From sore throat during pregnancy

  • Is sore throat an early sign of pregnancy?
  • What are the symptoms/ effects of a throat infection?
  • What causes a sore throat during pregnancy?
  • How is sore throat different from strep throat?
  • Tips to get relief from a sore throat during pregnancy
  • 6 effective home remedies for treating throat infection
  • Medications for sore throat and strep throat during pregnancy
  • A little more on strep throat

A sore throat or pharyngitis is an inflammation of the pharynx, i.e., the back of the throat. It is mostly caused due to viral infection (cold and flu) and sometimes bacterial infection. A sore throat is a minor irritant and not a cause of concern during pregnancy, as it diminishes on its own within seven days.

All you have to do is identify its symptoms, and know the home remedies you can use to get relief. MomJunction tells all that and more in this post. First, let’s see if it is an early sign of pregnancy.

Is Sore Throat An Early Sign Of Pregnancy?

There is no scientific evidence to prove, but the changes in estrogen and progesterone hormones might result in a sore throat along with other effects such as nausea and headaches.

However, a sore throat can’t be the standalone symptom of pregnancy but needs to be seen in association with other signs of pregnancy. Moreover, it is not a compulsory symptom, so not all pregnant women would have a sore throat.


Talking of symptoms, a sore throat itself has some symptoms.

Back to top

What Are The Symptoms/ Effects Of A Throat Infection During Pregnancy?

Here is how a sore throat can trouble you:

  • Redness of throat
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Constant pain in the throat
  • Fever
  • Earache
  • Red, swollen tonsils
  • Hoarseness

You may not have all the symptoms at a time, but a combination of these. Talk to your doctor if the symptoms persist for more than seven days.

Back to top

What Causes A Sore Throat While Pregnant?

Knowing the reasons could help you avoid a sore throat during pregnant:

  • Acid reflux
  • Allergies (dust and pollen)
  • Muscle strain in the throat (talking loudly, talking continuously without rest)
  • Chemicals or pollutants
  • Fungal infection
  • Throat infection spreading through a cough or sneeze
  • Sinusitis

The above reasons could cause not only a sore throat but also a strep throat.

Back to top

How Is Sore Throat Different From Strep Throat?

A strep throat is a severe form of a sore throat caused by Group A streptococcal bacteria, which is highly contagious (1). A strep throat has these symptoms:

  • Chills
  • Red throat
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen and tender lymph nodes (glands) in the neck
  • Lack of appetite
  • Pus on tonsils
  • stomach ache
  • Red, sandpaper-like rash

A strep throat might require a doctor visit but a sore throat, if not severe, can be managed with some personal care and home remedies.

Back to top

Tips To Get Relief From A Sore Throat In Pregnancy

These simple tips help you tackle a sore throat during pregnancy without causing any side effects:

  1. Avoid cold and fizzy drinks during throat infection. These drinks can aggravate the condition.
  1. Drink a lot of fluids and keep yourself hydrated.
  1. Stop eating fast foods, and processed foods, especially the ones that contain colors and preservatives.
  1. Have herbal teas such as lemon tea and green tea to reduce the scratchy sensation and pain in the throat.
  1. Steam inhalation can help in relieving nasal congestion and pain caused due to the throat infection.
  1. Gargle with salt water at least thrice a day because salt fights the bacteria. You can also add a pinch of turmeric to salt water as it is a natural anti-inflammatory and antiseptic agent.
  1. Relish on a healthy diet. Stick to foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals.
  1. Take enough rest.
  1. Do not share utensils, towels or cups with a person who has throat infection as you may contract it.
  1. Do not talk more; give rest to your vocal cords.
  1. Wash your hands every time you sneeze or a cough. It is the best way to prevent any infection.
  1. Avoid smoking and passive smoking as it can worsen the condition.

In addition to taking care of yourself, you might want to try some home remedies for quick relief from a sore throat.

Back to top

6 Effective Home Remedies For Treating Throat Infection

Some of the best solutions to a sore throat are found in your kitchen. Here is the list of remedies you can choose from:

1. Honey lemon tea

Honey helps in soothing the throat and lemon in combating bacteria and clearing the mucus.

