Quantitative assessment of olfactory experience during pregnancy

Psychosom Med. 1991 Nov-Dec;53(6):693-700. doi: 10.1097/00006842-199111000-00009.


Results of the National Geographic Smell Survey were used to investigate the effects of pregnancy on olfactory perception and odor-related behavior. The responses to test odors and survey questions of 13,610 pregnant and 277,228 nonpregnant U.S. women between 20 and 40 years of age were analyzed. In comparison to nonpregnant women, pregnant women rated their own sense of smell lower, more often rated the test odors less pleasant smelling, more often classified the test odors as inedible, were less likely to report odor-evoked memories, and used perfume and cologne less frequently. Differences in odor detection and intensity rating did not favor either group.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pregnancy / psychology*
  • Sensory Thresholds
  • Smell*
  • Taste