Pregnancy is a lifetime experience that also brings various physiological, metabolic, and anatomical changes in a woman’s body, right from the time they conceive to birth and even after delivery. But have you ever noticed a woman’s voice change during pregnancy? If you enjoy singing but have found it difficult to do so after becoming pregnant, or if you observed a change in your voice after conceiving, there is no reason to panic as it’s quite normal. Pregnancy alters the quality and pace of perturbation of the voice, especially during the third trimester. Moreover, due to fluid retention during pregnancy, your vocal cords may also swell up, resulting in voice change. Continue reading to learn more about how your voice may change when pregnant.
Causes Of Voice Change During Pregnancy:
1. Hormonal Changes:
During pregnancy, the rapid rise of progesterone and estrogen levels affects the woman’s entire body, including the vocal cords.
[ Read: Body Changes During Pregnancy ]
2. Increase In Body Fluids:
Voice deepening or alternation can also be due to the increase in body fluids during pregnancy. Pregnancy increases blood volume by 50% and body fluids by six pounds. The concentration of body fluids or excess mucus near the vocal cords causes them to vibrate at a slower rate than before and leads to deepening of the voice.
3. Edema Or Swelling Of The Vocal Cords:
Just like the other parts of the body, the vocal cords also swell during pregnancy. It causes heaviness in the vocal folds, altering the singing range. Pregnant women lose top notes but gain notes at the bottom. Do not strain your throat to reach the top notes. The blood vessels are extremely fragile during this time and may rupture if you strain to reach the top notes. It may also cause the vocal cords to tear.
[ Read: Swelling During Pregnancy ]
4. Shift In Voice Range:
During pregnancy, the blood vessels dilate across the whole body, including the vocal cords. It makes the cord more prone to tear and rupture. Fragility of the vocal cord can also lead to change in voice.
5. Decrease In The Lung Capacity:
You may experience difficulty in breathing during pregnancy. It is because the growing baby in your womb pushes the diaphragm and every other organ upwards. It results in a decrease in lung capacity, endurance, vocal fatigue, and an inability to sustain the notes.
6. Prone To LPR:
During pregnancy, hormones lead to Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR). It results in the relaxation of the sphincter, which keeps the food in the stomach and prevents it from coming to the larynx. When the stomach capacity reduces, you are more likely to regurgitate acid. You may experience excessive throat clearing, postnasal drip, and altered voice.
7. Decrease In Nasal Resonance:
As mentioned earlier, the body of a woman swells during pregnancy and the nose is no exception. It may result in a difficulty in breathing through the nose. Swelling of the nose prevents resonance through it and into the sinus, resulting in a deep and husky voice.
8. Change InPosture:
During pregnancy, there is a shift in the pelvis, back, and chest. It alters the entire support mechanism of a woman’s body, so much so that she cannot sing in her last trimester.
[ Read: Feet Growing During Pregnancy ]
Consult A Laryngologist:
You should seek medical help in the following situations:
- If you notice a sudden change while speaking or singing or after sneezing or coughing.
- If you feel pain while speaking or singing.
- If you notice a significant loss of voice during pregnancy.
Remember, do not fret too much as your voice will bounce back to normal shortly after delivery.
If you have experienced that you are losing voice during pregnancy, please share your experience with us.
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