Sore Throat During Pregnancy: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Sore Throat During Pregnancy: Causes & Home Remedies

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Sabiha Anjum (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
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The changing weather can take a toll on your health, especially during pregnancy. Common ailments such as a sore throat can get quite tricky to treat during pregnancy because you may want to avoid taking medicines for a cough and cold for your baby’s well-being. Read this article to know more about having a sore throat during pregnancy and ways to tackle it.

What Is a Sore Throat During Pregnancy?

The pharynx is located at the back of the throat. The inflammation of the pharynx, also known as pharyngitis, is known as a sore throat. If your throat becomes inflamed and red and if you experience trouble swallowing or breathing, it is an indication that you may be developing a sore throat. A sore throat usually is not a cause for concern during pregnancy, and it subsides within a few days.

Causes of a Sore Throat When Pregnant

The common causes of a sore throat during pregnancy can be:

However, some other causes of a sore throat are as follows:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Acid reflux
  • Sinusitis
  • Fungal infection
  • Strained throat muscles
  • Pollutants or chemicals
  • Pregnancy hormones
  • Postnatal drips

A pregnant woman sick

Signs and Symptoms

In case you are experiencing any of the following signs and symptoms during pregnancy, you may be suffering from a sore throat.

  • Your tonsils are red and swollen
  • You have severe pain in your throat
  • You’re experiencing a lack of energy
  • You have a headache
  • You have a poor appetite
  • You have a fever
  • You notice white spots on your throat
  • You’re experiencing difficulty breathing
  • You have a swollen neck
  • You’re experiencing difficulty in eating and swallowing
  • You have enlarged lymph nodes

Tips to Take Care of a Sore Throat During Pregnancy

The following tips may help provide relief from a sore throat during pregnancy:

  • You may be prone to illness during pregnancy, so it is advised that you take ample rest during this time. It will help your body heal faster.
  • Eat home-cooked meals that are rich in vitamins and minerals. Try to eat as much warm/hot food as possible.
  • Keep yourself hydrated and drink ample fluids.
  • Do not consume any food items that may have preservatives in them as they may aggravate your condition.
  • Do not consume cold, aerated or fizzy drinks.
  • Consume warm beverages such as soups, herbal teas, etc.
  • Steam inhalation helps relieve symptoms of a sore throat.
  • Do not share your towel, utensils, and other such personal belongings as you may end up spreading the infection to others.
  • Wash your hands after you sneeze or a cough to get rid of germs.
  • Gargle with warm saline water 3 to 4 times a day. This will also relieve the symptoms of a sore throat.

A pregnant woman drinks water


Treatment options that your doctor may consider for the treatment of a sore throat are:

  • If you have a sore throat because of a bacterial infection, your doctor may prescribe you some antibiotics.
  • You may be given cough drops, throat sprays, or cough syrup to reduce the inflammation.
  • If you have a sore throat because of acid reflux, your doctor may prescribe antacids. Do not take over-the-counter medicines to treat a sore throat during pregnancy and seek medical help.


The best way to combat any infection or disease during pregnancy is through prevention. Your immunity strength is affected during pregnancy, and this easily increases your chances of catching various infections like a sore throat. However, the following preventive measures may help:

  • Do not come in close contact with a person who already has a sore throat.
  • Stay hydrated, as it will save you from catching infections during pregnancy.
  • Always wash your hands after using public washrooms.

Home Remedies for a Sore Throat during Pregnancy

Home remedies work wonders in treating a sore throat, and you may want to consider this option because you may not want to pop unnecessary medicines during pregnancy. Here are some age-old and effective home remedial measures that may provide relief from the symptoms of a sore throat in the early and later stages of pregnancy:

1. Honey and Lemon Tea

Honey and lemon tea is beneficial in battling the symptoms of a sore throat. Honey soothes your throat and lemon helps in breaking down mucus that causes a sore throat. You can drink this tea 2-3 times a day. You can add honey and lemon juice in a cup of warm water, let it come to room temperature and then drink. However, ensure that you do not consume raw honey.

Honey and lemon tea

2. Salt Water Gargles

Gargling with salt water is one of the best ways of treating a sore throat. This may also be recommended by your doctor. Warm water with salt even helps in hydrating the membranes of your throat. Take a glass of warm water and put half a teaspoon of salt in it. Gargle with this warm salt water a few times a day.

3. Steam Inhalation

Steam inhalation effectively treats the symptoms of a sore throat. Steam inhalation also helps clear any nasal congestion. Just remember to be extremely careful while using this remedy as the hot water can scald you in case an accident occurs.

Steam inhalation

4. Water

Staying hydrated helps in combating infection. Drinking adequate water helps in thinning the mucus and flushing it out from the body. You can even drink herbal teas or soups to keep your body hydrated.

5. Ginger Tea

Ginger is loaded with anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and is very effective in treating a sore throat. Add grated ginger to a cup of boiling water and allow it to boil for a few minutes. Strain and let it cool down. You may add honey for sweetness.

Ginger tea

6. Chamomile Tea

Drinking chamomile tea provides relief from inflammation and soothes the throat. It not only helps in fighting the bacteria but also provides relief from pain in the throat.

7. Candy

Eating candy increases saliva formation, which in turn helps in cleansing the throat. Your doctor may recommend some cough drops to ease the pain, but make sure to buy non-alcoholic ones.

A sore throat is not a serious illness during pregnancy and you need not worry. However, do not take it lightly. Get immediate medical assistance once you register the symptoms of this infection.

Resources and References: Healthline

Also Read: Dry Cough in Pregnancy

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