What is pregnancy nose and how long does it last?

What is pregnancy nose and how long does it last?

We've had many discussions about unexpected pregnancy symptoms; bigger feet, increased body hair, swollen labia.

But one bizarre symptom we haven't discussed is pregnancy nose.

OK, that's not the medical term, but it's the best way to describe how your nose may appear bigger towards the end of your pregnancy.

Everything else gets big so your nose may as well get in on the action, right!?

What is pregnancy nose?


And you've probably guessed it; it's all down to those hormones raging around your body.

The actual size increase is caused by increased blood flow during pregnancy.

The good news is that even if you do get it, your nose should go back to normal about six weeks after giving birth.

Although it is common, sometimes a growing pregnancy nose can be cause for concern - so it's important you know when to seek medical advice.

When should you be concerned about a growing pregnancy nose?


Pre-eclampsia, a pregnancy condition that causes swelling, can also contribute to some noses appearing bigger.

That's why it's so important that you attend all your pre-natal appointments so that your doctors can ensure your blood pressure checks and urine tests are all normal.

Early signs of pre-eclampsia include having high blood pressure and protein in your urine.

Pregnancy rhinitis

Aside from pregnancy nose, pregnancy rhinitis is also quite common.

It's basically just congestion or a stuffy nose that starts during pregnancy, lasts for at least six weeks, and isn't linked to an infection or allergies.

It tends to get worse later on in pregnancy, and it goes away on its own within two weeks of delivery.

Again, it's down to your raging hormones that can cause the lining of the nasal passages to swell and produce more mucus.

You also have more blood circulating during pregnancy to feed your growing baby, and this increased volume can make the tiny blood vessels inside your nose swell, leading to nasal congestion.

Pregnancy rhinitis is sometimes confused with the cold, flu, allergies, sinusitis, or COVID-19, but the main difference is that these conditions usually cause other symptoms like fever or itchy eyes and nose.

Pregnancy rhinitis treatment

To ease congestion and other symptoms of pregnancy rhinitis, try:

  • Pregnancy-safe exercise
  • Elevating your head with extra pillows when you lie down to rest or sleep
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Taking a warm shower
  • Soaking a washcloth with hot water and holding it up to your face
  • Trying saline nose drops or saline nasal spray three to four times a day to clear your nasal passages
  • Applying nasal strips

If you have symptoms other than a stuffy nose, contact your doctor immediately.

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