How to prepare:

  • Boil a cup of water
  • Add honey and lemon juice to it
  • Let it cool down and drink

2. Steam inhalation or humidifier

Steam inhalation moistens your mucous membrane and offers you relief from a dry throat. You can also use a humidifier in your room to keep the air moist.

How to use:

  • Boil water in a large pot
  • Breathe in the steam for some time

3. Salt water gargle

It is one of the safest home remedies. Salt water hydrates the throat membranes and soothes the irritation.

How to use:

  • Add one teaspoon of salt to eight ounces of warm water
  • Gargle in every one hour to get relief from the pain

4. Chamomile tea

Chamomile tea is a natural pain-reliever and combats bacteria. It helps alleviate the inflammation and soothes irritation.

How to prepare:

  • Boil a cup of water
  • Add a chamomile tea bag to the boiling water and steep it for five minutes
  • Strain it. Add honey and drink

5. Ginger tea

Ginger has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. It helps reduce the inflammation of the throat.

How to prepare:

  • Boil a cup of water and add about an inch of peeled fresh ginger
  • Steep it for five minutes. Add honey for sweetness and drink the tea
  • You can add fresh mint leaves for a soothing effect

If a sore throat is severe and home remedies are not working, then you might need some medications.

Back to top

Medications For Sore Throat And Strep Throat While Pregnant

If the pain due to throat infection is persistent, then you must visit a doctor. They would prescribe a medication based on your condition. Here are some of the commonly used drugs for a sore throat, but you should not use them unless your doctor recommends.

Safe medications for a sore throat

Cepacol Sore throat spray
Sucrets lozenges (dyclonine hydrochloride)
Chloraseptic (Not to take for more than two days) lozenges (benzocaine) or spray (phenol)
Halls or Robitussin lozenges (menthol)
Vicks lozenges with honey (dextromethorphan hydrobromide)

Safe medication for strep throat (usually antibiotics are prescribed) (3)

Cephalexin B safe
Penicillin (13 ) B None/good
Amoxicillin B Unlikely/fair

The antibiotics cannot be used to treat a sore throat that is caused due to viral infections.

Note: Any negligence while taking the antibiotics dose during treatment can lead to recurrent infections. It is best to follow your doctor’s advice.

Back to top

A Little More On Strep Throat:

In addition to the symptoms and medication, you might want to know the answers to these questions on a strep throat:

1. Is strep throat dangerous during pregnancy?

Strep throat in pregnancy is not dangerous if you take timely treatment and medication. If you notice any symptoms, then check with the doctor, who can guide you with treatment. In severe cases, a strep throat can damage heart valves and kidneys (4).

2. Are strep throat and Group B streptococcus infection the same?

No. A strep throat is caused by Group A streptococcus bacteria, whereas Group B streptococcus bacteria are found in the rectal and vaginal area. The Group B bacteria can pass the infection from the mother to the baby through the amniotic fluid (5).

A sore throat is a short-lived problem during pregnancy. It is harmless both to you and your baby. However, you may not want to eat as swallowing becomes difficult. But make sure that you are continuing to have a healthy diet even if it is painful to your throat. Also, follow the home remedies as they are an excellent way to get relief from the infection.

Back to top

Have any experience to share? Let us know in the comments section.

Recommended Articles:

  • Causes & Risk Factors Of Bronchitis During Pregnancy
  • Croup During Pregnancy – 5 Causes & 7 Symptoms You Should Be Aware Of
  • Common Viral Infections During Pregnancy You Should Be Aware Of
  • Amazing Health Benefits Of Ginger Tea During Pregnancy

Incnut Incnut Incnut


  • Causes of Sore Throat
  • The Most Common Diseases in Pregnant Women
  • Is it Dangerous?
  • Treatment Sore Throat During Pregnancy
  • Prevention Sore Throat in Pregnancy

Sore Throat in Pregnancy

Sore throat is a common disease during pregnancy. The pregnant women are very vulnerable to bacteria and viruses. The situation is complicated by the ban on the use of traditional medications, particularly in the first trimester, when the fetus develops the most important organs.

During pregnancy, the woman tries to protect both herself and the baby from the adverse impacts. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. Respiratory viral diseases are more common in pregnant women than in other people. It is explained by the double load on the body, which significantly decreases the immunity and promotes existing pathologies.

