Rhinitis of Pregnancy – What It Is, What To Do About It

nasal congestion during pregnancy rhinitis

A beautiful series of photos from Khaled El-Hage (see image creds, below)

(be sure to see links to more articles on Rhinitis of Pregnancy at the end)


Yes, growing a new human inside you is a miracle, one of life’s wonders.

Something to cherish, and we men envy this about you.

You –  woman – are amazing!

But, we don’t envy the physiological toll that pregnancy collects from you women – pregnancy, for all of its beauty, can be physically grueling.

Less Space for Everything Else

We are all familiar with the challenges that the growing fetus places on ever-smaller room in mommy’s body – less room for your bladder to expand makes for ever more frequent restroom visits; compression of veins causes venous congestion, and swollen ankles; extra weight in the front causes aches in the back, etc.

Oddly, one of the symptoms of pregnancy that we seldom hear about is one of the most common:  nasal congestion.


Perhaps we don’t hear about it because women are too tough to complain about one more symptom. I know that if men were experiencing this, we would ALL hear about it. Me? I’m an absolute baby when I have a cold.

Perhaps because they think that complaining about a simple stuffy nose would seem petty or trivial compared to the miracle of growing a little person inside of them.

However, I can tell you, from watching pregnant friends try to cope with complete nasal obstruction for month after month during their pregnancies, it can be miserable.

Pregnancy Rhinitis: What is it?

Pregnancy Rhinitis refers to the uncomfortable condition of severe nasal congestion – a stuffy nose – that troubles many women during pregnancy. It may affect more than 30% of women during pregnancy!

It can occur at any time during pregnancy, but most commonly begins during the first trimester. It can last for the entire pregnancy!

And it can be absolutely miserable. Imagine living with nasal congestion, or even complete obstruction, making it impossible to breathe through your nose (like your worst “cold”), for 24 hours per day for months!

What causes Pregnancy Rhinitis?

Hormonal changes during pregnancy cause swelling of the lining of the nose, resulting in congestion. When it is severe enough, it can cause complete nasal obstruction.

The result is similar to the effect of a bad “cold”. Occasionally Pregnancy Rhinitis includes over-production of secretions (mucus) and a resulting runny nose (Rhinorrhea) to accompany the misery of congestion.

What are the Symptoms?

Not all women have all these symptoms, but overall, the effects are usually similar to Allergic Rhinitis or Sinusitis, or a bad “cold”:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Sneezing, coughing
  • Rhinorrhea (runny nose)
  • Facial pressure, sinus congestion
  • Headache

What Can You Do About It?

Treatment will depend on the severity of the symptoms.

Some options include:

  • Nasal decongestants. If you are pregnant, you should discuss any medications, including over the counter (OTC) medications, with your physician before taking. Some OB/Gyn physicians believe that decongestants are okay during pregnancy; others do not. Ask yours.
  • Antihistamines. Many of the symptoms of Pregnancy Rhinitis may be caused by, or at least made worse by, the release of histamines – similar to allergic rhinitis. Antihistamines can help control severe symptoms. As noted above, use of any medications during your pregnancy should be discussed with your physician. First-generation antihistamines have been deemed safe during pregnancy and lactation.
  • The best option to help reduce the swelling of the lining of the nose is nasal saline rinsing. Many people have recently been discovering the benefits of the neti pot for nasal rinsing, and there are even easier ways to rinse the nose with salt water. Whatever the method used, saline nasal rinsing can help a woman with Pregnancy Rhinitis to maintain an open nasal airway and help reduce the runny-nose symptom. The use of nasal saline rinsing is completely safe during pregnancy.

What Else Can You Do?

Here are some general tips to help keep you breathing through your nose during your Pregnancy Rhinitis:

  1. Elevate the head of your bed to help reduce nasal congestion, and the sense of facial pressure and fullness.
  2. Non-impact, moderate exercise will help you optimize overall health during pregnancy, but will also help reduce nasal congestion and rhinitis symptoms. Discuss any exercise program during pregnancy with your physician.
  3. Use a steam-vaporizer humidifier in your bedroom at night for healthy level of humidity. Be sure to turn it off during the day and open up the room to air out to avoid possible mold problems.
  4. A steamy shower may help clear your nose – just like when you have a cold.
  5. Drink plenty of non-caffeinated fluids.
  6. Get plenty of sleep to maintain a healthy immune system, not to mention to help you grow that healthy little human inside you!
  7. Don’t even THINK about smoking. Avoid smoke and other irritants.

The lining of your nose may be particularly sensitive to irritants during your pregnancy.

This might also be a good time to eliminate toxins from your household. For your nose, and for that little person growing inside you.

That means you should minimize your exposure to chemical irritants (like chlorinated water at the pool), or particulate irritants in your home (minimize use of the wood-burning stove), or inevitable irritants like the ubiquitous dust mites (put away the stuffed toys).

Following these tips should help you reduce the symptoms of your Pregnancy Rhinitis.

Want more?      (SORRY: eBook no longer available)

Take a look at the Rhinitis of Pregnancy eBook:

 12 SAFE Remedies for Your Stuffy Nose!

 Click the Image to

boogordoctor eBook Rhinitis of Pregnancy

boogordoctor eBook: Rhinitis of Pregnancy …
what it is / why you have it / what to DO about it / 12 SAFE options


And, congratulations!

We’re all envious of your miracle.


Leave a comment and tell us about YOUR experience with Pregnancy Rhinitis.

How did you cope?


Image Credit: A beautiful series of photos from Khaled El-Hage, on flickr.com:



  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. So WHY Do You Have Rhinitis of Pregnancy? It’s Those Pesky Hormones: http://www.boogordoctor.com/what-causes-pregnancy-rhinitis/


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  1. Thanks for this article. My doctor hadn’t heard of this!

  2. How do you know if it not a sinus infection my docter prescribed me amoxicilln she didn’t mention anything about it possibly having something to do with the pregnancy

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Lee,
      Sorry for my delayed reply: Sinusitis that requires antibiotic treatment is an infection, and should be accompanied by the signs and symptoms of an infected sinus – pain, pressure, foul (thick, green, yucky, smelly) discharge from the sinuses, fevers. Rhinitis of pregnancy is due to the effect of hormonal changes on the lining of the nose. Fortunately, BOTH of these diagnoses will benefit from simply daily saline nasal rinses :))
      You might also try those “breathe-strips” that are little springy things with tape on them, that you press onto the outside of your nose for sleeping – they help keep the nose open even with all that extra swelling inside caused by your pregnancy. That combination – daily (maybe even twice daily) saline rinses and breathe-strips for sleeping – can make a world of difference!
      And, congratulations on growing a new life! I’m envious.

      • ASHLEY JONES says:

        Hey, my name is Ashley Jones and I am 5 months pregnant, but I am feeling the worst. It started as a normal cold with a stuffy nose, but now I cant breath through one nostril, and each day it switches nostrils, but now that I hold one nostril down to get my left nostril, my head starts hurting real bad and nothing comes out except pain, and whenever I put my head down, my head starts pounding. My nose is not even running anymore, it’s just plain in my head now when I go to blow my nose because it’s green cold that isn’t ready to come out yet. I really don’t know what to do, I tried a shower, tea, and my head is pounding and I can’t breath and my ears are popping also.

        • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

          Sounds terrible, Ashley!
          If you have more than nasal congestion from the hormonal changes of pregnancy – aka “Rhinitis of Pregnancy” – and you truly have sinusitis, you should see a doc: you may require antibiotics or other medication, and you definitely want your physician for that!
          Congratulations on growing a new life, and Best Success!

        • All I did was reduced my intake of water that’s the only thing that worked for me besides the saline

  3. I’m glad I found your sight. This is my 3rd pregnancy, my first pregnancy I had the sinus problem almost my whole pregnancy and I hated it. I tried everything & nothing worked I just sealed with it. With my 2nd pregnany I had it only for the 1st 4 months. I’m 15 weeks with this pregnancy & my sinus’s are kicking my butt. With my other 2 pregnancies I didn’t have the itchy eyes or the sneezing, with this pregnancy I do. I’m just hoping it goes away soon because I can’t sleep like this.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Christina,
      Sorry to hear about your sinus issues. Incredible how common this “rhinitis of pregnancy” is, but how we just don’t hear about it much. I think that, given all of the other issues that you deal with during pregnancy, most women don’t want to complain about something so “simple” as a stuffy nose. On the other hand, there is just no way I would be able to breathe through only my mouth for months at a time! Congratulations on your pregnancy, and thank you for visiting, and for sharing. I hope that the info here is helpful for you. If so, please share with your friends. Consider signing up for the email/newsletter (free!) for easy updates without visiting the website.

  4. This article doesn’t mention nosebleeds. I’ve had a couple recently and have heard it can be related to this as well. Is there anything different to keep in mind for that, or just this same advice? Thanks!

  5. Bethany says:

    I have the awful feeling of mucous stuck in my throat. It makes me very panicky/claustrophobic. Would this be related to rhinitis? Thanks!

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Bethany,
      Yes, what you describe is “post-nasal drip,” or drainage of nasal secretions down the throat from the back of the nose. Take a look at the various articles here on rhinitis, and especially those about nasal saline rinses. Thanks for visiting, and please stop back and let us know whether the saline rinses help reduce that sensation!

  6. I’m 15 weeks pregnant and am losing sleep because of my inability to breath due to this issue. I just saw my doctor and he recommended that I take Zrytec which I have for the past few days but of course I now have severe dry mouth and am still losing sleep. I know how important sleep is and am very worried about my sanity due toy lack of sleep. I’ve done the hot showers and many other remedies to no relief. I clear up by the end of the day but the swelling and mucus return as soon as I fall asleep. Please help me so that the only reason I wake up at night for is a potty break. Thank you

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Kelly,
      Sorry to hear about your congestion. Pregnancy rhinitis can be terrible to live with! I don’t really have anything beyond the recommendations in my article. Nasal saline rinses, elevate the head of your bed: consider placing a brick under the foot on each side at the head of your bed to elevate it by a couple inches. DO NOT use nasal decongestants – either oral, or topical nasal sprays! They are addicting, and the rebound effect, combined with your pregnancy rhinitis, would be unbearable! AND, you cannot be given the medications that would help to kick that habit. So … steer clear of nasal decongestants while pregnant. Oh, and congratulations! Being a parent is very cool.

      • hi all, im on my 3rd pregnancy, its the 1st time ive suffered from rhinitis and its awful! Im 15 weeks now and its getting worse each day. Im using a steroid nasal spray, antihistamines, breathe right srips at night and all for a tiny bit of relief at night. My doctor said ABSOLUTELY NOT to use saline rinses as its salt based and can raise the blood pressure! Ive found honey in a hot drink or on toast can help, its a natural alternative. Failing that, put a teaspoon in a bowl of hot water and breathe in the vapours. Completely natural and safe! :-)

        • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

          Hi Penny,

          Sorry to hear about your struggle with Rhinitis of Pregnancy. You should know that nasal saline rinses ARE recommended by obstetricians for this condition. After asking my OB/G colleagues about this warning that you received, they have reassured me that you are safe unless you INGEST all that saline (salt water). Perhaps your doc mis-understood somehow? I’m sure they mean well.

          Here is a good site for allergic rhinitis, in general, and for rhinitis of pregnancy: http://www.uptodate.com/contents/patient-information-allergic-rhinitis-seasonal-allergies-beyond-the-basics

          Thanks for visiting, and for sharing. Please check back and let us know how things are going for you, and whether this misunderstanding with your OB/G gets resolved.

  7. Oh man, I know all about this one. I’m currently only 7 weeks pregnant with my second, and the rhinitis has struck. It’s really only an issue when I’m laying down. A tip for anyone else suffering from this that helps me is to use a Breathe Right every night. I’ve just pulled out my stash from my last pregnancy. Totally sucks!!

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Erin,
      Thanks so much for the reminder about the Breathe Right strips! Those are a great addition to saline nasal rinses. Raising the head of the bed to sleep can also help. Hope your Rhinitis of Pregnancy resolves soon!

  8. Hello. I’m 26 weeks along in my 2nd pregnancy and I am struggling. I have a feeling of fullness/deafness in my left ear for the majority of the day every day. I went to an urgent care facility and they told me I had fluid in my middle ear and suggested I follow up with an ENT doctor. I waited 6 weeks to see the ENT doctor and he told me that I did not have fluid in my ear (which I don’t really believe), but that I have pregnancy rhinitis. Basically I just suck it up and re-schedule w/ him if the feeling is still there after delivery. I am going crazy. I hear muffled sounds out of my left ear (mainly I hear myself breathing) and the feeling is pretty unbearable. Can pregnancy rhinitis give you fluid in your ear or the feeling of fullness? Is there anything I can do to relieve the symptoms?

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Kelley,

      Sorry to hear of your troubles. Sounds pretty annoying!
      Those muffled sounds and claustrophobic feeling in the ear(s) is not necessarily the result of fluid. Simple dysfunction of the Eustachian tube can cause that also by preventing the tympanic membrane (ear drum) from moving properly. You can try the “valsalva maneuver” to clear your ears: http://goo.gl/wnn8v Otherwise, I can say that daily nasal saline rinsing DOES improve function of the Eustachian tubes, and may help.
      Thanks for visiting, and for sharing.
      Please stop back to keep me updated.

      • Thanks for this! I know what to do now after reading but I had no idea this was due to pregnancy! It has been maddening! I just have a stuffy nose and my ears sound like they are underwater but it has been going on for a month now off and on and it makes things very difficult. Good to know its not just me! Lol!

        • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

          Hi Erin,
          I hope that these tips help.
          Please also note that I am about to release several e-Books for nominal fee, including one on managing Rhinitis of Pregnancy. Stay tuned here for updates. Also, if you are signed up for email updates, you will receive a notice there.
          Hang in there, and thanks for visiting.

  9. Hi Doctor – thanks for this article. I am only 3-4 weeks pregnant and I’m suffering from this. I thought it was just allergies (my allergies went away years ago when I quit cigarettes, I just assumed my immune system decreased due to this pregnancy and that’s why I’m getting these allergy symptoms again). I was pregnancy months ago, (which ended with a loss) and I never experienced this, so I was shocked.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      I’m sorry to hear about your loss. Best success.
      I sincerely hope some of these tips help you.
      Stay tuned for the boogordoctor’s eBook on managing Rhinitis of Pregnancy, coming soon.

