A positive pregnancy test comes with happiness and loads of unexpected events for the mom-to-be. Along with impending nausea and fatigue, a change in the sense of taste is also common in most pregnant women (1).
The change in taste is medically called dysgeusia and is a harmless change often reported in the first trimester of pregnancy. Metallic taste in the mouth usually indicates dysgeusia. The sensation feels like having coins in your mouth or a weird taste that is hard to describe. It is mostly harmless and seldom a cause for concern (2).
Read on to learn more about the onset, causes, and management of metallic taste in the mouth during pregnancy.
Is It Normal To Have A Metallic Taste In Your Mouth During Pregnancy?
Dysgeusia is normal and frequently seen in most pregnant women, with most of them reporting at least some changes in taste during pregnancy(1). It is not a cause for concern. Nevertheless, you may inform the doctor about it, especially if the metallic taste is accompanied by other symptoms such as dry mouth or pain in the mouth.
When Does The Metallic Taste Start During Pregnancy?
The metallic taste mostly starts to appear in the first trimester (first 12 weeks of pregnancy). This change in taste is sudden or maybe felt randomly at any time of the day, even without eating or drinking (3). You may also have other taste-related sensations or increased sensitivity to certain tastes. For instance, a few studies have shown an increased sensitivity to bitter taste during pregnancy, although this may vary from one pregnant woman to another(4).
What Causes Metallic Taste During Pregnancy?
There is no specific reason for metallic taste during pregnancy, and many pregnant women may not experience it at all. Dysgeusia and a metallic taste in pregnancy may most likely occur due to the following factors.
- The alteration in the levels of pregnancy hormones may affect the taste buds’ functions, contributing to metallic taste in pregnancy.
- A change in the sense of smell is also connected to taste alterations and food aversions (5). These could occur due to the effects of hormones. Consequently, some women have strong cravings for certain foods, which may increase the chances of a strange metallic sensation in the mouth.
Non-pregnancy-related factors may include medications, gum infection, cold, and sinus infection (2).
When Can You Expect The Metallic Taste To End?
Dysgeusia is most common in the first trimester. The taste buds return to normal once the hormones begin to settle down. In some women, the metallic taste might be present throughout the pregnancy with decreased severity. Dysgeusia in pregnancy is not serious, as long as it doesn’t affect the appetite of pregnant women. There is no treatment required as the condition gets better with the progression of pregnancy (5).
How To Tackle Dysgeusia During Pregnancy?
Having an unpleasant or bad taste can be awful during pregnancy. Though one cannot prevent the incidence of dysgeusia, certain measures may help ease the discomfort.
Here are some tips to combat the metallic taste in pregnancy.
- Acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, pineapples, and green apples, may cut through the metallic taste. Also, try adding vinegar to your foods or drinks.
- Brush your teeth twice a day (with toothpaste containing baking soda) followed by thorough tongue cleaning.
- Rinse your mouth with a mild salt solution periodically.
- Chew a minty gum to increase saliva production, which helps to wash away the bitterness in the mouth.
- Drink lots of water to ease the symptoms.
- Certain prenatal vitamins may have high iron content, making this condition worse. Talk to your doctor if you feel the prescribed medicines are worsening your condition (6).
A woman’s body encounters several changes during pregnancy. The first trimester symptoms are due to a sudden surge in pregnancy hormones and affect most organs and systems of a pregnant woman. The mouth and taste buds are no exception. A metallic taste in the mouth during pregnancy is usually manageable with simple lifestyle changes. However, if it becomes too bothersome or interferes with your food intake, do not hesitate to consult a doctor about it.
- Kuga M. et al., Changes in gustatory sense during pregnancy.
- Metallic taste in the mouth.
- Pregnancy: Am I Pregnant?
- V.B. Duffy et al., Taste changes across pregnancy.
- 5 weird pregnancy symptoms you might not know about.
- Dysgeusia Symptoms and Remedies.