7 Causes Of Voice Change During Pregnancy

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Pregnancy is a life-changing experience for women. It brings a lot of joy and happiness, but it also comes with some unexpected changes. One of the changes that women might experience during pregnancy is a voice change. As a pregnant woman, you may have noticed some changes in your voice. You may sound hoarse or breathy, or your voice may crack or break. This can be a cause for concern for some women, but it is a common occurrence during pregnancy. In this article, we will discuss the seven causes of voice change during pregnancy and when to consult a laryngologist.

voice change during pregnancy

In This Article:

Causes Of Voice Change During Pregnancy

Hormonal Changes

During pregnancy, your body undergoes a significant hormonal shift. This shift can impact your vocal cords, leading to changes in your voice. During this time, there is an increase in hormones like oestrogen and progesterone. The increase in oestrogen and progesterone levels can cause your vocal cords to swell, making it harder to speak normally.

Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is a common issue during pregnancy, and it can also cause changes in your voice. It happens when the valve between the stomach and ooesophagus is weakened, causing stomach acid to flow back into the ooesophagus, causing irritation. This irritation can affect your vocal cords, causing them to become inflamed and swollen.

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Dehydration

Dehydration is another potential cause of voice changes during pregnancy. When your body is dehydrated, your vocal cords may become dry and irritated. This can lead to hoarseness or other changes in your voice.

Allergies

Pregnancy makes women more susceptible to allergies. Allergies can also impact your voice during pregnancy. If you are allergic to something, it can cause inflammation in your throat and nasal passages. This inflammation can affect your vocal cords and cause changes in your voice.

Stress

Pregnancy can be a stressful time, and stress can impact your voice. When you are stressed, your body produces cortisol, a hormone that can cause your vocal cords to tense up. This tension can lead to changes in your voice, such as hoarseness or a cracking sound.

Illness

Illness can also impact your voice during pregnancy. If you have a cold or the flu, it can cause inflammation in your throat and nasal passages. This inflammation can affect your vocal cords and cause changes in your voice.

Vocal Strain

Finally, vocal strain can cause changes in your voice during pregnancy. If you are speaking loudly or for extended periods, it can put a strain on your vocal cords. This strain can cause changes in your voice, such as hoarseness or a cracking sound.

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When Should I Consult A Laryngologist?

In most cases, the voice change is temporary and resolves on its own after delivery. However, in some cases, it is necessary to consult a laryngologist. 

Here are some instances when you should consult a laryngologist:

If the voice change persists for more than two weeks

If your voice change lasts for more than two weeks, it is advisable to consult a laryngologist. This is because persistent voice change can be an indication of a more serious underlying condition, such as a vocal cord lesion or a tumor. The laryngologist can examine your vocal cords and determine the cause of the voice change.

If you experience pain or discomfort when speaking

If you experience pain or discomfort when speaking, it is important to seek medical attention. Pain or discomfort when speaking can be a sign of a vocal cord injury or inflammation. The laryngologist can examine your vocal cords and determine the cause of the pain or discomfort.

If you experience difficulty breathing or swallowing

If you experience difficulty breathing or swallowing, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Difficulty breathing or swallowing can be a sign of a more serious underlying condition, such as vocal cord paralysis or a tumor. The laryngologist can examine your vocal cords and determine the cause of the difficulty breathing or swallowing.

If you have a history of voice problems

If you have a history of voice problems, it is important to consult a laryngologist. This is because pregnancy can exacerbate existing voice problems, and it is important to manage them to prevent any complications.

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If you have a persistent cough

If you experience a persistent cough along with voice changes, it could be a sign of bronchitis or another respiratory condition. A laryngologist can help diagnose the underlying cause of the cough and recommend appropriate treatment.

If there is a loss of voice

If you lose your voice completely, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. This could be a sign of a more serious condition, such as vocal cord paralysis.

The laryngologist will perform a thorough examination of the throat, vocal cords, and larynx to determine the cause of the voice change. They may also recommend further tests, such as a biopsy or imaging tests. 

Conclusion

A voice change during pregnancy is a common occurrence. It can be caused by hormonal changes, acid reflux, dehydration, allergies, stress, the common cold, and vocal strain. If a woman experiences a voice change, she should consult a laryngologist if she experiences difficulty breathing, pain when speaking or swallowing, persistent hoarseness for more than two weeks, or coughing up blood. The laryngologist will perform a thorough examination and recommend further tests if necessary. It is essential to take care of your voice during pregnancy and seek medical attention if necessary.

Sources:

  1. https://www.news-medical.net/health/Voice-Changes-and-Pregnancy.aspx

2. https://www.thebump.com/news/pregnancy-lowers-voice-pitch

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