Is It Safe To Use A Nasal Spray Decongestant During Pregnancy?

 is it safe to use a nasal spray decongestant during pregnancy

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Picture This: You are pregnant and struggling from nausea and dizziness, you’re tackling it all gracefully, and all of a sudden, you end up with a blocked nose.

Well don’t worry, as you are not alone in experiencing such issues.

A stuffy nose can take up all of your attention and sap your energy, and you may impulsively want to reach out to use that decongestant spray. But wait! Is it really safe to use during pregnancy? Let’s find out.

What Is Nasal Congestion?

Nasal congestion is a term used to define that annoying stuffiness in the nose, sometimes accompanied by a nosebleed.

  • It is believed that high levels of the hormone estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy contribute to nasal congestion.
  • This is because these hormones tend to increase the body’s flow of blood to the mucus membranes.
  • Thus, secretes mucus (including the nose), which in turn, leads to congestion.

Nasal Decongestant Spray During Pregnancy – Is It Safe?

While nasal congestion is not really what you would call a serious health problem, it does manage to get on your nerves and make you irritated and cranky. Hence you may be in urgent need of relief. Here the question arises that is are nasal sprays safe during pregnancy?

  • The good news is, some particular nasal decongestant sprays are thought to be safe for use during pregnancy.
  • Saline sprays do not contain any harmful enzymes or substances that could affect the growth of your baby.
  • Generally, it is advisable to avoid any form of medications during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester.
  • Most obstetricians tend to prescribe a spray that contains oxymetazoline since it is safe for use during pregnancy. Its use should be limited to 3 days, since excess use tends to cause rebound congestion.
  • Use of topical decongestants is advisable during pregnancy, since they are not concentrated enough to enter through the placenta and affect your baby.

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Effects Of Decongestant Sprays:

Certain nasal sprays during pregnancy are thought to have negative impacts. Here are some reasons:

  • Decongestant sprays not affect fertility, but they do cause the cervical mucus to dry up. This could in turn, impair fertility.
  • Using nasal decongestant sprays for more than 5 days can cause an increase in congestion.
  • Certain sprays also contain compounds that may cause an increased risk of birth defects.

[ Read: Flu Vaccine During Pregnancy ]

Tips To Relieve Nasal Congestion During Pregnancy:

You may want to look for some simple ways to relieve nasal congestion without any harm to your baby. Here are some for you:

  • Use the right blowing technique to expel out the mucus without causing damage to the breathing passages.
  • Make use of your thumb to block one nostril and push out the mucus from the other, and vice versa.
  • Talk to your doctor about using a warm mist humidifier in your room to loosen up the mucus and make it easier to expel out.
  • Vitamin C supplements are also thought to work wonders in relieving nasal congestion. They strengthen the capillaries and reduce the chance of nosebleed during pregnancy. Make sure you talk to your doctor about this one.
  • Rub a camphorated ointment at the bottom of each nostril to make breathing easier.
  • Plain saline nose sprays are a good alternative to the usual nasal decongestant sprays, as they do not cause any harm to the baby.

We hope this article helped you get a quick view into the use of nasal decongestant spray during pregnancy. It is always best to have a quick talk with your doctor. Do rule out any possible risks associated with the use of any particular product during pregnancy.

Take care and happy delivery and do share your views and tips with us in the comment section below.

References : 1 , 2

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