  10. I am 14 weeks and am also deaf in my left ear – I lost my hearing approximately 4 years ago. Because of this, I tend to suffer with that feeling of fullness on a daily basis. The pregnancy has exacerbated this immensely and while I am religiously using my nasal scalene wash, hot showers, hot caffiene free teas, propped pillows, you name it, I am constantly battling a slight sinus infection on my deaf side. I am wondering if a peroxide/alcohol mixture or something similar in my ear might help to dry out the mucous from the ear canal side. Does this sound at all reasonable or do you have any other recommendations?

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Kari,

      I assume that you mean that you are “14 weeks” pregnant?
      Sorry to hear about that chronic sinusitis. I am painfully familiar with that chronic, smoldering, indolent sinusitis personally, and I believe that I have finally have it beat using the tactics that I share here on this site. For me, the keys were daily saline nasal rinsing; including Manuka honey in that rinsing; including Xylitol in the rinses also; including a couple drops of baby shampoo when I feel that I am coming down with an acute exacerbation of my sinusitis; daily Probiotic (from Integrative Therapeutics – see boogordoctor’s Amazon Store). That combo has succeeded for me, and I hope it does the job for you, too.
      I also recommend that you see an ENT doc at least once per year, perhaps even every 6 months, simply to examine that ear. You should not need to resort to peroxide/alcohol at home. If there is mucus in the ear canal, it suggests that you have a perforation of the ear drum or a chronic process in the ear canal – either way, you need regular examinations by an ENT doc.
      Best success! Please keep us updated.

  11. Sindie Allum says:

    HI there,

    My Rhinitis is causing me to swallow a lot of phlegm and mucus and I almost constantly have a ‘frog in my throat”. No matter how much i blow my nose, I am still swallowing a lot and it’s making me feel very ill, even to the point of vomition.
    It also makes me cough quite a bit also illiciting vomiting.
    I have been using a nasal spray at a very low dose but it doesn’t help.
    I can deal with the vomiting at home but at work it is a real issue as I work in a veterinary retail store. The vomiting is causing me to run out on my customers and not only is this very unprofessional, but I am concerned about stock theft.
    Any advice would be very much appreciated.

    Kind regards,

    Sindie Allum

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Sindie,
      My best recommendation is to consider daily nasal saline rinses. Be sure to visit http://www.Nasopure.com and watch the videos to see how easy it is to do. I hope this helps. Please come back to update us!

  12. Dear Dr. Faust –
    Great website and thank you for posting your article on “Rhinitis of Pregnancy…”

    I am experiencing all the symptoms you mention, in addition to stinging/burning eyes (which I’ve never experienced in my life) and a nagging cough. I’m curious to learn if you believe this could be connected to the rhinitis since they have all seemed to emerge at the same time?

    If so – do you have any suggestions to combat the eye irriation and alleviate the coughing? I’ve been using the neti pot which provides me temporary relief, along with cough drops, but I’m hoping the pain in the eyes will go away once my twins are born! Thank you for your time.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Lilia,
      First, thanks so much for your kind comments, and thanks for visiting and sharing!
      Next: yes, ALL of those symptoms can be the result of the profound hormonal changes associated with pregnancy.
      Finally: aside from the tips in the articles on this site (and my eBook, coming very soon – promise), I don’t have much to relieve the symptoms.
      Thanks again for your readership, and please keep me updated. And congratulations on growing that beautiful little life!

      • dawn feliciano says:

        I have been trying to get pregnant and I have been having this for the past week that I have been trying to get pregnant. Is there a good possibility that I’m pregnant? Also I just took out my Mirena and she said that my fiance and I could get pregnant quickly. The sneezing just started last night

        • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

          Hi Dawn,
          There might be better ways to determine whether you are pregnant than a stuffy nose :))
          Please let us know the good news (either way) and thanks for visiting!

  13. I’m 19 weeks pregnant and have all the symptoms u describe o pregnancy rhinitis. I’m already addicted to the nasal spray all day and night long!! Can’t breath or sleep without it.. What recommendations u have for me? Thanks a bunch!

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Olga,
      Thank you for visiting, and congratulations!
      Please take a look at the two or three articles here for tips that can help. Because this is such a popular topic here, I am just now completing an eBook on how to manage Rhinitis of Pregnancy: what it is; why you have it; what to do about it – 15 SAFE options for managing / reducing. Another eBook on Reducing Your Reflux of Pregnancy. If you don’t already have reflux (gastro-esophageal reflux), you will. Stay tuned … available very soon.
      In the meantime, you must stop using those nose sprays. Consider using those adhesive nasal strips to get you through the night. Try buying some “BreatheRight” strips at your local drugstore, or get them from Amazon.

  14. Preg Rhinitis with 2nd Pregnancy says:

    Hello !
    I accidently stumbled across this website and I’m very thankful that I did. I am studying to become an OB/GYN but have never heard of pregnancy rhinitis; however, I feel that I am suffering from it. I just recently spoke with my doctor with the assumption that I was suffering from upper respiratory crud. I was prescribed antibiotics but to no relief. I am currently taking Claritin, using my humidifier, Breathe Right strips and sleeping in a chair to ensure elevation … but no relief. I am concerned about the 2-3 hour block of sleep that I get each night since my daily routine allows me no time for cat napping. I also haven’t been able to taste due to the congestion, so my appetite is merely nonexistant … not to mention the post nasal drip. I didn’t experience any of these symptoms throughout my first pregnancy and have just started experiencing them in my 2nd preg. within the last month or so, I am currently 26 weeks. My question is if the rhinitis will last over the remainder of the pregnancy? Or could this be temporary? Not knowing much about this leaves me vulnerable. I have read all the previous comments … and am extremely sympathetic to all the suffering expecting mothers.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Brittany,
      It is amazing to me that most docs know nothing about this, even OB/G’s, despite the fact that nearly a third of women go through it during pregnancy. Be reassured that MOST of the time it is temporary, only lasting through about a third of the pregnancy. I say “only” as if that’s not much time to suffer – that can be FOREVER if you can’t breathe through your nose!
      If you are using the Breathe Right strips and elevating your head to sleep, your next step is nasal saline rinses. Check out the Nasopure.com site – it is loaded with great information, and the videos (including some of young kids) will show you how to do the rinses with minimal hassle.
      Glad you found this site, and I hope that the tips here help. Consider signing up (‘subscribe’) for updates, including when my first eBook is out. It should interest you: it’s on Rhinitis of Pregnancy: 12 Safe Options to Get Breathing Again. Soon – in a week or two, I promise! There are so many people waiting for it.
      The next eBook to be launched is Reduce Your Reflux During Pregnancy. As you know, nearly every woman experiences gastro-esophageal reflux during pregnancy. These are a couple of the most popular topics on this site, now over 20,000 page-views per month, total.
      Thank you for your kind comments. Thank you for visiting, and for sharing.
      Please let me know how it goes, and hope to see you back soon.

