Most women have been through it at some point or another-- checking for pregnancy signs. Whether it’s because you just realized you missed a period, or you’re watching for symptoms because you are trying to conceive, many of us look for every potential sign that could tell us what may or may not be happening to our bodies.
The obvious signs are nausea, missed periods, headaches, and sore and swollen breasts, but what about a sore throat? Could a sore throat be an early pregnancy symptom?
Could Sore Throat be related to my hormones?
Your hormones are in a constantly changing state while pregnant, but are especially so during early pregnancy.
These hormones are responsible for a number of changes to your body, including sore and swollen breasts and darkening nipples, nausea, headaches, and mood swings.
The same hormones can also overwhelm your body and make you more susceptible to infections. They also cause an increase in blood flow, which can irritate the nasal cavity and cause more mucus to drain down the back of your throat, also making it sore.
What Causes Sore throats?
Sore throats can be caused by a number of factors, ranging from allergies to infection. A list of possible reasons for a sore throat are:
Nasal congestion and mucus drip
Mechanical causes (like breathing through your mouth)
Viral infections (like the cold or the flu)
Bacterial infections (like strep or sinusitis)
What are Some Things I Can Do to Alleviate the Discomfort of My Sore Throat?
One of the best treatments for sore throats can be found in your own home. Saltwater gargles are not only easy to make but are effective at easing discomfort.Saltwater gargles work because the salt draws out the liquid in the throat (which, yes, seems contradictory) and it aids in killing bacteria.
With the addition of other herbs and spices from your spice rack, you can create a potent gargle with additional benefits.
You can make a saltwater gargle with an 8-ounce glass of warm water with ½ teaspoon of salt. Regular table salt will work just fine, though if you have sea salt in your pantry instead, it will work as well.
Apple Cider Vinegar Gargle
By adding a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to your saltwater gargle, you are adding the additional benefit of an acidic environment to the back of your throat. Bacteria and viruses do not do well in acidic environments, and make for a great germ-killing combination with antibiotics should you need them.
Turmeric is a common pantry spice that is also used by people with arthritis and migraines because of its anti-inflammatory properties. By adding a teaspoon into your saltwater gargle, you can reduce some of the inflammation that is causing the soreness in your throat.
This solution may not be for the faint of heart, but it certainly does have some fantastic benefits. Cayenne pepper is frequently used as a pain reducer in homeopathic arthritis creams because of its pain-reducing benefits, and the heat from the spice can also aid in clearing your nasal passages if you are feeling stuffy.
You can purchase a humidifier from a store or online, but it is also possible to create your own “homemade” humidifier simply by putting a pot on the stove.
As the water boils, the steam is released into the air, adding moisture. This extra moisture helps to lubricate the throat and nasal passages, making it a useful tool when dealing with a cold or the flu or even the “dry air” that comes from running the heat in the winter.
A hot shower is another way to loosen up mucus, which can ease a sore throat.
When Should I See a Doctor?
If your sore throat is accompanied by a fever, swollen or sore lymph nodes, white patches on your tongue or tonsils, or it is extremely painful (some cases of strep will only present as a sore throat) then you should make an appointment to see a doctor as it is likely you could have a bacterial infection that requires treatment.
Strep throat is usually treated quickly, but if left uncared for, can elevate itself to Scarlet Fever, a very serious condition that can be fatal.
Is My Sore Throat an Early Pregnancy Symptom?
Technically speaking, no. A sore throat is usually caused by some kind of irritant, like those listed above, and not the result of changing hormones. But hormones can play a role in how your body reacts to germs-- making it easier for you to get sick.
If you are dealing with a sore throat on top of some of the other common pregnancy symptoms, a home pregnancy test or an appointment to get a blood test done can help you to see if the symptoms are a sign of a future baby or of a potential illness.
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