Causes of Sore Throat

Factors influencing the appearance of sore throat during pregnancy are divided into three categories:

Mechanical Damage

Small sores, mucosal damage may result from drinking too hot or too cold beverage, swallowing rigid food, strong tension of the vocal cords and even from the dry air in the room. Such sores disappear within a few days and do not require treatment.

Cold-Related Diseases

It is a serious cause for sore throat. Inhalations of cold air and hypothermia result in painful pharyngitis. At the initial stage, the cold is easily treated folk remedies.

Infection and Viruses

The infectious agents are a major threat to the health of both the mother and the baby. They spread by droplet transmission. High fever, sputum in the lungs – these are the symptoms of an infectious disease.

The Most Common Diseases in Pregnant Women

  • pharyngitis;
  • sore throat;
  • bacterial infection;
  • allergies;
  • tonsillitis.

Self-treatment of a sore throat can harm both the mother and the child, as many medications are prohibited during pregnancy.

Is it Dangerous?

Of course, the sore throat can’t harm the fetus, unlike the reason for its occurrence. For example, the mother’s viruses can be easily transmitted to the baby with the blood flow.

A sore throat is a great cause of concern for the expectant mothers. The baby can feel the anxiety of the mother that affects his health to some extent, too.

That is why the woman should take care of her nervous system. She may be worried as many drugs are prohibited during pregnancy and she needs to find another effective way to cure her sore throat.

Treatment Sore Throat During Pregnancy

First Trimester

Treatment of a sore throat in the first trimester In the first trimester the administration of pharmaceutical drugs is strictly forbidden. In the early terms of pregnancy, you can use only folk remedies, so be patient to find the recipe that fits you.

Sea salt. Add a teaspoon of sea salt to 50 ml of warm water. Rinse your throat 6-10 times a day.

Hydrogen peroxide. Dissolve in a glass of water a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide (3%). Gargle with this solution up to three times a day.

Apple cider vinegar. Add a teaspoon of vinegar to a glass of boiled water. Gargle with this solution every hour.

Milk, honey, butter. Mix all the ingredients, and warm them. Drink this solution three times a day.

The Second and Third Trimesters

During the second and third trimesters, it is already possible to take some medications. You can use aerosols, such as Hexoral, Stopangin, Kameton. You can also buy throat lozenges, such as Angicept and Neo-angin.

It is strictly forbidden to use Theraflu, Coldrex and Flucold, as they contain a vasoconstrictor substances, as well as aspirin and ibuprofen. These drugs affect the whole body, not a particular organ, so they will affect the child, too.

You should neither use Septolete, Falamint and Strepsils to cure your sore throat. They contain xylometazoline, a substance prohibited during pregnancy.


  • In order to avoid health problems during pregnancy, you need to take steps to prevent them. As it is known, it is much easier to prevent a disease than to treat it.
  • Vitamin teas are ideal to prevent colds. The most effective are teas containing rose hip, rich in vitamin C. This vitamin strengthens immunity and the organism as a whole.
  • Rose hip contains essential oils that prevent pathogenic microbes from penetrating the body. Perform these procedures when you are back home.
  • Clean the air in the room. Cut onion or garlic fits for this purpose. They are natural antibiotics-phytoncides that neutralize bacteria.
  • Walk outdoors more often. Aerate rooms as often as possible, even in winter.

How to Get Rid of Sore Throat for Pregnant Women

Pregnancy itself can be a difficult journey, add a sore throat to that and it can be rather difficult to deal with. However, it is important to avoid medicines during pregnancy, until and unless the infection becomes severe and you have no other option. Even then make sure that the medicine you take is safe to take during pregnancy. If your sore throat is mild then you can try some home remedies to get rid of the problem. If it persists, then visit a doctor and get your throat checked.

How to Treat Sore Throat During Pregnancy

Recent studies show that there are several possible reasons which could cause a sore throat during pregnancy. Some of the common causes include bacterial or fungal infections, allergies, pollutants in the air, acid reflux or even chemical allergies.

