Sinus Infection While Pregnant: Prevention and Treatment

Pregnancy can bring with it a number of physical changes and symptoms, and for many women, sinus pressure is one of them. During pregnancy, the body naturally produces more mucus, which can build up in the sinuses and lead to uncomfortable sinus pressure. While there are a few over-the-counter medications that may be helpful for relieving sinus pressure, they may not be suitable for pregnant women. Fortunately, there are a number of natural remedies that can be used to safely ease sinus pressure while pregnant. In this blog post, we will discuss some of these remedies and provide you with tips on how to relieve sinus pressure while pregnant.

Home remedies for a sinus infection during pregnancy

Infection symptoms can be reduced by drugs like cough suppressants, painkillers, and decongestants. However, you can treat your symptoms at home if you want to avoid taking medications while pregnant.

Increasing your fluid intake can help with stuffy nose, sore throat, and mucus drainage. Ideal fluids include:

Here are some additional at-home treatments for sinus infection symptom relief:

  • Use saline drops from the pharmacy, or make your own drops using 1 cup of warm water, 1/8 teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of baking soda.
  • Run a humidifier at night to keep your nasal passage clear and thin mucus.
  • Sleep with more than one pillow to elevate your head. This stops mucus from accumulating in your sinuses at night.
  • Use steam to help loosen the mucus.
  • Gargle with warm salt water to soothe a sore throat, or suck on throat lozenges.
  • Slow down and relax. Rest can strengthen your immune system and help you fight the infection.
  • Applying a hot or cold pack to your forehead or giving it a light massage can help you feel better if you have sinusitis-related facial pain or headaches. A warm bath can also help to relieve sinus headaches. Be sure the water isn’t too hot. Hot baths should be avoided in pregnancy.

    A sinus infection can resolve itself with home treatment. But there are times when you should see a doctor.

    If your symptoms don’t go away after trying over-the-counter medications or home remedies, or if they get worse, schedule an appointment with your doctor.

    If you start coughing up green or yellow mucus or have a fever greater than 101°F (38°C), call your doctor right away. Also see your doctor if you have recurrent sinus infections.

    The risk of complications, including meningitis, rises when a severe sinus infection is left untreated. Inflammation of the membranes in the brain or spinal cord is known as meningitis.

    Untreated infections have the potential to spread to the bones, eyes, and skin. It can also affect your sense of smell.

    Treating a sinus infection while pregnant

    You might be worried about taking sinus infection medication while pregnant. Your concerns are valid. There are over-the-counter (OTC) medicines that are safe to take while pregnant, which is good news.

    Acetaminophen (Tylenol), for instance, can treat sinus headaches and sore throats. Make sure you take the pain reliever as directed.

    Other medications might be safe to take during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor before you take:

    Aspirin (Bayer) isn’t recommended during pregnancy. Likewise, avoid ibuprofen (Advil) unless you’re under a doctor’s supervision. Ibuprofen use during pregnancy has been associated with issues like reduced amniotic fluid and miscarriage.

    If you have concerns about taking safe medications to treat a sinus infection while pregnant, speak with your doctor.


    Up to ten minutes of sitting with a warm, damp cloth over the cheeks and forehead may bring some relief. You can lay back and unwind for a little while as the warm compress helps to relieve any congestion.


    What can I take for sinus pressure while pregnant?

    Stuffy nose and sinus pressure

    Decongestant medications reduce stuffiness and sinus pressure by constricting the blood vessels in your nose, which reduces swelling. Pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine are available over the counter as Sudafed and are safe for many women to use during pregnancy.

    What helps sinus headaches during pregnancy?

    Applying a cool, damp washcloth over your sinuses can help ease discomfort, says Mehdizadeh, and can also soothe a sinus headache in pregnancy. Be careful about taking over-the-counter medications, as some can be harmful to baby. But Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can safely help with the pain, Mehdizadeh says.

    Is sinus pressure common in pregnancy?

    Remember, sinus infections may be more common during pregnancy as a result of changes in immune function and swollen mucous membranes. Talk to a doctor to find out which medications are safe to use for a sinus infection while pregnant, including over-the-counter medications.

    Can a sinus infection during pregnancy hurt the baby?

    A sinus infection by itself has a low chance of harming the developing fetus. It is worth noting, however, that in rare circumstances, symptoms can result in complications. Being pregnant may also impact how severe the sinus infection symptoms are.

    How to Relieve Sinus Pressure When Pregnant

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