  15. Hi,
    Great article! I am 16 weeks pregnant and have been suffering from this for the past few weeks. This week I have been using the NeilMed Neti pot and solution, using breathe right strips, drinking a lot of water, and staying elevated at night. I also live where it’s humid so the humidity in the home does not require a humidifier. I have had no relief and i’m beside myself from the lack of sleep. My symptoms are the worst at night. Usually, I do have only one nostril majorly blocked at a time and they switch off but less frequently it can be both too. I have a deviated septum and when I look inside my nose it appears the turbinate on that congested side is very swollen. I don’t have a lot of mucous; it’s just a whole lot of congestion. Is this most likely an allergy exacerbated by pregnancy? Pollen levels aren’t that high in my area either. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

    Thank you!

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Tiffany,
      Thank you for your kind comments. I am rewarded when readers find some small value in my articles here.
      It sounds as though you have most of the bases covered. There are only a couple tips that you might consider to get a couple percent better nasal-airway – note that this is a sell of my eBooks:

      1- Do everything that you can to detox around your home: eliminate toxic cleaners, eliminate foods that contain high levels of toxins, and other steps. Consider my eBook on this topic to help with these steps. Here is the link for all of my eBooks: http://www.boogordoctor.com/eBooks
      2- Do everything you can to clean your air. See eBook on this topic also.
      3- Reduce your reflux as much as possible. Nearly 100% of pregnant women have significant gastro-esophageal reflux (GER), and that will cause severe rhinitis.
      Here is my eBook on Reducing Your Reflux During Pregnancy: http://www.boogordoctor.com/ebook-reduce-your-reflux-during-pregnancy/
      4- Finally, consider purchasing my eBook, Rhinitis of Pregnancy: http://www.boogordoctor.com/ebook-rhinitis-of-pregnancy/ for help. This eBook provides a review of the causes of Pregnancy Rhinitis, the most common myths regarding Pregnancy Rhinitis (and the truth), and 12 tips for controlling your Rhinitis of Pregnancy.

      Use the discount code “LoyalReaders” (not case-sensitive, “loyalreaders” works, too) for a $5 discount on all of my eBooks.
      That means that two of them – the Detox and Clean Your Air eBooks will be FREE (because their usual price is $5 :))
      Please let me know if you have any questions.

      Thanks again for reading, and for taking the time to send a comment. I feel your pain; I struggle with chronic rhinitis, and cannot imagine going through the severe rhinitis that comes from pregnancy, along with all of the other annoyances of pregnancy.
      Best success,

      • Thank you, Dr! Interesting how you mentioned GER can cause rhinitis. I was diagnosed with this a few weeks ago for a cough mainly in the morning and night. Thanks for the tips and I will certainly be checking out your ebook.

        Thanks again!

        • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

          Hi Tiffany,
          As I said, nearly every woman experiences reflux during pregnancy. That only makes the rhinitis worse (much worse). Double-wammy. Yes, it’s a beautiful thing that you can grown a new life inside of you, but it really comes at a steep price. It’s amazing that we don’t really hear much about the reflux or the rhinitis of pregnancy even though so many women experience it. I think that they simply live with it, don’t want to complain (already complaining about the swollen ankles, aching back, stretch marks, etc,?).
          Regarding the eBooks, be warned: most of the information in my eBooks is available spread across various articles here on this blog. The eBooks merely package it in one convenient bundle, and add some new information.
          Thanks again for reading and sharing. Please let me know how things are going for you!
          Best success, and congratulations on your growing family!

  16. I ran upon this article/forum when I googled Rhinitis during pregnancy. I am on my 2nd pregnancy and I have had this condition with both however; this time it is more severe. I am on my 2nd round of antibiotic. I have been taking allergy shots for two years now so I am still doing those, using my sinus rinse, taking my allergy pill using a humidifier etc, etc and I am still having issues. My ENT informed me this morning that I do need another round of antibiotic however; I will have to deal with this until the baby is born. Last time I saw him for the 1st round of antibiotic he.mentioned Afrin to me since I could not use my Nasonex. Well the Afrin 12 your relief really works! But is forgot to add that I shouldn’t take that more than 3 days. Oops! But it is the only thing that has helped.me breathe at night. I did find out from my OB today that since I am in my 3rd trimester that they do allow the Nasonex even though it is class C. That is where I stand for now.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Ashlee,
      I feel your pain!
      Try BreatheRight nasal strips at night (or whenever) for a little bit more nasal airway. Also try nasal saline rinses. Really, they will help! I’m not a fan of self-promotion, but consider my eBook, Rhinitis of Pregnancy, for a few more tips too.
      And please let us know what works for you, what doesn’t, so we can all learn.
      Thanks for visiting, and for taking time to share.

  17. TotallyStuffed says:

    My severe Rhinitis started when I was pregnant 9 1/2 years ago and it never went away. Before that I never had a problem breathing through my nose. Now It’s like I have concrete in my nose – it’s totally blocked. I have had allergy tests – showed I wasn’t allergic to anything. I’ve tried every steroid/Allergy med that the docs could give me. I’ve even had three surgery’s on my nose (reducing turbinates, etc.). Dairy free diet, neti-pots, and special air-filters in house have not helped. When you have this condition you can’t sleep, it’s hard to eat (you have to hold your hand over your mouth b/c you have to chew with mouth open) and you can’t think. I literally have trouble thinking. I’m depressed about it. There is no hope.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi TS,
      Sorry for my delayed reply.
      I can relate to severe, chronic nasal congestion, but I don’t think that the nasal congestion that comes with allergies comes close to Rhinitis of Pregnancy!
      Other things to consider: try those nasal breathing strips (Breathe Right: http://astore.amazon.com/asktheboogodo-20/detail/B00411R5VG), just like the ones you see pro athletes use. Those can be just the extra help you need to breathe enough to sleep through the night. Also try sleeping propped up a bit. Even sleeping in a recliner can help reduce nasal congestion just enough to let you sleep through the night.
      And, as much as I loathe doctors who sell things, you might consider buying my eBook, “Rhinitis of Pregnancy: 12 SAFE Options” – at this link: http://www.boogordoctor.com/ebook-rhinitis-of-pregnancy/.
      Please let me know what works for you. If I can use your tip in the next edition of my eBook, I will be sure to send you a free copy!
      Thank you for visiting, and for sharing. Please keep me updated.

      • I’m 7 weeks pregnant and I’m living a nightmare with this nasal congestion. My nose is completly block, I have constantly blow my nose and when I blow I feel very week and dizzy I don’t know what else to do I have try everything I currently on ontibiotics, my doctor says that is too soo to have rhinitis of pregnancy. Please help

        • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

          Hi Kathy,
          At the risk of contradicting your doctor, you may indeed be experiencing rhinitis of pregnancy. In fact, there are women who experience rhinitis of “pregnancy” during their regular monthly cycle, simply from the effect of the hormonal changes. It can be MUCH more severe during pregnancy – even very early pregnancy. Those powerful hormonal changes are responsible for dramatic vascular changes, such as development of the placenta. Unfortunately, for nearly a third of pregnancy women, those hormones also cause severe nasal congestion.
          Instead of me adding a bunch of links here, simply go to the right column of this site and type “rhinitis of pregnancy” into the search box. This is my new search box here, and it is MUCH faster than the old one. Give it a try, and check out the articles. You should find some remedies – all of them safe during pregnancy – to help you breathe better!
          Thanks for sharing, and please let me know how these remedies work for you.

