Sore Throat During Pregnancy: Causes And Effective Home Remedies

 10 useful tips to get rid of sore throat during pregnancy

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A sore throat or pharyngitis is an inflammation of the pharynx, i.e., the back of the throat. It is mostly caused due to viral infection (cold and flu) and sometimes bacterial infection. A sore throat is a minor irritant and not a cause of concern during pregnancy, as it diminishes on its own within seven days.

All you have to do is identify its symptoms, and know the home remedies you can use to get relief. MomJunction tells all that and more in this post. First, let’s see if it is an early sign of pregnancy.

Is Sore Throat An Early Sign Of Pregnancy?

There is no scientific evidence to prove, but the changes in estrogen and progesterone hormones might result in a sore throat along with other effects such as nausea and headaches.

However, a sore throat can’t be the standalone symptom of pregnancy but needs to be seen in association with other signs of pregnancy. Moreover, it is not a compulsory symptom, so not all pregnant women would have a sore throat.

Talking of symptoms, a sore throat itself has some symptoms.

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What Are The Symptoms/ Effects Of A Throat Infection During Pregnancy?

Here is how a sore throat can trouble you:

  • Redness of throat
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Constant pain in the throat
  • Fever
  • Earache
  • Red, swollen tonsils
  • Hoarseness

You may not have all the symptoms at a time, but a combination of these. Talk to your doctor if the symptoms persist for more than seven days.

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What Causes A Sore Throat While Pregnant?

Knowing the reasons could help you avoid a sore throat during pregnant:

  • Acid reflux
  • Allergies (dust and pollen)
  • Muscle strain in the throat (talking loudly, talking continuously without rest)
  • Chemicals or pollutants
  • Fungal infection
  • Throat infection spreading through a cough or sneeze
  • Sinusitis

The above reasons could cause not only a sore throat but also a strep throat.

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[ Read: Stuffy Nose During Pregnancy ]

How Is Sore Throat Different From Strep Throat?

A strep throat is a severe form of a sore throat caused by Group A streptococcal bacteria, which is highly contagious (1). A strep throat has these symptoms:

  • Chills
  • Red throat
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen and tender lymph nodes (glands) in the neck
  • Lack of appetite
  • Pus on tonsils
  • stomach ache
  • Red, sandpaper-like rash

A strep throat might require a doctor visit but a sore throat, if not severe, can be managed with some personal care and home remedies.

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Tips To Get Relief From A Sore Throat In Pregnancy

These simple tips help you tackle a sore throat during pregnancy without causing any side effects:

  1. Avoid cold and fizzy drinks during throat infection. These drinks can aggravate the condition.
  1. Drink a lot of fluids and keep yourself hydrated.
  1. Stop eating fast foods, and processed foods, especially the ones that contain colors and preservatives.
  1. Have herbal teas such as lemon tea and green tea to reduce the scratchy sensation and pain in the throat.
  1. Steam inhalation can help in relieving nasal congestion and pain caused due to the throat infection.
  1. Gargle with salt water at least thrice a day because salt fights the bacteria. You can also add a pinch of turmeric to salt water as it is a natural anti-inflammatory and antiseptic agent.

[ Read: Cold During Pregnancy ]

  1. Relish on a healthy diet. Stick to foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals.
  1. Take enough rest.
  1. Do not share utensils, towels or cups with a person who has throat infection as you may contract it.
  1. Do not talk more; give rest to your vocal cords.
  1. Wash your hands every time you sneeze or a cough. It is the best way to prevent any infection.
  1. Avoid smoking and passive smoking as it can worsen the condition.

In addition to taking care of yourself, you might want to try some home remedies for quick relief from a sore throat.

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6 Effective Home Remedies For Treating Throat Infection

Some of the best solutions to a sore throat are found in your kitchen. Here is the list of remedies you can choose from:

1. Honey lemon tea

Honey helps in soothing the throat and lemon in combating bacteria and clearing the mucus.

How to prepare:

  • Boil a cup of water
  • Add honey and lemon juice to it
  • Let it cool down and drink

2. Steam inhalation or humidifier

Steam inhalation moistens your mucous membrane and offers you relief from a dry throat. You can also use a humidifier in your room to keep the air moist.

How to use:

  • Boil water in a large pot
  • Breathe in the steam for some time

[ Read: Dry Cough During Pregnancy ]

3. Salt water gargle

It is one of the safest home remedies. Salt water hydrates the throat membranes and soothes the irritation.

How to use:

  • Add one teaspoon of salt to eight ounces of warm water
  • Gargle in every one hour to get relief from the pain

4. Chamomile tea

Chamomile tea is a natural pain-reliever and combats bacteria. It helps alleviate the inflammation and soothes irritation.

How to prepare:

  • Boil a cup of water
  • Add a chamomile tea bag to the boiling water and steep it for five minutes
  • Strain it. Add honey and drink

5. Ginger tea

Ginger has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. It helps reduce the inflammation of the throat.

How to prepare:

  • Boil a cup of water and add about an inch of peeled fresh ginger
  • Steep it for five minutes. Add honey for sweetness and drink the tea
  • You can add fresh mint leaves for a soothing effect

If a sore throat is severe and home remedies are not working, then you might need some medications.

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Medications For Sore Throat And Strep Throat While Pregnant

If the pain due to throat infection is persistent, then you must visit a doctor. They would prescribe a medication based on your condition. Here are some of the commonly used drugs for a sore throat, but you should not use them unless your doctor recommends.

[ Read: Herbal Teas To Drink During Pregnancy ]

Safe medications for a sore throat

Over-the-counter medication (2)Medicine form
CepacolSore throat spray
Sucretslozenges (dyclonine hydrochloride)
Chloraseptic (Not to take for more than two days)lozenges (benzocaine) or spray (phenol)
Halls or Robitussinlozenges (menthol)
Vickslozenges with honey (dextromethorphan hydrobromide)

Safe medication for strep throat (usually antibiotics are prescribed) (3)

AntibioticsFDA Pregnancy categoryRisk during pregnancy
CephalexinBsafe
Penicillin (13 )BNone/good
AmoxicillinBUnlikely/fair

The antibiotics cannot be used to treat a sore throat that is caused due to viral infections.

Note: Any negligence while taking the antibiotics dose during treatment can lead to recurrent infections. It is best to follow your doctor’s advice.

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A Little More On Strep Throat:

In addition to the symptoms and medication, you might want to know the answers to these questions on a strep throat:

1. Is strep throat dangerous during pregnancy?

Strep throat in pregnancy is not dangerous if you take timely treatment and medication. If you notice any symptoms, then check with the doctor, who can guide you with treatment. In severe cases, a strep throat can damage heart valves and kidneys (4).

2. Are strep throat and Group B streptococcus infection the same?

No. A strep throat is caused by Group A streptococcus bacteria, whereas Group B streptococcus bacteria are found in the rectal and vaginal area. The Group B bacteria can pass the infection from the mother to the baby through the amniotic fluid (5).

[ Read: Green Tea During Pregnancy ]

A sore throat is a short-lived problem during pregnancy. It is harmless both to you and your baby. However, you may not want to eat as swallowing becomes difficult. But make sure that you are continuing to have a healthy diet even if it is painful to your throat. Also, follow the home remedies as they are an excellent way to get relief from the infection.

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Have any experience to share? Let us know in the comments section.

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