Dysgeusia or Metallic Taste in Mouth during Pregnancy: Causes and Remedies

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Pregnancy is a special time in a woman’s life when her body goes through a lot of changes. Estrogen and progesterone are two hormones whose production increases during pregnancy. Apart from the well-known symptoms of nausea, fatigue, and weight gain, a common sensory change experienced by women is a metallic taste in your mouth during pregnancy. In a scientific study published by the journal Chemical Senses in the year 2004, an extensive survey revealed that 76% of pregnant women have experienced an abnormal metallic taste in their mouth.

All You Need to Know About Metallic Taste in Mouth During Pregnancy

metallic taste in mouth

What is Dysgeusia or Metal Mouth during Pregnancy?

Dysgeusia is a medical condition in which one’s sense of taste does not function properly. Pregnancy causes an impaired taste in the majority of women. You might be experiencing strange cravings for intensely sweet or sour foods like chocolate or pickles, or a slight metallic, bitter taste in your mouth. It would feel like having old coins on your tongue. Food aversion is also a common symptom, however this experience, although uncomfortable, is completely harmless.

According to a study published in US National Library of Medicine by National Institutes of Health in a study conducted over 97 pregnant women and 3 non-pregnant women, 90% of the pregnant women experienced bitter and sour taste. It is believed that the changed hormone secretion during the first trimester affects the gustatory functions which cause the metallic taste in pregnant women.

When Do You Experience Metallic Taste in Mouth during Pregnancy and how long does dysgeusia last?

The metallic taste can persist throughout your pregnancy, although mostly it affects women in their first trimester. The first trimester is a crucial time to adjust your body for the coming months. It should be supplemented with prenatal vitamins, doctor appointments, and a balanced diet. This taste usually reduces by the second trimester, although it can be experienced after having food items containing artificial sweeteners. Dysgeusia usually goes away after the first trimester and is completely gone by the third trimester. It does not require any medical treatment in most cases.

Is metallic taste an early sign of Pregnancy?

The metallic taste is not a certain sign of pregnancy because it can be caused due to other underlying medical conditions like diabetes, hypothyroidism, or common cold and flu. However, it is an extremely common symptom along with morning sickness, swelling of your feet, and an interruption in your regular menstrual cycle. If you have other symptoms common to pregnancy, avail a pregnancy test and become certain!

What are the Causes of Metallic Taste during Pregnancy?

The excess progesterone and estrogen that is produced during pregnancy to aid the growth of one’s baby causes the changes in the sensory actions. Taste and smell are the two senses most affected.  Dysgeusia is caused by the pregnancy hormone oestrogen. Oestrogen content and secretion is high in pregnant women. Oestrogen also determines our sense of taste, food aversion and food craving. Since oestrogen levels vary drastically during pregnancy which can affect your perception of food.

During pregnancy one develops a more heightened sense of smell than usual. A strong and unappealing odour can be even more putting off and there are chances of that causing a metallic aftertaste in your mouth. Water retention increases during pregnancy all over the body system and also affects the taste buds, which might aid this metallic taste in your mouth.

Does Metallic taste in mouth during pregnancy mean it’s a Boy?

Every single body that goes through a pregnancy reacts differently due to their personal medical history, eating habits, lifestyle, metabolism and hormone production. Hence, a metallic taste is not a sure symptom of a boy. Some women have different symptoms for babies of different sex, but some women experience similar symptoms whether it is a girl or a boy. There is no conclusive symptom for the gender of the child, although there is popular wisdom passed down from generation to generation. Each pregnancy is unique in its own way and a metallic taste cannot determine the sex of your child.

Tips to Get Rid of Dysgeusia in Pregnancy

Pregnancy is difficult to cope with as it is, due to the numerous changes your body undergoes. Along with morning sickness and nausea, a metallic aftertaste in your mouth can really dampen the mood and make you irritable and cranky. However here are some tips on how one can deal with dygeusia without medication.

Here are 7 ways to help you get over the metallic taste in your mouth.

  • The best and most practical way to deal with dygeusia is oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss. Clean your tongue and use a mouth freshener. However be careful to check the contents of the freshener and make sure it contains chemicals that are safe for your baby. You can even gargle using warm water and salt or warm water and baking soda to give your mouth a clean and fresh feel.
  • When you feel overwhelmed by the metallic taste, try drinking cold water with a squeeze of lemon juice. The citrus and the cold counter the bitter taste in your mouth.
  • Fruits that are high in citrus content like oranges, grapefruit, lemon juice, kiwi fruit, and green apples can be helpful.
  • Ice lollies can counter the metallic taste due to their intensely cold and citrusy taste.
  • Chewing sugarless gum can wear off the metallic taste as well.
  • Using herbal tea flavoured with ginger, or ginger ale can counter the bitter taste.
  • Mint is another great option which refreshes your mouth. Mint chewing gums or minty beverages can freshen your mouth and help fight dysgeusia.

Metallic taste is an unpleasant symptom of pregnancy, but it can be rendered undisruptive through proper control of your diet and oral hygiene. This condition reduces after the initial months of pregnancy and is a normal symptom that does not require medical treatment.

Sources

https://academic.oup.com/chemse/article/29/5/391/368321

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12132613

Hope this article was of help to you! Please share your comments/queries/tips with us and help us create a world full of Happy, Healthy and Empowered Women!!

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