      • Um, I think it’s kinda crazy that someone with apparently intractable non-allergic congestion comes to your site asking for advice and you don’t even mention the *possibility* that they may be a candidate for functional sinus surgery, such as turbinate reduction, for example. I mean, she says the congestion came on with pregnancy but did *not* remit with delivery, has been subsequently ongoing for years, and has been demonstrated to be unrelated to any identifiable allergies. Why would you not even mention, among the various bits of advice you give, the idea that this might be a treatment option worth looking into. You know there are some people for whom this is the only solution that provides meaningful relief, and while one can’t guarantee that this avenue of treatment would solve her problem, I think frankly that it’s bizarre of you as a doctor not to mention that surgery might be something worth researching and consulting with an ENT about. Just my $0.02.

        • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

          Hi Emily:

          Thanks for your “$0.02”!
          I’m sorry that you missed it, but I have reviewed surgery a few times here on this site. Here are a couple links in case you missed them:

          I’m grateful that you have brought up the topic: My focus here is on alternatives to sinus surgery, primarily because sinus surgery in children should be the very last option considered. And because most parents have plenty of resources telling them that their child “needs sinus surgery,” and very few (if any) resources providing a look at other options.

          My experience with sinus surgery, turbinate surgery, and other surgical treatment options is relatively extensive. For children, I have always been a strong advocate of minimally invasive surgery. Call me crazy, but I can’t think of anyone who deserves our gentlest approach more than children when it comes to care and treatment. My own personal favorite treatment option when “sinus surgery” becomes absolutely necessary is “balloon sinuplasty.” It is a rare child whose anatomy warrants turbinate surgery, nasal septal surgery, or other anatomic alterations.

          Your criticism of my focus here may be based on a belief that my articles are intended for adults. That is not the case. With the exception of helping pregnant women deal with “rhinitis of pregnancy,” my suggestions and educational content strictly pertains to children. Furthermore, since your comment is on this article about Rhinitis of Pregnancy, let me be very clear: surgery is NOT the solution for rhinitis of pregnancy, just in case you were suggesting that.

          There are many, many other websites discussing surgical options for adults. I wish you the best success in reviewing those other sites.
          Thanks for visiting and for sharing your opinion!

    • The chewing with the mouth open! I hear you! And drinking any kind of liquid is the worst, because you can’t dare take a long drink because you can’t breathe through your nose! I’m sorry you have had to go through this for so long.

      • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

        When you have all that intra-nasal swelling, try using a “hyper-tonic” saline rinse. Hypertonic saline can help reduce swelling. The best way to make the saline hypertonic without increasing the salt concentration (it can burn a little bit) is to use honey. Manuka honey is best, due to its stronger antimicrobial activity.

  18. Hi Doc,

    This is my fourth pregnancy and I am stressing out due to the fact that I am having a difficult time breathing. I have never experienced these symptoms with my other three pregnancies, but I keep telling myself that I’ll get relief soon. Working at a school (especially an autism classroom) I don’t have time for these symptoms to hold me back. I am going to try the saline drops and humidifier…but would it be ok to use the vicks humidifier?

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Jeaninne,
      Congrats on growing your new life!
      Please read the articles on this site for ways to manage Pregnancy Rhinitis!!
      Go over to the right column and type “Rhinitis of Pregnancy” into the search box – there should be at least 3 articles on reducing your symptoms – and all are absolutely SAFE during pregnancy.
      Even consider purchasing the eBook, Managing Rhinitis of Pregnancy (search “eBook”), but note that virtually all of the tips in that eBook are in those articles – for free!
      The Vick’s humidifier is great to help reduce symptoms. But note: you must keep it cleaner during pregnancy, as you don’t want any mold spores in the air; although, it is reassuring that the vick’s humidifier is a “steam vaporizer,” which produces the humidity by heating the water. That should sterilize the steam. Consider adding a couple drops of eucalyptus oil (on right column of this blog click on our Amazon Store for the essential oils – most are pretty reasonably priced on Amazon). Eucalyptus oil helps clear the nasal airway.
      Please look at the tips in those articles and let me know how it goes.
      Thanks so much for visiting.
      Best success!

  19. I was wonder is pregnancy rhinitis contagious to others?

  20. After my doctor prescribed me Augmentin twice, Omicef once, Flonase, paired with a few other prescriptions with no results, we realized I didn’t have a sinus infection. Her and my OB sent me to an ENT (after 4 months of treatment with my regular Dr.) for the ENT to tell me I have Rhinitis of pregnancy, and also informed me that my nasal spray was making my condition worse. For months I hadn’t been sleeping, sometimes awake at periods of over 24 hours because I would elevate my head by couldn’t breath through my nose and would wake up choking because I forgot to leave my mouth open. And when I would leave my mouth open, I would wake up chocking because my mouth and throat were dried out from leaving it open. The ENT made me stop all antibiotics and told me to only take my Zyrtec like I normally do for my asthma and has me use a neti-pot once a day. My symptoms got only marginally better, some nights I can sleep, others I’m exhausted and have no trouble falling asleep, but after 5-15 minutes, I’m up again because I cannot breathe. I still have 4 months in my pregnancy now and I don’t know how I’m going to cope. Everyone talks about their food cravings and how they cannot stop napping, and their excitement about their upcoming baby showers when the only thing I want to do is sleep and breathe.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Laura,
      Yes, studies have found that chronic sinus troubles have a more negative impact on the quality of life than other chronic diseases, even things like heart disease or diabetes! It can really drag you down. You may want to try a simple squeeze-bottle for your nasal saline rinses, instead of the Neti pot. SOOO much easier to use! The best, in my opinion, is from Nasopure – either find it in the boogordoctor’s Amazon Store (right column of this blog; affiliate link), or simply order from Nasopure.com (no financial arrangements). That’s the one that I use every day. Thank you so much for sharing, and best success.

