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Metallic Taste During Pregnancy (Dysgeusia): Explained

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metallic taste in mouth during pregnancy

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Pregnancy comes with strange quirks. It affects almost every part of your body. Make no exception, your mouth and taste buds get affected too. One of the pregnancy symptoms that a lot of expecting women report having is a sour or metallic taste in their mouths. This symptom which is medically known as dysgeusia changes their sense of taste that can persist even when they’re not eating. Yay!

What Exactly Is Dysgeusia or Metal Mouth During Pregnancy?

An early symptom of pregnancy is having a metallic taste in the mouth. The ever-changing pregnancy hormones might trigger certain sensory changes in a woman which results in a foul taste in their mouth. A lot of expecting women may feel that their mouth taste like metal, sour, rancid, or burnt during pregnancy. These pregnant women describe this metallic taste as lapping on a handrail or having a mouthful of old coins.

Dysgeusia does not result in distaste for certain foods or cravings during pregnancy. However, it could lead to the food tasting bitter or leaving a bad after-taste. Now and then, the metallic taste might remain despite not eating anything. It can make the condition of morning sickness even worse for some pregnant women.

When Does This Metallic Taste Start During Pregnancy?

This common pregnancy symptom starts in the first trimester. Studies suggested that around 93 percent of women who are pregnant reported some change in their taste during pregnancy. So, if you’re experiencing it, you’re in very good company.

Plenty of expecting mothers have compared it to drinking water from a metal cup or the taste of spare change. While others say that it has more of a sour taste, and it appears even when you’re not eating anything. Although it’s hard to describe what the experience is like, you’ll probably recognize it if and when it happens.

How Long Does This Metallic Taste Last During Pregnancy?

The good news is that there is a good chance dysgeusia will pass or even ease up completely once you move into the second trimester, where your pregnancy hormones will also begin to stabilize. However, there’s a chance that it could return later during your pregnancy or even after giving birth. If not, it will completely go away after delivery. Unfortunately, for some women, it may not leave at all. 

What Causes You To Have This Metallic Taste During Pregnancy?

As mentioned earlier, the changes in your hormone levels during pregnancy results in dysgeusia. Estrogen, a well-known pregnancy hormone, seems to play an important role in controlling and moderating our sense of taste. When you’re pregnant, your estrogen levels may fluctuate widely, hence your taste buds get affected. Also, your senses of smell and taste are closely connected. So, when pregnancy changes how sensitive your nose is, it may also cause a metallic taste. All these changes mean that your pregnancy hormones are kicking in swiftly. The metallic taste should disperse, as your pregnancy progresses and once your hormones settle down.

What Can You Do About The Metallic Taste While Being Pregnant?

Seeing that dysgeusia is surprisingly common during pregnancy, here’s what you can do to make your mouth taste more normal:

Try getting rid of the metallic taste with acids:

Keep your focus on sour flavors such as lemonade, citrus juices, and foods that are marinated in vinegar (pickles). You should have them, assuming that your tummy can handle them. These foods not only break through the metallic taste in your mouth during pregnancy but also increase the production of saliva, which will help wash it away.

Consult your health care provider about changing your prenatal vitamin:

This is because some of the vitamins seem to increase metal mouth more than others.

Each time you brush your teeth brush your tongue, or just rinse your mouth with mild saltwater:

Add a teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of water or make a baking soda solution by adding 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda in 8 ounces of water. Gargle your mouth a few times a day to neutralize pH levels in your mouth and keep away the metallic flavor.

What Are Some Tips to Get Rid of Dysgeusia During Pregnancy?

Here’s the list of some things you can eat to lessen the effects of dysgeusia:

  1. You could do certain dietary changes such as snacking on saltine crackers. This helps in reducing the metallic taste.
  2. You could chew on sugarless gum.
  3. Having some mint can also help in expelling this metallic taste.
  4. Try eating spicy food to numb dysgeusia.
  5. Have some colder fluids such as popsicles and ice.
  6. During the third trimester of pregnancy, try and avoid tasting any new food because it can at times worsen the metallic taste in the mouth.
  7. Keep drinking water, preferably with some squeezed lemon in it.
  8. To purge any lingering metallic taste, you could eat green apples.
  9. Gargling your mouth with some baking powder solution or salt can be effective while dealing with the metallic taste.
  10. An effective remedy of using ginger in the form of ginger ale or ginger tea can get rid of the metallic taste in the mouth.
  11. Try food marinated in vinegar.
  12. To banish any metallic taste in your mouth, you could go for sour flavors like pickles, citrus juices, etc.


During pregnancy, having a metallic mouth or dysgeusia is usually not a cause of concern. Just like any other pregnancy symptoms, it tends to go away in due time. However, if the metallic taste is causing considerable distress or if you noticed any other symptoms along with it, consult your doctor for dietary changes. They could also suggest any other suitable remedies to cross off any potential problems.

Can You Prevent Having A Metallic Taste During Pregnancy?

Unfortunately, no you can’t prevent the metallic taste during pregnancy. Nevertheless, knowing that it might happen will help you prepare mentally for this strange yet harmless symptom.

Some Other Things to Ask Yourself

Are you currently taking any medications? Because some medications could contribute to the horrible taste in your mouth like antidepressants or antibiotics. Although you should not stop taking medicines if it has been prescribed, having a word with your health care provider would help.

In Conclusion

For some people, dysgeusia could be a sign of an underlying health problem, it’s not likely a concern when it is caused by pregnancy. This metallic taste isn’t harmful, and it doesn’t usually remain for the entire pregnancy. Just like other pregnancy symptoms, this one will eventually go away on its own. However, if you can’t stand the taste, discuss with your doctor about the necessary dietary changes and other remedies.

FAQs: Metallic Taste During Pregnancy (Dysgeusia)

1) Does pregnancy affect your tongue?

Yes, it does. The change in hormone level, particularly estrogen, can affect your tongue, inner cheeks, and sometimes on the roof of your mouth, gums, and tonsils.

2) Can liver problems cause a metallic taste in the mouth?

This is rare, however, liver or kidney disease could cause a metallic taste in your mouth, too. These conditions create a buildup of chemicals in the body, which are released into the saliva, and cause a metallic taste.

3) Can anxiety make you have a metallic taste?

Anxiety does cause a wide range of physiological symptoms, which include a bitter or metallic taste in your mouth. Several studies suggest that there's a strong connection between the change in taste and stress. This could be because of the chemicals that are released into your body as part of the fight-or-flight response.

Reviewed By:

Esha Chainani - Obstetrician and Gynaecologist

Esha Chainani - Obstetrician and Gynaecologist

Dr. Esha Chainani is an Obstetrician, Gynaecologist, and laparoscopic surgeon who aims to break the stigma around women’s health by advocating an inclusive and open practice of obstetrics and gynecology and an author of several internationally published research papers and health articles in the media like the Swaddle.
She also founded Premaa, a non-profit to reduce maternal morbidity and eventual maternal mortality by providing lower-income pregnant women living in urban areas with cell phone access through an app that can feature an entire section about contraception as well for a whole gamut of reproductive health.
A panel for multiple health sessions including with the UN, USAID, BMC, gender at work, and multiple non-profit organisations, and is on the advisory panel of the South Indian medical students association.

On behalf of the editorial team at Parenthoodbliss, we follow strict reporting guidelines and only use credible sources, along with peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and highly respected health organizations. To learn about how we maintain content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

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