Rhinitis as a cause of respiratory disorders during pregnancy

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2013;755:213-20. doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-4546-9_27.


Rhinitis is a common disease of women during pregnancy. It can start in almost any gestational week and disappears after delivery. The main symptoms are sneezing, nasal congestion or running nose. The diagnosis is usually based on history, physical examination, blood tests, and exclusion of the other more common types of rhinitis. The etiology remains to be clarified. The rhinitis may be caused by numerous substances and hormones secreted during pregnancy (PGH, VIP, estrogen, progesterone). They lead to changes in the nasal mucosa in the form of increased activity of serous-mucous glands and increase of their vasculature. The best treatment is using saline irrigations, exercise, and mechanical alar dilators. The nasal decongestants provide only temporary relief. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of pregnancy rhinitis. The study was conducted on 117 pregnant women in the province of the West Pomerania in 2009-2010. The information was obtained from interviews, questionnaires, and data contained in pregnancy records. About 39% of pregnant women suffered from pregnancy rhinitis. Most such ailments were found during 13th and 21st week of gestation. Doctors should pay more attention to symptoms which result from pregnancy rhinitis, which are reported by their patients. The quality of prenatal care understood as an education of pregnant women as far as pregnancy rhinitis is concerned, is much insufficient. Pregnancy rhinitis significantly affects quality of life of pregnant women and, as a result, it may affect fetal development.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Rhinitis / drug therapy
  • Rhinitis / epidemiology*