Pregnancy Nose Swelling: Causes, Symptoms & Prevention

Pregnancy Nose Swelling: Causes, Symptoms & Prevention

Medically Reviewed By
Vandana Sharma (Paediatric Nutritionist)
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If you are pregnant, you are bound to experience certain changes in your body. Some of these changes, such as tender breasts, pigmentation, swelling of ankles, and more, are expected, but then there are certain changes, like Nose swelling in pregnancy, which is very unusual and surely not expected. Yes, swelling in the nose is also a symptom of pregnancy. If you feel that your nose is getting bigger and wider, it could be due to hormonal changes. As the progesterone and oestrogen hormone levels are high during pregnancy, it may also lead to swelling in your nose and other body parts.

What Is Nose Swelling in Pregnancy?

Nose swelling in pregnancy, also known as pregnancy rhinitis or nasal congestion of pregnancy, refers to the common condition where a pregnant woman experiences nasal congestion and swelling of the nasal passages. It is caused by hormonal changes and increased blood flow during pregnancy, leading to inflammation of the nasal tissues. This condition is attributable to higher levels of estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy, which can cause the blood vessels in the nasal passages to expand and become more sensitive. This, in turn, leads to congestion, stuffiness, and nose swelling. Additionally, the increased blood volume during pregnancy can contribute to the swelling.

Although nose swelling in pregnancy does not pose a significant health risk, it can cause discomfort and disrupt sleep, leading to fatigue and frustration. It can also affect the sense of smell and taste for some women. Fortunately, several self-care measures can help alleviate the symptoms of nose swelling in pregnancy. However, it is important to consult an experienced doctor before using over-the-counter medications or nasal decongestants to ensure their safety during pregnancy.

What Are Some Unusual Symptoms of Pregnancy?

Apart from swelling in the nose, there are a lot of other unusual symptoms of pregnancy. However, not all women will experience all of these uncommon symptoms during pregnancy. Some women may find a change in their hair colour due to pigmentation, some may notice hair growing on their belly, and some may notice their feet becoming longer or bigger. All these symptoms are due to hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy. But they should return to normal after delivery.

Why Does the Nose Swelling During Pregnancy?

Swelling in the nose during pregnancy is not a normal pregnancy symptom; obviously, you will worry. But if you have a fair idea of why it happens, you might be able to handle those problems.

  • During the first trimester of pregnancy, the blood vessels expand to send more blood to the growing foetus. These blood vessels expand in the sinuses and nasal passages too, thus causing a slight swelling in the nose.
  • During the last trimester of pregnancy, water retention in the face may cause the nose to swell greatly.
  • High blood pressure levels during pregnancy can also cause swelling in the nose.
  • Swelling in the nose or an increase in the size of the nose can be attributed to changes in the body’s hormonal system.
  • An increase in the oestrogen levels of the body can increase the flow of blood into the mucous membrane, which is just beneath the nose. The increased blood flow expands the muscles in the nose.

How Does the Shape of the Nose Change During Pregnancy?

A woman’s body parts expand during pregnancy to accommodate the growing baby. The same is with the case of the nose. The following are the reasons why it happens:

  • The increase in levels of estrogen during pregnancy results in the blood flow to the mucous membrane. 
  • The muscles and membranes beneath the nose thus expand because more blood is pumped through the nose. 
  • The soft bones of the nose are influenced easily and hence take a different shape. 
  • Pregnant women may also develop asthma, allergies or increased sensitivity to certain substances, such as pollen or dust, which can result in nasal swelling.
  • Additionally, fluid retention is common during pregnancy, and it can also affect the tissues in the nose, leading to nasal congestion and swelling.
  • And this is why some women may notice their noses getting wider and taking a different shape during pregnancy.

When Will the Nose Get Back to Its Normal Size and Shape?

Nose enlargement during pregnancy happens because of the hormonal changes in a pregnant woman’s body. However, these changes are temporary. After delivery, the hormonal makeup returns to its normal level, and all these changes should return to normal within a month to forty days. Even though pregnant rhinitis can happen at any time, the first trimester is when it typically occurs. The symptoms were for about 6 weeks. The good news is that they often vanish two weeks after your child’s birth.

How to Prevent Swelling in the Nose During Pregnancy?

Although swelling in the nose is very normal during pregnancy, there are ways to manage and lessen the swelling. If you notice swelling in your nose, try and minimise your overall salt intake, it will lessen the level of water retention and manage the high blood pressure. You can also drink water as water intake helps reduce water retention, reducing swelling. Regular steam inhaling can also be a good prevention and treatment technique for nasal swelling during pregnancy. As suggested by the healthcare provider, taking the right precautions is the best way to prevent nose swelling during pregnancy.

When to Consult a Doctor?

Usually, swelling in the nose is normal during pregnancy, and you need not worry. However, you should check with a doctor if you notice swelling anywhere else in the body, such as your hands, face, or feet. If you notice severe or sudden swelling, it can be because of high blood pressure. And preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy) coupled with water retention is not favourable for pregnancy, so it is best that you consult a doctor without delay.


1. What Week of Pregnancy Does the Nose Swell?

Nasal swelling during pregnancy can occur at different times for different women. It may start as early as the first trimester or develop later in pregnancy. There is no specific week when it occurs, as it varies from person to person.

2. Does Every Woman’s Nose Swell in Pregnancy?

No, not every woman experiences nasal swelling during pregnancy. While it is a common symptom, it does not affect all pregnant women. Some women may experience mild or no nasal swelling, while others may have more pronounced symptoms. Each pregnancy is unique, and symptoms can vary among individuals.

Pregnancy can bring about weird and unwanted changes, such as a swollen nose, but be assured that these changes will subside post-delivery. Whatever changes happen in the body during pregnancy are because of hormonal fluctuations, and there is no need to concern yourself. Pregnancy is a wonderful time, so enjoy it. Eat healthy, and you will have a safe and healthy pregnancy!


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Also Read: 

Lupus in Pregnancy
Rhinitis while Pregnant
Sneezing during Pregnancy
Nose Bleeding during Pregnancy

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