Although having a sore throat while pregnant isn’t much fun at all, on its own, it’s usually not a sign of anything serious.
If you have a sore throat while pregnant, you just might have to treat it a bit differently, since there’s some medication you can’t take while you’re pregnant.
Caveat: We’re not qualified medical experts.
The advice in this article is researched using reputable sources (for example, the CDC) but this doesn’t compare to getting real medical advice from a healthcare professional. If you’re worried, speak to someone qualified to help.
In this article: 📝
- What causes a sore throat in pregnancy?
- Is there a connection between a sore throat and pregnancy?
- What can I take for a sore throat while pregnant?
What causes a sore throat in pregnancy?
Well, usually, the things that cause a sore throat when you’re pregnant are the same things that cause a sore throat when you’re not pregnant.
We’ve put a list together for you below.
1. Viral infections
Most sore throats are caused by viruses, which can’t be treated by antibiotics.
Usually, they just have to run their course.
They typically take about five to seven days to clear.
A sore throat can also be a symptom of Covid-19, which is a virus.
If your sore throat persists and especially if you’ve got other symptoms of Covid, go for a test.
Since pregnancy lowers your immune system, it can put you at risk for experiencing Covid quite severely.
If you test positive, let your doctor know so they can monitor you.
2. Bacterial infections
You might have heard of strep throat or had it before.
Strep is one of several types of bacterial infections.
It causes a sore throat, a high fever, and a white coating or white spots on the back of your throat.
You’ll need to take a course of antibiotics to treat strep throat.
Be sure to take it right to the very end, even if you start feeling better.
If you don’t finish the course, your body might become resistant to antibiotics, which could lead to more (and more severe) infections.
Always follow the advice of your doctor.
3. Your environment
Dry air, dust, air, pollen, smoke, pollution, and chemicals can also cause a sore throat.
If you notice any of these things bothering you, try to avoid them as much as you can or see if you can find ways to reduce them.
A humidifier can help to deal with the dry air in your home, for example.
Is there a connection between a sore throat and pregnancy?
Funnily enough, sometimes being pregnant can be the cause of your sore throat.
The pregnancy hormones that you’re experiencing can make your mouth dry.
This can make you feel very thirsty and sometimes also causes a sore throat.
There are some medications that can help you, and you might find warm drinks and lozenges soothing.
One of the main pregnancy hormones, progesterone, contributes to acid reflux.
It does this by relaxing the muscles in your esophagus, which makes it easier for food to travel back up.
When this happens, you usually experience heartburn and, occasionally, a sore throat, too.
What can I take for a sore throat while pregnant?
Don’t worry, mama.
While you can’t take some medication while you’re pregnant (like aspirin, ibuprofen, Sudafed, and DayQuil), there are other options that are perfectly safe.
Certain antibiotics, such as cephalexin, amoxicillin, and penicillin, are said by experts to be safe to take, and are effective for treating strep throat.
They must be prescribed by a doctor, though.
Doctors also say you can take Tylenol, but don’t exceed the regular dose.
Cough drops and suppressants, throat and nasal sprays, vapor rubs, and lozenges are generally safe too, as are antacids, like Tums or Rolaids, which can help to treat heartburn.
Drinking lots of water is also a good idea.
Being properly hydrated not only helps to reduce the risk of infection, but can help you to feel better quicker if you do get sick.
And keep those fresh fruits and veggies coming, especially the ones that are jam-packed with vitamin C, like oranges, tomatoes, bell peppers, broccoli, and red cabbage.
They’re sure to give your immune system a boost.
If you can’t shake your sore throat after three days, if it’s accompanied by a high fever, and if you’re finding it hard to swallow or breathe, speak to your doctor, just to be safe.
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