Most medicines are harmful for a baby so doctors advise against taking medicines so bearing the sore throat can be rather itchy and frustrating for the pregnant mother. Below are some home remedies that can provide relief:

1. Warm Salt Water Gargle

To prevent a sore throat from getting worse, it is best to stay away from cold drinks or even drinking cold water. The best way to soothe your throat is by using warm salted water for gargles. Add a teaspoon of salt to warm water and gargle at least once every hour to provide you with some relief. Another home remedy includes the use of turmeric in warm water as a relief for sore throat.

2. Humidifier to Help You Breathe Properly

One of the best remedies for a stuffy nose during a sore throat is the use of a humidifier. The mist it creates helps to restore the swelling in the air passages. If you have a dry cough, then the cool mist can relieve the hoarseness of the voice. However, don’t leave it on for too long as it will make the room damp and cold.

In case you don’t have a humidifier handy then simply boil some water for a couple of hours or even use a shallow pot of water to make the air damp and humid.

3. Take Prenatal Vitamins

Remember to take prenatal vitamins which will make the immune system stronger and will help you fight the germs. Vitamin C and zinc are best for this purpose. Eat healthy so that you can naturally get the vitamin and minerals you need to fight off any virus. Get your daily dose of vitamin C from citrus fruits, melons, strawberries, mango and kiwi. Eat vegetables rich in vitamin C like broccoli, cabbage, peppers, spinach and lots of other vegetables. There are lots of food items which have zinc like beef, egg, oatmeal, yogurt, oysters, turkey and beef.

4. Drink Honey and Lemon Tea

Drink green tea or regular tea with a squeeze of lemon and a teaspoon of honey. Lemon is found to be very effective as it helps to break up the mucus causing phlegm in your throat. Honey is great too, as it helps to coat the itchy throat in order soothe it and reduce the coughing. Together they are a great source of temporary relief and if drunk a couple of times a day you will find the pain to eventually go away.

5. Drink More Fluids

When you feel that you may be developing a sore throat increase your fluid intake. This will help to thin the mucus and remove any toxins present in the body Mucous causes extra fluids to be removed from the body and so they have to be replaced.

6. Try Cough Candy

By using cough candy you can increase the saliva in the mouth and clean out your throat.

7. Safe Medications for Sore Throat

There are several occasions when home remedies don’t help to cure a sore throat. On such occasions it is best to use medicines which are recommended as safe for pregnancies. Some over the counter medicines which are considered safe include Tylenol (acetaminophen) for cold and flu and Saline nasal drops or spray.

Watch how to make a drink with water, lemon and ginger, to relieve sore throat during pregnancy. Please note that high doses of ginger can be harmful to your pregnancy so please consult your doctor before adding any herbs to your drink:

When to Call a Doctor About Sore Throat During Pregnancy

Usually strep throats (Group A streptococcus bacteria causes it) occur in small children, but it can occur in adults as well. This category of sore throat can also cause a fever, swollen neck glands and even small white bumps on the tonsils. It can be treated by the use of antibiotics in order to kill the infection. If you think that you have a strep throat infection, then consult a doctor. Also, if the symptoms persist after a couple of days or you experience breathing problem, then see your local physician, as you could have developed a chest infection as well.

Talk to your doctor regarding any concerns you may have as it always best to get a professional opinion. In case you start to feel dizzy or have breathing difficulties, congestion or chest pain, persistent high fever, vomiting, decreased or no movement of the baby, consult a doctor immediately. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that flu in pregnant women can be cured immediately with antiviral medicines which are not harmful for the unborn child.

You feel it coming on – that scratchy feeling in your throat. Colds and sore throats are normal this time of year, but when you’re pregnant,it’s not just your health that’s at stake – you worry about your baby’s health, too.

Source: sore throats can be caused by more than just a cold. Asthma, allergies, acid reflux, pollutants, chemicals, and bacterial or fungal infections can all irritate the throat, causing pain.

The good news is that even a sore throat during early pregnancy shouldn’t cause harm to your baby. It’s highly likely that you’ll catch an ordinary cold during your pregnancy. In fact, most people catch four or more per year. And if you’re around small children, you may catch colds more often.

Most of the causes of sore throats (with the exception of infections) are generally mild and harmless, although you should see your doctor just to make sure. There’s no need to panic about a sore throat (in most cases), but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer through it. If you’re pregnant, these 6 sore throat remedies can help you find some relief.

