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What’s the Metallic Taste in My Mouth During Pregnancy?

last year6 min read
Last updated: Jan 20 2023

Getting a funny metallic taste in your mouth while pregnant? Is this a common experience, and what can you do to get rid of it? Read on to find out.

Metallic Taste in Mouth Pregnancy

You wonder if you’re imagining it, but lately, it really does taste like you’ve been sucking on some old coins.

You find yourself wondering: is having a metallic taste in your mouth during pregnancy a common experience?

And if so, what does it mean?

Pregnancy is a magical experience for many.

But it’s also a time when you might feel that your body is doing loop-the-loops on a rollercoaster.

And now, your favorite maple glazed doughnut tastes like metal. What gives?

You’re definitely not the first to ask this, mama—don’t worry, we’re on it.

In this article: 📝

  • Is metallic taste a symptom of pregnancy?
  • What causes a metallic taste in the mouth during pregnancy?
  • When in pregnancy does this metallic taste start (and when does it stop)?
  • Can a metallic taste during pregnancy tell me my baby’s gender?
  • Is there anything I can do to make the metallic taste in my mouth taste better during pregnancy?
  • Metallic taste during pregnancy—the bottom line

Is metallic taste a symptom of pregnancy?

Nausea, fatigue, food aversions, and cravings—are all classic symptoms of pregnancy you may be all too familiar with.

But what about a weird metallic taste during pregnancy? Is that a symptom of pregnancy too?

Yes, and it’s surprisingly common.

Technically called dysgeusia, a change in taste is found in about 93% of pregnant women, according to research.

Many expectant mothers describe the taste as metallic.

But some also say they taste salt or report that things suddenly have a burnt or even rancid flavor.

For some pregnant people, the taste is there all the time, and for others, it’s only when they eat.

So what’s at the heart of this unexpected change?

You might have noticed that your sense of smell seems more sensitive during pregnancy—this is common.).

And since your sense of smell affects the way things taste, it might be connected.

If things taste funny and smell funny too, you might have noticed that you’re feeling a little (or a lot) more queasy than usual.

Some researchers think that during pregnancy, food aversions and nausea might be your body’s way of protecting your developing baby.

This theory even has a name: ‘the maternal and embryonic protection hypothesis.’

When you become pregnant, your immune system becomes less active.

This natural mechanism stops your body from ‘rejecting’ the little one growing inside you.

Basically, it’s your body’s way of saying, yes, we do want this visitor here. Smart, huh?

But a lowered immune system means you’re more susceptible to food-borne illnesses, like food poisoning.

This is where some scientists think the aversions and sickness come in—to stop you from eating things that might harm your baby in the first place.

We should say, not everyone in the scientific community agrees with this theory. But it’s an interesting idea.

What causes a metallic taste in the mouth during pregnancy?

We don’t need to tell you that your hormones do a pretty creative dance when you’re expecting.

And that can lead to all sorts of weird and wonderful symptoms (check out our list of some of the more unique pregnancy cravings here).

It’s thought that those rising levels of hormones, especially estrogen, are responsible for the sensory changes during pregnancy—in both smell and taste.

Some scientists think there might be a connection between levels of zinc and dysgeusia.

For example, in this clinical trial, patients taking a zinc supplement found that their symptoms improved.

But not everyone agrees with this.

That’s because zinc levels tend to be in the normal range in the first trimester of pregnancy—which is when dysgeusia symptoms tend to occur.

So other scientific studies have shed doubt on the zinc-pregnancy connection.

When in pregnancy does this metallic taste start (and when does it stop)?

Dysgeusia tends to start in the first trimester.

And things tend to improve during the second.

But for some women, their weird sense of taste continues until the end of their pregnancy.

Can a metallic taste during pregnancy tell me my baby’s gender?

Your baby’s sex is what is assigned to them at birth based on the physical attributes they are born with.

Gender is far more complex and has to do with our identity, roles, and behavior in society.

So a metallic taste definitely won’t be telling you anything about your baby’s gender.

As for their sex? Well, there are some rumors about this.

Throughout the ages, pregnant people have looked for signs of their baby’s sex during pregnancy, whether they’re a boy or a girl.

There are plenty of old wives’ tales out there: fetal heart rate, hip pain, and even craving soup (!) are all said to be laden with clues about the sex of the baby that’s on its way.

And yes, you guessed it, a metallic taste in the mouth falls in here, too.

Some think a metallic taste in the mouth is a sign that you’ll give birth to a baby girl.

But there’s no scientific evidence for this (sorry to be a party pooper).

Fun to think about, though.

➡️ You might also like: Can You Do a Gender Test at Home?

Is there anything I can do to make the metallic taste in my mouth taste better during pregnancy?

Slightly bad news here: there’s nothing you can do to prevent dysgeusia.

But, there are lots of ways you can improve things if it does decide to make an appearance.

Eating acidic foods, such as citrus and those containing vinegar (pickles, anyone?) can help disguise nasty tastes.

Spicy foods—if you feel like them—can help too. (Just watch out for heartburn and indigestion, both of which are pretty common when you’re pregnant.)

Be sure to stay hydrated (this is important for lots of other things during pregnancy too) to prevent your mouth drying out.

Gum and mints can help keep your mouth moist and freshen those tastes up.

Talking about being minty fresh, it’s a good idea to keep things squeaky clean mouth-wise, too.

That should help combat any lingering tastes.

Finally, some women find munching on things like saltine crackers can help with dysgeusia and nausea.

Although, if you’re one of those mamas-to-be that only tastes metal when they eat, you might find this less helpful.

Metallic taste during pregnancy—the bottom line

While having a metallic taste in your mouth during pregnancy is very common—especially during the first trimester—you don’t have to just grin and bear it.

Try out a few of the things we’ve suggested here and find what works for you.

As always though, if you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to see your doctor.

Found something that does the trick for metallic taste during pregnancy?

Why not share your wisdom with other mamas-to-be on Peanut?

And, if you’re feeling at a loss because your usual go-to foods don’t taste good, check out our list of all the delicious foods that are great for you and your bump.

Keep going, mama!

Those maple glazed doughnuts will start to taste amazing again soon!

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