Social media users are sharing their pregnancy noses, but what causes it?

Social media users are sharing their pregnancy noses, but what causes it?

Pregnant people have been sharing their before and after pictures of their nose swelling during pregnancy on social media, a phenomenon coined “pregnancy nose.” But what really is happening?

Dr. Stacy Syrcle, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Aurora Health Care, explains that although pregnancy nose is not a clinical term, it simply is just the swelling of the nose that can occur in pregnancy.

“It’s thought to be due to the high level of hormones and increased blood volume during pregnancy. This causes swelling throughout the body, but especially mucosal surfaces, like the inside of the nose,” says Dr. Syrcle.

Is this something you should be worried about? Dr. Syrcle says no. These pregnancy-related symptoms are harmless and only a cause for concern if you have significant sudden onset swelling throughout your body. In this case, check with your doctor as this could be a sign of preeclampsia.

With swelling, you may also experience a stuffy nose or more frequent nose bleeds.

“If these symptoms of the nose occur, they should resolve around six weeks postpartum,” says Dr. Syrcle.

As each person’s pregnancy is different, swelling of the nose does not happen to everyone but can happen to anyone. There is no data on recurrence rates but typically with other pregnancy-related symptoms, there is a higher chance of having it again if you had it in a prior pregnancy.

Other changes to your physical appearance during pregnancy caused by hormonal changes and increased blood volume can include:

  • Dark spots on the breasts, nipples or inner thighs
  • Melasma – Brown patches on the face around the cheeks, nose and forehead
  • Linea nigra – A dark line that runs from the navel to the pubic hair
  • Stretch marks
  • Acne
  • Varicose veins – also known as spider veins
  • Changes in nail and hair growth

If you’re experiencing any unusual physical changes during pregnancy, it’s a good idea to ask your doctor. Your doctor can help you understand if it’s a cause for concern and answer your questions.

Are you trying to find an OB/GYN? Look here if you live in Illinois. Look here if you live in Wisconsin.

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About the Author

Blair Crane
Blair Crane

Blair Crane, health enews contributor, is a public affairs coordinator for Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Missouri - Columbia and has more than six years of communication and marketing experience. Outside of work you can find her trying new restaurants and hanging out with her two cats.