Understanding Pregnancy and Post-Nasal Drip

November 21, 2017

3 minutes

Reviewed by Michael Kaplan, MD

Welcoming a tiny new family member into your family can be one of life’s most exciting experiences. At the same time, pregnancy can often take a toll on a woman’s health. One of the least discussed health challenges that accompany pregnancy is the increased risk of developing post-nasal drip. Post-nasal drip during pregnancy is actually quite common; 30% of women suffer from chronic sinus issues during their pregnancy.

Why does pregnancy cause sinus problems? What can you do relieve your symptoms? Get the facts that every mom-to-be needs to know!

Why Post-Nasal Drip and Pregnancy Happen Together

Have you ever experienced the uncomfortable sensation of being unable to clear the mucus that has collected at the back of your throat? This miserable state of affairs is a condition known as post-nasal drip. Unfortunately, pregnant women are extremely susceptible to developing post-nasal drip. In fact, the development of post-nasal drip during pregnancy is so common that it has its own name: pregnancy rhinitis.

There’s a strong link between pregnancy and post-nasal drip. During pregnancy, the body produces excessive amounts of mucus that the body expels through the nose. Unfortunately, the excess mucus can clog the sinuses and begin to drain down the throat, causing irritation. As if bothersome drainage wasn’t bad enough, post-nasal drip can cause chronic nasal congestion, a raspy cough, post-nasal drip headaches, and a sore throat.

Taking care of a “normal” sinus infection is hard enough, but doing so during pregnancy comes with its own set of challenges. The hormonal influx that occurs during pregnancy makes a woman’s immune system very sensitive, which in turn can cause worse-than-normal inflammation and congestion in pregnant women. Symptoms can be further exacerbated if the pregnant woman suffers from pre-existing seasonal allergies or chronic sinusitis.

Safe Sinus Treatments For Post-Nasal Drip During Pregnancy

Common sinusitis and post-nasal drip treatments such as decongestants, allergy medications, and antibiotics, may be off-limits during a woman’s pregnancy. However, relief from sinus symptoms is still obtainable for pregnant women.

  • Avoid Allergens: Taking allergy medications can be dangerous for pregnant women, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have options. Avoid indoor and outdoor allergies so as not to trigger the immune system. If possible, invest in a HEPA air filter to help keep indoor spaces clean and allergy-free.
  • Stay Active: With a doctor’s approval, keep up a routine of light exercise. Exercise can help reduce the symptoms of pregnancy rhinitis.
  • Adjust Your Diet: During pregnancy, a woman’s body is far more likely to experience symptoms of acid reflux, which can worsen post-nasal drip. Avoid acid reflux and the accompanying sinus pain by steering clear of very acidic foods, such as chocolate, fruit juices, or drinks that contain caffeine.

Achieve Healthy Sinuses Before and After Pregnancy at Kaplan Sinus Relief

If you or a loved one are planning to get pregnant in the near future, now is the time to address pre-existing sinus problems. Effective treatments like balloon sinuplasty can eliminate sinus issues for years at a time. Similarly, if your sinus issues do not clear up after your pregnancy, it may be time to seek long-term relief.

Whether you are pre-pregnancy, post-pregnancy, or currently pregnant, Kaplan Sinus Relief can help you find true sinus relief right here in Houston. To discover a treatment that’s right for you, contact today us to schedule an appointment.


4101 Greenbriar Street, Suite 320

Houston, TX 77098