  21. StuffedUpNasalMama says:

    Hi, thank you for this article. I have talked to my family physician about my constant stuffed nose when I was 10 weeks. I’d had the nasal congestion for 7 weeks prior to seeing my physician and he advised me it is surely because of my cat and dog. I’ve never had nasal problems with my pets before, I refused to accept his answer. I figured if it was pet allergies then when I was away on holidays for 3.5 weeks it would have surely cleared up. It didn’t, it has only become worse in the growing days. I am now 14 weeks and fear this will last the entire pregnancy. I haven’t slept through the night since the symptoms started. Actually, I’ve always had a phobia/dislike of boogers, mine included, they make me gag just looking at them. Silly, I know! The only reason I have had most “morning” sickness is because of the runny nose and nasal drip in the back of my throat. I gag when blowing my nose! I have been on Claritin nasal degongestant. One of my girlfriends had used it for her first pregnancy and is now using it for her second, she swears by it and her obgyn said it was okay to use. I never use the suggested dose of 3 squirts in each nostril, I use one squirt in each nostril and find it clears me up just fine for about 4 hours. In connection with the Claritin I also have a saline solution nasal rinse. When I go off the Claritin due to it’s inability to clear me up after about 3-4 days, I try the nasal rinse. I have to literally stand at the sink and apply the rinse for 15 minutes. Usually it doesn’t help and my nose just drains. I have tried a netti pot rinse and it backs into my throat causing me to vomit. I find that once I do the nasal rinse for the 15 minutes with the saline spray I can then apply the Claritin and it helps again. I am also in the habit of not taking the Claritin for first remedy. I have baths all the time! Literally about 2-3 a day! I’ve never been a bath person before, never have enjoyed them. But they often seem to help a little, especially during the night. I have even gone as far to trying to sleep on the bathroom floor with the door closed and the hot bath steaming the room. It doesn’t help, I can assure you.
    I have recently put a humidifier beside my bed. Lately 2 out of 4 nights I’ve only gotten up 1-2 times during the night instead of the typical 2-4 times. So it does help. But I’ve only been getting anywhere from 1 hour to 4 hours of sleep during the night. I’ve always struggles with stuffy noses when I have colds, and use nasal decongestant when I have them. It makes a worlds of difference. But now that I am pregnant, I literally feel like I can’t breathe at all when breathing thought my mouth. I’ve always been a nose breather but this nasal congestion for weeks on end is something else! Work has become exhausting and trying, I am on the phone all day for my job and I constantly have to blow my nose and sneeze while talking to customers, there is often an awkward silence as I mute the phone while doing so. Even as I write this comment, I started at 5 am and it’s now 5:53 am. I’ve had to stop several times to blow my nose as I am laying here in my bath.
    Oh, I was going to mention, when telling my doctor about use of Claritin he said it has a steroid in it that can make it addictive as the nasal cavity can get growths that look like little mushrooms… He said the growths are what make people addicted to the nasal spray. Thankfully I don’t have them as he looked for them. But I don’t want to keep using the Claritin if there are other remedies that help. Oh and bother thing, the past two days I have been drinking hot water with a tablespoon of honey and a teaspoon of cinnamon. It has helped, it had cut the use of Claritin down and it helps me stay clear for up to 6 hours of using it. I’ve tried having it before bed but it doesn’t help while laying down. Only if I am upright.
    At my next doctors appointment I will bring up the pregnancy rhinitis and see if it means anything to my doctor or if he has heard of it. Sorry for my rant!

    • StuffedUpNasalMama says:

      Oh I forgot, if nasal congestion wasn’t bad enough to deal with… I recently had a cold sore in my nose! I’d never had one until the other day. It makes it very hard to blow your nose because it is so painful.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Dear Stuffed Up: Please note that Claritin does NOT contain steroids; perhaps a simple misunderstanding.
      Sounds frustrating (as all chronic issues are!).
      Consider seeing another doc for a fresh opinion. Even consider visiting with a Naturopath (ND) if you have access to one. They will provide a more holistic, whole-person assessment that you may find helpful. Wish I could provide more help, but aside from general tips here on this blog, I simply cannot provide medical advice at a distance.
      Best success, and please keep me updated.

      • StuffedUpNasalMama says:

        Update: After experiencing nasal congestion for just over year it is finally gone! The nasal congestion got to be so bad during my last month and a half of my pregnancy that I was taken off work by my doctor. I was unable to sleep at night, the nasal spray wouldn’t work sometimes, mainly at night. I was put on Nasanex and had to use it along with the Claritin twice daily. It helped quite a bit, but my doctor kept me off work because at night it would flare up. Also, it would not work some days. My doctor was going to refer me to a nasal specialist to see if I had developed pallops in my nasal passage but I hadnt, thank goodness!
        I had a healthy baby boy on July 3, 2014 7lbs 11oz. I’ve now been off nasal spray and can now breathe clearly since October 27! Thanks for all your advice!

        • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

          Hey StuffedUpNasalMama,
          Congratulations!! Both for your healthy baby boy, AND for clearing your congestion!
          And thanks for the update :)

          • StuffedUpNasalMama says:

            It did for me! But I have had a clear nasal passage since October 27. I had read that often it clears up up to 2 weeks after baby is born but I guess that is probably just an average or for some women.

          • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

            That’s a huge relief – that seemed longer than usual. Glad things are better for you! And thanks for the feedback. Best health, Happy Holidays!

        • Did it really take months after birth to get “cleared up”??? My baby is 4 weeks old and I’m suffering from the congestion . I’m going crazy I want it gone now . What to do?!?!?

          • StuffedUpNasalMama says:

            It did for me. I know another lady that had symptoms stop the day after she had baby. It is probably dependant on each person. Hang in there!

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  23. I am 38 weeks pregnant and just started having excruciating headaches. Tylenol and caffeine do nothing to touch them. My doctor believes it is pregnancy rhinitis but nothing suggested has worked. My question is…I don’t have a “stuffy” nose…I can breathe fine but I often feel pressure behind my eyes and in my head which then feels like stabbing pain through my head/neck. Will these other ideas help even though I’m not “stuffed” up? Thank you for your help.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Amy,
      First, congratulations on your pregnancy – a miracle, indeed.
      Next: it would be unusual for your headaches to be caused by “rhinitis of pregnancy” if you do not have significant nasal congestion: rhinitis of pregnancy IS nasal congestion, by definition. Even if you have no family history of migraine headaches, you might consider migraines; consider visiting a specialist on migraine headaches.
      Please do keep me posted on how things go for you. And send a baby pic :)
      Best success!

  24. Hi, I’m glad to have found this site. I am 18 weeks pregnant with my third pregnancy and am suffering with this problem for the first time. I am so stuffy at night and for the first few hours of the day. My nose is constantly congested. I just ordered a neti pot which I will be picking up tomorrow. I saw in a previous post that you can use manuka honey or baby shampoo as well as saline water. Does this also apply in pregnancy? Also, should you just use warm tap water with sea salt, or is it better to use boiled water? I see that in the US you can buy special solutions for a neti pot but I haven’t found these here in the UK. Thanks :)

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Claire,
      First, congratulations on your third pregnancy! We have three children, and I would have had another dozen if it were up to me (funny, it wasn’t up to me :))
      Next, I’m so sorry that you are experiencing this “Rhinitis of Pregnancy.” I know how miserable I am when I am congested with a head cold or with allergies; I cannot imagine that going on for months.
      Note that the congestion that you are experiencing is strictly the effects of pregnancy-hormones on the nasal lining: there is no need to use baby shampoo, which is aimed at disrupting biofiom-producing infections. Adding Manuka honey to saline nasal rinses can help to increase the osmolarity of the saline without causing it to be burning or irritating. The increased osmolarity helps to pull excess fluids from the swollen nasal tissues, helps reduce the swelling. So adding Manuka is okay (despite having great anti-microbial activity, which you may not need).
      Especially for you, boiled water is safest; you want the water that you use for nasal saline rinses to be sterile.
      Thank you so much for visiting, and for sharing.
      Please let me know how this goes for you.

