Sore Throat While Pregnancy: Causes & Natural Remedies

Almost all of us are not strange to that scratchy feeling in the throat. Whilst sore throat does not pose a major health risk, there’s no doubt that it’s annoying and can be irritating. Having a sore throat can certainly affect your day, but the effect doubles when you are pregnant. Feeling under the weather during pregnancy is certainly not something to look forward to. Pregnant women can’t just pop any medicine into their mouth; they are even encouraged to avoid medication as much as possible. Then how could you deal with sore throat while pregnancy?  

What Might Causes Sore Throat During Pregnancy?

A sore throat is scratchiness, pain or irritation of the throat that can get worsen when you swallow. Below are the common culprits of sore throat.

  • Viruses – influenza and common cold are the most common causes of sore throat. Both of these two conditions exhibit the same symptoms – sore throat that is accompanied by sneezing, runny nose, fever, cough, chills, aches and feeling lousy and weak generally. As for flu, symptoms are more severe and are sometimes accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Bacterial Infection - Strep throat (streptococcal infection), is a less common cause of sore throat that is primarily caused by bacterial infection. Group A streptococcal bacteria infect your tonsils and throat and cause inflammation, redness, fever, soreness, swollen neck glands, chills, loss of appetite and in some cases, nausea. There may even be a presence of grey or white patches inside your throat. Chlamydia, gonorrhea and corynebacterium are other bacterial infections that cause strep throat. To determine the type of bacteria that causes the infection, your doctor will use a throat swab which will be tested in a lab.
  • Oral Thrush – another cause of your sore throat during pregnancy is oral thrush, a condition caused by fungus Candida albicans. Though they are normal organism in your mouth, they can grow abundantly when you’re pregnant due to the extra hormones and weak immune system. They are white lesions that can appear in your throat and mouth. Other symptoms include soreness, redness, cracking at the corners of your mouth, slight bleeding, loss of taste and a cottony feeling inside your mouth.
  • Acid Reflux – You would feel an acid reflux when the acid creeps up into your esophagus instead of staying put in your stomach. Many pregnant women suffer from this condition primarily because the main hormone of pregnancy which is called progesterone slows down your digestive system. Compounded with the pressure of the growing baby, you have higher risk of acid reflux. The most common symptoms of acid reflux is a burning sensation that you feel in your upper chest or throat. Others also feel burping, nauseous and regurgitation.
  • Sinus Infection/congestion – Sinusitis or a sinus infection occurs when you have swollen and inflamed sinuses, making it difficult for the mucus to drain properly. Having sinusitis is worst during pregnancy as it’s hard to distinguish if the symptoms are caused by your hormones or by the actual infection. Having greenish or yellow discharge from your nose, pain and pressure around your face, having trouble breathing through your nose, sense of taste and smell are not working well, bad cough, headaches and earaches, fatigue and sore throat are the common symptoms that you have congested or infected sinus.
  • Postnasal drip – another culprit to be blamed for your sore throat during pregnancy is post nasal drip, an uncomfortable sensation of mucus that accumulated at the back of your throat. This creates an urge to constantly clear your throat, which often results to sore throat and chronic cough.

When do you have to be concerned?

In most cases, pregnant women try home remedies and self-treatment to find relief from sore throat. Though most of these methods are effective, make sure to seek immediate medical help if any of these occur:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • Having an asthma attack, especially if you don’t have any medication at hand
  • Dizzy spells or faintness
  • A fever of more than 100.4
  • Not able to swallow food and water because of the pain and swelling
  • Decreased movement of your fetus

Safe Home Remedies for Sore Throat during Pregnancy

You have to be extremely careful in taking medications when you are pregnant, and you don’t want any side effect of it to harm your baby. But that does not mean that you have to suffer from sore throat during pregnancy. Thankfully, there are safe yet proven effective to get relief from this condition.

Below are some of the popular home remedies used to treat sore throat.

  • Honey lemon tea – honey solves almost everything, and one of it is sore throat. Take a sip of big cup of hot honey lemon tea and you will feel the relief instantly. These two are the perfect combination – lemon kills bacteria and clears away the mucus while the honey coats the throat. To make your own tea, pour a hot water into a mug and simply pour lemon juice and honey on it. Stir well and enjoy.
  • Humidifiers and steam – Dry air, especially during winter, can cause sore throat. Replenish the moisture in the air with the use of a humidifier. Relieve your sore throat in a safe and gentle way by adding a humidifier to your living room or bedroom. If you don’t have a humidifier, steam is a great alternative and as effective as well. Breathe in the steam from the pot of boiling water.
  • Salt water gargle – a simple salt water gargle works wonders in getting relief from sore throat. Salt helps soothe the irritation while the water hydrates the membranes. Add one teaspoon of salt to 8 oz. of warm water and gargle at least once in every hour.
  • Chamomile tea – chamomile works as a natural pain-reliever as it helps soothe irritation, alleviates inflammation and kills the bacteria.
  • Ginger tea – ginger tea is not only an excellent relief for sore throat but it also relieves nausea. Drinking ginger tea is killing two birds with one stone – you can find relief for your sore throat and morning sickness. 
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