Week 20 - 24 - Chronic Rhinitis During Pregnancy

Have not been updating on my pregnancy progress for a while here.

Just had my monthly check-up last week at week 23.
Everything's fine. My little kickboxer has been growing stronger each day and its power kick's gettng harder. It kicks harder than its sister did. Natalie was a powerful kick boxer too when she was in the womb.

For the past few weeks, I felt pretty much the same, with my rhinitis got a little better than the initial stage. But still under medication, Actifed, at least once a day, can't sleep without it as the nose would be badly blocked, on rare ocassions, twice if I have to, one day and one night. But I've been trying to keep it once a day, as I do worry about the effect of the medication may have on the baby.

When I told my gynae about it, she decided to refer me to a E&T specialist to have it check out, and adviced me to stop the medication if possible. Well, she gave me that when I first complained to her about my rhinitis. Now she's telling to stop after so many moons later. *cold sweat*

So I went to see the E&T yesterday. After some checkings, the E&T specialist confirmed that my rhinitis is due to my hormonal change during pregnancy. It shall get better after delivery. And he couldn't treat me with full-fledge medications, since I'm pregnant. And he only could prescribe me the saline nasal sprays, instead of the decongestant nasal sprays, and menthol which are safe to use during pregnancy. And he reckon I switch to Piriton as it's safer for pregnant woman. He also explained that my gynae's concern of my overusage of Actifed can cause miscarriage. What about birth defect? *blinking*

"...medicines can affect the unborn baby because they can enter the baby’s bloodstream, along with nutrients, via the placenta...The trimesters of pregnancy are also factors in determining safety..."(taken from article, Pregnancy Conditions & Medicines)

My symptoms of rhinitis during pregnancy
Sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose and mild headache.

My family history of rhinitis
It runs in my family. Except my dad, my late mom, sister, brother and I have the same sinus problem. Among us, my mom and brother had the worse problem and they had throughout some minor operations to minimize the effect.

During my schooling time, every morning I had runny nose, but it would dried up shortly. The problem disappeared when I was studying in Australia, thanks to the clean fresh air. And when I came back, I didn't have the problem anymore, for at least 10 over years. Even during my first pregnancy I didn't have any rhinitis problem at all.

However the problem arose shortly after I'd given birth to Natalie, due to drastic hormonal change in my body. That was the trigger. It was quite severe, and I was given antibiotics. It became chronic rhinitis and lasted for a few months. Luckily with the help of medications, my condition gradually improved, but didn't completely went away, subjected to weather change and the severity of the haze.

About a month after I got pregnant again, it came back again, till today. I could tell it's better now than in the first trimester.

Like one of my GPs once told me, some old disappeared health issues can be triggered by pregnancy, while it makes others disappear. Hormonal change plays a big role. Ladies, take good care especially during and after pregnancy.

"...In women, especially during pregnancy, hormonal changes can significantly affect nasal mucosal hyperreactivity and worsen ongoing syndromes..."(taken from Prevalence and differential diagnosis of chronic rhinitis)

"...Rhinitis can also be a feature of endocrine disease, like hypothyroidism, or can occur during pregnancy. Rhinitis can be made worse or even improved during pregnancy..." (taken from article, Advice From Your Allergist: Rhinitis)

Therefore, it's likely for someone like me, who have a history of rhinitis, to have pregnancy rhinitis, though it's not always the case.

Ladies, make sure you discuss your condition with your gynaecologist or obstetrician, if you have rhinitis during pregnancy. You should consult your gynaecologist or obstetrician first, before you taking any medications, including decongestant nasal sprays.

Related links:
Recognizing and Treating Nonallergic Rhinitis (

Advice From Your Allergist: Rhinitis(

Pregnancy Conditions & Medicines (


Jenny said...

I developed nasal congestion during my pregnancy and it was completely gone after 2 days of giving birth, however it came right back after 2 weeks later. As of today, my baby is 7 months and I am still suffering from nasal congestion. What are your thoughts about this?

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