6 Sore Throat Remedies during Pregnancy

Being pregnant is tough. Being pregnant and having a sore throat is even tougher. These 6 remedies can give you some much-needed relief and are mild enough for pregnant moms to use.

Source: Honey Lemon Tea

One of the most popular and effective remedies for a sore throat is a big cup of hot honey lemon tea. The honey helps coat the throat, while the lemon helps kill bacteria and clear away mucous.

To make your relieving tea, simply boil water in a tea kettle or pot, and pour into a mug. Add honey and the juice of one lemon. Stir and enjoy!

Remember: Give the tea some time to cool before drinking – it can be very hot.

For extra soothing relief, try adding fresh mint leaves to your tea.

2. Steam and Humidifiers

Sometimes, sore throats are caused by dry air, which is common in the winter. A humidifier can help replenish moisture in the air, and provide you with much-needed relief in a safe, gentle way.

Moist air keeps your mucous membranes moist, so your symptoms disappear along with your dry throat. Try adding a humidifier to your bedroom or living room to add moisture to the air.

Steam can also have a similar effect, and is a great alternative if you don’t have a humidifier. Simply boil a large pot of water on the stove until it starts producing steam. Breathe in the steam, allowing the pot to continue to boil. The steam will add moisture to the air.

Tip: Please stand a safe distance from the pot. Placing your face or any part of your body too close to the steam can burn your skin.

3. Salt Water Gargle

Source: simple salt water gargle is safe for pregnant women, and it can work wonders for sore throats. The water hydrates membranes in the throat, while the salt soothes irritation.

Add one tsp. of salt to 8 oz. of warm water, and gargle.

That’s all there is to it. Doctors recommend gargling at least once per hour, so this remedy is best suited for pregnant women who are at home.

4. Stay Hydrated

Physicians recommend increasing your fluid intake anytime you come down with a cold, cough or sore throat. Fluids help to thin out mucous and flush out toxins while keeping membranes hydrated.

If your sore throat is caused by a cold, you should know that increased mucous production leeches extra fluids from your body, and those fluids need to be replaced.

Even if your sore throat is caused by dry air or irritants in the air, staying hydrated can help alleviate symptoms while ridding your body of any irritants that may be causing inflammation.

5. Chamomile Tea

Chamomile is a natural sore throat remedy, and because it’s an herbal tea (i.e. caffeine-free), it’s generally safe for pregnant women to drink. Not only can chamomile help kill bacteria, it also works as a natural pain-reliever by alleviating inflammation and soothing irritation.

Source: tea is one of the most effective ways to maximize the benefits of this flower. Simply boil 1 cup of water, add a chamomile teabag, and let it steep for at least 5 minutes. Add honey for a little sweetness and extra relief.

Some chamomile teas contain other herbs, so be sure to read the ingredients label carefully. Certain herbs are not ideal for pregnant women to consume, so only choose products that contain only chamomile flowers.

Always consult with your doctor before drinking herbal teas, including chamomile.

6. Ginger Tea

Tea is one of the best remedies for sore throats, but as a pregnant woman, you have to take care to avoid teas that contain caffeine. Chamomile and the honey/lemon mixture we listed above are two great options, but ginger tea is also an excellent remedy for sore throats.

And as an added bonus, it will also provide you with nausea relief. If you’re still battling morning sickness, you can kill two birds with one stone by drinking this soothing tea. Ginger has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties. It eases inflammation, too, which can provide you with the pain relief you crave. On top of all this, this potent herb can also clear away excess mucus while boosting circulation and making it easier for your body to flush out toxins.

Simply boil a cup of water, add about an inch of fresh ginger (peel it first), steep for 5 minutes, and enjoy. Add a teaspoon of honey for sweetness and to coat the throat. Feel free to also add a sprig of fresh mint for extra flavor and soothing relief.

These 6 remedies can help you kick that sore throat to the curb. While most sore throats are nothing to worry about, you should see your doctor if it persists for several days or you develop symptoms of the flu, such as a high fever and extreme fatigue. The flu can be dangerous for your baby, so see your doctor right away if you develop flu-like symptoms along with your sore throat.

Leave a Comment