Table of Contents
Sore throat while pregnant, It’s true how pregnancy can make the treatment of the smallest and the most common ailments way too complex, given the health concerns and safety of the baby.
Nevertheless, these ailments in pregnant women cannot be ignored as well and need the necessary treatment to prevent the building of potentially serious illnesses during pregnancy.
One such common illness and the most irritant now is having a sore throat. Leave alone when pregnant, even in normal circumstances, having a sore throat could cause a lot of pain and discomfort. But what can you do to prevent it? How to prevent running nose and colds without taking baby “normal” medicine?
To help you find answers and find relief from the sore throat, we have curated this blog post on our site with reviewed treatments to the symptoms. Let’s read on;
First Things First, Is Having a Sore Throat While Pregnant Dangerous?
Fortunately, no! Having a sore throat is common and is not dangerous during pregnancy. Nevertheless, it might have uncomfortable ailments and in a few cases turn out to be quite serious, this is why you must make sure to always consult your doctor for reassurance and precaution.
Meanwhile, here are a few common causes of having a sore throat while pregnant;
What Causes a Sore Throat or a Strep Throat During Pregnancy?
A strep throat could vary from mild to severe, including:
- Minor itching
- Burning pain
- Rough or sandpaper-like scratching
- Sharp pains as if you’re swallowing glass
When pregnant, it can be caused due to many things, from environmental irritants to pregnancy hormones. To name a few:
Most sore throats are caused by viruses that are responsible for the common cold and seasonal flu. For which, antibiotics are taken as they are ineffective against viral infections and generally run their course over 5 to 7 days.
Bacterial infections can be treated with prescribed antibiotics. One of the many hallmarks of strep throat is a white coating or white spots that are seen at the back of the throat with a high fever.
Adding on, make sure to always complete your antibiotic dose even if you feel better as insufficient treatment could lead to other stronger bacterial infections.
3) Environmental Irritants
There are many environmental irritates that can cause throat and nasal passages discomfort. These include dust, dry air, pollen, or any other allergens like smoke and chemicals. The best way to treat these is by avoiding the source of the irritation and/or run a humidifier to moisten the air.
4) Postnasal drip
Since the sinuses drain, the mucus tends to drip down the back of your throat which could be quite irritating and also cause a chronic cough.
5) A weak immune system
During pregnancy, the immune system tends to lower its strength in order to protect the unborn baby from any attacks by your body. This enables the body to be more susceptible to infections.
6) Pregnancy hormones
All thanks to the extreme changes in the body due to the pregnancy hormones, your body can experience several oral symptoms like having a dry mouth, sore throat, and/or excessive thirst. The best way to treat these is by having to take a few medical options and measures to increase comfort with lozenges and safe warm beverages.
Sore Throat Remedies While Pregnant - What to Do and Don't?
Here are the things you must do and don’t, respectively to treat a sore throat while pregnant:
If you have a sore throat while pregnant, you must:
1) Check your Temperature
Even before you think of self-treating and taking any sort of drug, make sure you are not having a fever, that is, anything above 100 degrees. The reason being, this could indicate an infection that will need the doctor’s attention to cure. Also, having a high fever could be dangerous for your baby, especially when in the first trimester.
2) Have Tylenol
This is generally considered to be the safest to take during pregnancy. However, if the sore throat gets severe, you can take Tylenol or any other generic acetaminophen to find relief from the pain.
3) Gargle with Salt Water
Gargling with warm salt water could help and clear the throat from any irritants, loosen the mucus, and draw out excess moisture.
To make salt water, all you need to do is add ½ teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm, not hot, water and mix it until dissolved. Now, to gargle, take a sip or two, tip your head back, and gargle for the mixture to reach as far back in the throat as possible. Do this for a minute and spit the salt water out.
4) Consume Tea with Lemon
It gets a little uneasy when you’re drinking liquids with a sore throat. As an alternative, try to choose hot and soothing drinks instead. These help you stay hydrated, are healthy, and also loosen irritating mucus in the back of the throat.
For instance, Herbal teas. These are popular during pregnancy, are naturally decaffeinated, and come with certain medicinal properties so having them in a healthy quantity is mandatory.
5) Throat Lozenges or Sprays
When having a sore throat during pregnancy, using throat lozenges and sprays is the safest option. There are few that come with menthol that relieves other cold symptoms like sneezing and numbs the throat from the pain.
Last on the list but definitely not the least, it is extremely important for you to take ample amounts of rest as your immunity is suppressed during pregnancy.
What Not To Do-
Here is a quick list of remedies that you must avoid while pregnant:
- Taking Aspirin
- Caffeinated teas
- Zinc lozenges
- Vitamin C supplements
Sore Throat While Pregnant - When To See A Doctor?
Although having a sore throat isn’t dangerous, there are some incidents that would need an urgent check from the doctor. That is when you have:
In case the sore throat is complemented with a fever of 100 degrees or higher — especially if it has been set after you’ve already had a sore throat for a few days, you must visit the doctor. High temperature is an indication of a condition that would need medical treatment, if not, could be harmful to your baby.
2) Suspected flu
If you experience chills, fever, and a sense of malaise with your sore throat, it could be a sign of the flu, which is dangerous for pregnant women. However, if checked on time, the antiviral drugs can help aid you from it.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend using Tamiflu but is only most effective if started within the first 48 hours of the onset of the illness.
If you also have a skin rash, make sure to contact your doctor. It could be an indication of a severe illness that needs appropriate medical treatment.
4) Strep Throat
In case your sore throat comes in suddenly and severely, it could indicate a strep throat that is frequently accompanied by white or red spots in the back of the throat. Nevertheless, its culture can only be confirmed by a doctor.
These can be easily treated with antibiotics prescribed by the doctor, that is if diagnosed with it. Antibiotics prevent certain complications like rheumatic fever and kidney issues.
To Conclude: What Medications Are Safe To Take While Pregnant?
As long as you follow the proper dosing instructions, few medicines are safe to take during pregnancy. Also, check with your doctor prior to taking any medications as every pregnancy is different, what might suit you might not suit the other pregnant women.
Here is a list of medications that are safe to take during pregnancy, (after the green-light of the doctors, of course):
- Cough drops
- Throat sprays