the hormonal rush that occurs during pregnancy. Hence, it is important to speak with your doctor about the intensity of vertigo or other related symptoms you have. Your doctor may recommend the treatment options accordingly. 

When to Consult a Doctor?

You need to consult your doctor at the earliest if your vertigo episodes are recurring in nature. If you think your vertigo episodes are more frequent or longer than before, or if you have any other accompanying symptoms like nausea, severe headaches, and double vision, you need to let your doctor know.

When you feel off-balance during pregnancy, it could be just a dizzy spell or vertigo. Whatever it is, it is important to stop moving and find a place to sit or stand with support. Ensure you don’t leave it unattended, as it can get very risky very quickly.


1. Is Dizziness a Symptom of Miscarriage?

If you are having a miscarriage, you may feel dizzy or light-headed. However, if you are feeling dizzy, it does not necessarily mean you are having a miscarriage. Your dizziness could be just a dip in your blood pressure due to the surge in blood flow to the baby. You may even feel dizzy if your glucose levels are fluctuating during pregnancy.

2. Is Feeling Dizzy a Sign of Preeclampsia During Pregnancy?

You may feel dizzy when pregnant, due to various reasons including preeclampsia. Preeclampsia can cause headaches, vomiting, pain below your ribs, or blurring of vision. All these are due to the increase in blood pressure.

3. Are Dizziness and Vertigo the Same During Pregnancy?

No, dizziness is a symptom of vertigo. While you can feel off-balance during a dizzy spell, vertigo can sometimes make you feel as though your entire surrounding is moving. Vertigo is often accompanied by other symptoms like vomiting, headaches, or blurry vision.

Read Also: Preeclampsia – Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Treatment

Suma rp,M.Sc (Organic Chemistry) Rayalaseema University B.Sc (Biotechnology) Sri Krishna Devaraya University.

Suma is a passionate content writer with a strong keenness to understand the miracle of pregnancy, birth, and parenting. Suma has successfully transitioned into a full-time content writer and a key contributor at Being The Parent. She leverages on her experimental background in chemistry and experience in writing to come up with well-researched content that helps parents struggling to deal with various medical conditions of their children.Read more.

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