  25. Hi Dr,
    My pregnancy first pregnancy was a tough one. I just had my baby he is now 4 weeks old. I am truly blessed. But how much should a woman suffer for a baby?!?! I had really bad nasal / sinus congestion with headaches throughout my pregnancy. Tossing and turning , sleeping on one side for one side of the nose to clear then switching to the other , trying so many natural remedies like neti pot and steamed essential oil. Well I’m still suffering a great deal. My question is how much longer after having a baby do these symptoms persists? How long until my hormones go back to normal? Does breastfeeding have anything to do with this? Because I am considering giving it up for some sanity my baby doesn’t need a cranky mother, which thanks to dad he has been doing most of the work. Please advise you seem to know more about this than the doctors I have been seeing, which have been a lot thanks !!!!

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Vanessa,
      Congratulations on your new baby! You ARE truly blessed.
      Sorry to hear that you’re still congested. That should be improving by now, especially if you have tried saline rinses. Consider visiting with a Naturopath (doctor of naturopathy) – they will take a more holistic perspective and may be helpful for you.
      I wish you the best success, with your congestion, and with your new baby.
      Thank you for visiting and sharing.

  26. My 2nd pregnancy was horrible to my sinuses but oh so worth it inthe end. constant sinuse infections and antibiotics the whole time. even my ear drum ruptured. cleared up not long after I delivered. we ate currently 16 weeks along now and my sinuses are even worse this time. not so much infection. that cleared up pretty fast after the 3rd round of antibiotics. This time my right sinus is almost completely blocked. I can’t breathe out of the right side and irrigation is a nightmare. slow and steady so the rinse doesn’t go in my ears. takes for ever. I am also on a nasal spray and otc decongestant thatbthe doc ok’d. nothing is helping his crazy stuff. so I think I am doomed till delivery. any suggestions?

    • StuffedUpNasalMama says:

      Oh no! This is a fear of mine for my next pregnancy!
      Have you talked to your doctor about nasanex(sp?) nasal spray? I used it for my first pregnancy along with Claritin and I was clear nosed the last month and a half of my pregnancy… When I use it! If I didnt I was completely unable to breathe through my nose.

      • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

        I’m usually an advocate of steroid nasal sprays (if all else fails), BUT: studies show that even the best nasal steroid sprays are absorbed. That is, levels of those steroids can be measured in the blood of users. For me, that poses too many fetal development risks: nobody wants their baby exposed to chronic steroids during development. That’s why I push safe, non-drug remedies to treat Rhinitis of Pregnancy.

  27. Okay umm if I’m prego this will be my first pregnancy and I was wondering if I have clear snot does that mean no infection so this could be cuz of pregnancy and it’s only in my right side and also my eye waters and I have Flem that is awful for my nauseousness. Is this normal and does it really last the whole pregnancy. Becouse I really want to enjoy this my first time.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Aleica, ANY time you have something happening on only one side, you want to check with your doctor.

  28. Krystina says:

    I’m trying to figure out if I have a sinus infection or rhinitis. I’m 11 weeks, but in week 6 I came down with a HORRIBLE bug (severe congestion, coughing, fever, etc), which is when I found out I was pregnant. Anyway, I saw the doctor 2 weeks after and neither of us were sure if I had a sinus infection or not, so he wrote me a script and told me to hold off until I felt I was sure I had a sinus infection. Fast forward 5 weeks. My nose isn’t really stuffy, but the post nasal drip is bad. It has gagged me several times and is making my nausea that more unbearable. In the couple times in the day I do blow my nose, the color ranges from totally clear to a mid green, but is always very little. The mucous I spit out is at the darkest a light yellow/green. No other symptoms (that aren’t pregnancy related). In your opinion, without inspection, and I know it has to be taken as personal, not expert, opinion, do you think the Keflex will help?

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Krystina,
      I’m sorry but can’t offer an opinion without seeing you as a patient, collecting a complete medical history and performing a thorough ENT exam. I will refer you to your doc to help you decide. Best success, and congratulations on growing a new person :)

  29. Katherine Bell says:

    Massaging ripe, soft avocado into your cheeks, forehead, nose, chin, neck, chest, breasts, abdomen, shoulders, back,scalp is feeding that wonderful baby food into your skin that the avocado tree worked so hard to make from simple dirt and rainwater. The perfect DNA to feed that kernel/seed inside the avocado to grow another tree will nourish you, your baby, and detox the toxins out of your body. It’s the main staple of a Hispanic diet that do not lose hair, wear glasses, or use a walker or wheelchair. It will wipe out the medical man-made extortions!!

  30. I have had the nasal problems my whole pregnancy, and now I am 33 weeks along. For the past week or so my throat has felt swollen and dried out and painful (similar to how I felt when I would get sick before I had my tonsils removed). I have been snoring again, which tells me that my throat really is swollen. This confuses me because I don’t have tonsils anymore. I dont have a fever or cough, and my nasal discharge is clear. Can the rhinitis cause throat swelling too? Or does this sound like something else I should get checked out?

  31. Dear Dr. Faust,
    Thank you so much for the very informative article. I had stuffy nose, sneezing, no smelling or taste during my 2 trimester.
    . Again it started right after my delivery and now my baby is 3 month old. Always having default running nose and sneezing when I wake up from sleep and I am struggling with this problem constantly for months. Is it because of winter and permanent too?
    Please suggest me. Thanks

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Ciby:

      Unfortunately there is no way for me to answer you without a detailed history and ENT exam – not possible over the internet. My only advice is to ask your physician about your symptoms.

      Thank you for visiting.

  32. Great info. I am convinced this is what I have vs. a common cold. Would a cough from mucus also be a symptom?

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Kelly: yes, increase secretions from rhinitis of pregnancy, with resulting post-nasal-drainage of secretions, CAN cause cough. However: if a cough continues for more than two weeks, have it checked out!

  33. Melinda says:

    I suffered from this during my 3rd trimester of pregnancy. Due to my pregnancy I was unable to receive or take anything that helped with this. Then someone at work mentioned an otc nasal spray. It did wonders. But then I took it much longer than I was supposed to and rebound congestion kicked in and was much worse then the original problem. I was taking the otc for 2 1/2 months. I am glad to say that I have been off of the otc spray now for almost 4 weeks. I can breath through one side consistently but it never feels normal. I am aware of my sinuses all day due to the pressure. How long does it typically take the nose to heal from this issue?

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Melinda:

      I can feel your pain (and pressure). Really … been there.
      It may take months (!) for your nasal lining to completely return to normal. BUT: you should start feeling much better soon – the worst is usually over within 3-4 weeks. If you are still not “back to normal” within the next couple weeks, you should see and ENT doc.

      Thanks for visiting and for sharing! Best success.

  34. Just want to say thank you for providing information and support on this little known problem. I’m in my 13th week, and complained bitterly about nasal congestion to midwife and doctor, both assumed it’s hayfever, even though I’ve never had it this bad, and saying ‘pollen will be gone soon’ so to sit it out. After testing the theory by sleeping at my parents house and experiencing same symptoms, I realised it must be pregnancy related, and although I am pleased to discover rhinitis must be the cause, a bit gutted to hear I may have it for another 6 months! As if peeing 3 times a night isn’t enough to interrupt sleep, we also have to suffer with blowing our noses every few hours and horrid dry mouth from not being able to breathe through nostrils. Complete nightmare. It also affects my husband as I often wake him whilst nose blowing throughout the night. I get short of breath too and using a ventolin to help. Breathing steam with ginger, and regular saline wash is helping the nose, but just knowing I’m not on my own helps a great deal too! Thank you so much. (I’m looking forward to getting better sleep with a newborn!!)

