Rhinitis of Pregnancy: Allergic Rhinitis, or Something Else?

Gestational Pregnancy Ultrasound

Pregnancy Ultrasound of Fetus

Treating Allergic Rhinitis During Pregnancy

There are now several well-written reviews about managing allergic rhinitis during pregnancy. “Why should that be a special problem?” you may ask. Well, ANY time a woman who is growing a person inside of them is exposed to medications, there is the potential for harm to her fetus – that little peanut in the ultrasound pic, above. So the question of how to best treat allergic rhinitis during pregnancy poses some special considerations.

I have listed 4 well-written, erudite (scholarly) reviews below, under the Resources heading at the end of this article. Take a look if you are interested.

Allergic? Really?

There is only one problem with treating Rhinitis of Pregnancy as simple Allergic Rhinitis: most often the nasal congestion that women experience during pregnancy is NOT from allergies. It’s not Allergic Rhinitis. So those guidelines may not be useful for the severe nasal congestion that you experience during pregnancy.

So, what exactly IS Rhinitis of Pregnancy?

What is causing that severe nasal stuffiness? Nasal congestion?

Those Pesky Hormones 

My baby girl playing on the beach, age 2.

My peanut playing on beach (same peanut in the ultrasound, above)

In a word … hormones. The same thing that is causing most of those other changes that you experience during pregnancy. The same hormones that help increase vascular supply to your growing fetus can also cause vascular changes to the nasal lining, causing swelling of the nasal lining, and nasal congestion.

And, according to published studies, rhinitis of pregnancy may affect nearly a third of pregnant women. When severe, rhinitis of pregnancy can cause complete nasal obstruction.

I’ve said before, but it bears repeating – especially if you are pregnant and you are experiencing severe nasal congestion: the best remedy is daily nasal saline rinsing.

Saline rinses are the simplest, most effective remedy for Rhinitis of Pregnancy, but there are others. Things like reducing your exposure to dust, toxins; eat healthy (duh), get plenty of rest (good luck). Re-visit an old post on the Rhinitis of Pregnancy: What it is, What to Do About It? for more tips.

Also visit Nasopure.com for the best nasal rinse system available (the one that I use for my family, and recommend for my patients), and some great videos. There is a popular video there of a three-year-old girl doing nasal rinses. (It’s pretty difficult to whine about doing them once you see a little girl doing them without complaint.)

This topic – Rhinitis of Pregnancy – is THE most popular topic on this blog site. Let us know about YOUR experience. What, if anything, has worked for you? Leave a comment below so that we can all learn from each other.


  1. More articles on Rhinitis of Pregnancy:

  1. When Your Allergic Rhinitis is NOT Allergic: http://www.boogordoctor.com/when-your-allergic-rhinitis-is-not-allergic/
  2. Pregnancy Rhinitis: Allergic or Something Else? http://www.boogordoctor.com/rhinitis-of-pregnancy-allergic-rhinitis-or-something-else/
  3. Rhinitis of Pregnancy 3.0: http://www.boogordoctor.com/rhinitis-of-pregnancy-3-0/
  4. Rhinitis of Pregnancy: Common Myths: http://www.boogordoctor.com/rhinitis-of-pregnancy-common-myths/
  5. Causes of  Pregnancy ? It’s Those Pesky Hormones: http://www.boogordoctor.com/what-causes-pregnancy-rhinitis/



Treating Asthma and Comorbid Allergic Rhinitis in Pregnancy: A Review of the Current Guidelines. Posted on Medscape Today. In the journal, Journal American Board of Family Medicine. 2007;20(3):289-298.
Link: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/558444

Treating allergic rhinitis in pregnancy. In the journal, Current Allergy & Asthma Reports. 2006 May;6(3):232-8.
Pubmed Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16579874

Treatment of allergic rhinitis during pregnancy. In the journal, American Journal of Rhinology. 2004 Jan-Feb;18(1):23-8.
Pubmed Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15035567

Treating allergic rhinitis in pregnancy. Safety considerations. In the journal, Drug Safety. 1999 Apr;20(4):361-75.
Pubmed Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10230583


Hi, I’m Russell Faust, author of this medical education blog.

Russell Faust, PhD, MD boogordoctor

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