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Suzie:

      You’re right: just one more “reward” for the privilege of growing a new life inside you! Look for my email (in your spam folder, too).

      Thanks for your kind comments, and for sharing.

  35. This article is really helpful. I’m only 6 weeks pregnant but I’m experiencing the worst sinus pressure/pain of my life. I had an operation last year to remove a cyst from my sinus in the right cheek and had been using steroid spray and sea salt spray to keep symptoms at bay. Since finding out I’m pregnant I’ve switched to just the sea salt spray and symptoms have got really bad – much much worse than before I had the surgery last year. The pain in my sinus/head/ear is almost unbearable.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Lizzie,

      I hear you pain … I can’t imagine living with that congestion. I will send you some info by email.

      Thanks for visiting, and especially for sharing.

  36. I am about nine weeks pregnant, and I started having severe sinus congestion, or rather Pregnancy Rhinitis this week. It’s almost unbearable; my nose is completely stuffed (especially my right nostril), and blowing my nose gives me almost no relief. There are days when only a little clear mucus comes out, and others where there is a little yellow mucus. Recently now, my throat is scratchy, I can barely speak, and I’ve begun sneezing semi-frequently. Now I’m not so sure if it’s an infection, rhinitis, or a combination of both.

    I tried nasal strips and Vick’s under my nostrils last night which did absolutely nothing. I did buy nasal rinse and saline spray to your recommendation, but I have not tried it yet. Reading your description of this problem, I fear horribly that I am going to suffer with this throughout my entire pregnancy. I hope those are rare cases, but I can’t help but fear it’s possibility.

  37. Hi I was happy to find your site/article! I am in my first pregancy and about 4 months in and this week I have had a new condition I haven’t had in my life. I know pregnancy makes a lot of changes in a woman’s body but with the nose it is pretty annoying and a tad bit scary as other articles state it could be permanent or what not but I have a had the runny stuffy nose for a couple days now and yesterday I decided to look inside my nose and realized that in my left nostril a turbinate seems to be swollen now my question is, is that normal for this condition you are writing about and is it temporary? I have never had breathing issues via my nose before and this is pretty scary I see my doctor this up coming week so of course I’ll bring it up to him but wanted your expert advise? Are swollen turbinates common in pregnant women who may have the runny stuffy nose you are referring to in your article?

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Tabitha:
      Yes, the nasal turbinates swell along with all the other nasal tissues in response to the hormonal upheaval of pregnancy. Lucky you.
      Please let me know what your doc says.
      Thanks for sharing.

  38. Hi guys!

    My wife & I are expecting our first child, and she’s about 20 weeks. She’s experiencing what is above outlined stuffy nose and nasal congestion. While miserable, it’s mostly tolerable except after meals; after eating the nasal congestion is much worse for the next 30 minutes. We’re just curious as to what may be the relation between eating and the stuffy nose.


    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Ryan:

      Congrats on becoming a genetic success!! Get all the naps you can right now!

      You describe a common phenomenon: in many people, the nerves that are wired to the saliva glands (arranged around the mouth and throat) also make connections with the lining of the nose. For unknown reasons. As a result, they experience a runny nose or nasal congestion with each meal. It’s more common that you might know. Next time you’re around a group of people at meal time (restaurant, for example), look around at the number of people who need to blow their nose a couple minutes into their meal. For some reason, the incidence increases with age. I never experienced this until I hit about 50 years old.

      Hope that helps, and best success with your growing family!

  39. katherine says:

    the only thing that works for me are the decongestants. I’ve tried everything else but nothing brings the swelling down enough for me to be able to breathe. I do the menthol one but the only one that helps for any period of time is afrin. I cannot eat or sleep or talk when my nose is shut. I had it last pg and this one appears to be worse. nasal rinse does not help except to clear the snot out. steam does not help, nothing helps. have no choice if I want to breathe for a few hours each day.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      What you describe is classic “rhinitis medicamentosa.” Not good. Because your comment is on this article – Rhinitis of Pregnancy – I assume that you are pregnant (congratulations!). If that is true, Afrin and other decongestants are NOT SAFE during pregnancy! You should see your doc for help!

  40. I’m currently dealing with this and im down right miserable almost everyday. Im constantly congested with a nasal drip so bad that im having to spit up mucus throughout the entire day. The first thing I do when I wake up is throw up globs of mucus.The drip grosses me out so bad that im lucky if im able to get one meal in a day. Ive tried just about everything you suggested and there doesn’t seem to be any hope of feeling somewhat normal.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Mamajuly:
      I’m sorry to hear that…I know it can be miserable!
      I receive so many emails and requests that I have started updating my eBooks on Rhinitis of Pregnancy; Reducing Reflux During Pregnancy; Detox; and several others. I plan to post updates here on my progress, so please stay tuned!
      In the meantime, keep you nose moist; do daily saline nasal rinses; avoid exposure to ALL tobacco smoke; and keep your head up (elevate the head of your bead). Best success!

  41. I’m dealing with this too. I have to say at first I was like… really wow I have to deal with this too in addition to peeing like 8 times at night, plus the scheduled pees at work, and then pooping after so many days! A then it dawned on me…oh I’m pregnant! Yeah! This actually makes me feel more pregnant than ever :) It mostly happens inside the house, and at night! The rest of the days outside of the house… nothing. I’m thinking of buying a humidifier if it’s just dust or something in the air that I can’t see that’s causing all of this. Anyway those are my thoughts. Thank you all for sharing it’s great to hear that I’m not alone in this.

  42. I am 31 weeks pregnant. I had a massive cold with a fever that started 4 weeks ago. The cold turned into a sinus infection. After taking the antibiotics I now have had a completely blocked left ear and one nostril blocked completely for two weeks. Due to these two issues I have now been suffering from anxiety attacks when it comes time to sleep. I have been using a saline solution everyday, along with honey and hot water, halls, Benedryl (sometimes), sleeping with a humidifier and my head elevated. NOTHING has worked. Absolutely nothing. I go days without sleep because of these issues. I am so excited to be a mom but I hate pregnancy more then anything I have had To experience. Btw my doctors suck. I am aware that this should go away once I have the baby in 2 months. I pray to God that it doesn’t last another two months because I will be very mentally strained by then. Good luck ladies hope some of these remedies worked for you.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      I’m sorry, that sounds miserable!
      You’re absolutely right: the congestion that is common during pregnancy can lead to sinus infection. And, as you’ve discovered, your pregnancy makes treating that infection much more challenging. The only think that I have found to help at all is saline nasal rinses.
      Send a pic of your new ‘bundle of joy’ and I will post it here.
      Best success!

  43. Hahaha number 6 on what else to to have me a giggle!

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Yes – the notion of getting sleep is comical, especially if you already have little boogors at home! I hope that you got caught up on your naps before having children :))


  1. […] a stuffy nose (and this is new for you), you probably do NOT have allergies. More likely, you have Rhinitis of Pregnancy. Be sure to check out the articles here to help you breath normally […]

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