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Hyperosmia: A Heightened Sense of Smell During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a significant phase of a woman’s life that brings about numerous physical and emotional changes. One of the common changes experienced by many pregnant women is heightened senses, also known as hypersensitivity. Heightened senses can affect a woman’s sense of smell, taste, touch, and hearing, and can significantly impact their daily life during pregnancy. In this article, we will explore what heightened senses are, why they occur during pregnancy, and some tips for coping with them.

What are Heightened Senses?

Heightened senses are a common symptom experienced by pregnant women. During pregnancy, a woman’s senses can become more acute and sensitive, making even the slightest stimuli more intense. The most common senses that are heightened during pregnancy include smell, taste, touch, and hearing.

During pregnancy, many women experience an increase in their sense of smell, making them more sensitive to odors. This heightened sense of smell can lead to nausea, vomiting, and aversion to certain foods and smells.

Similarly, many women experience changes in their sense of taste during pregnancy. They may develop cravings or aversions to certain foods due to the heightened sense of taste.

Pregnant women may also experience increased sensitivity to touch during pregnancy. This can result in discomfort or even pain when being touched or hugged by others.

Lastly, some women may also experience a heightened sense of hearing during pregnancy, making even soft noises that seem loud and overwhelming.

Why do Heightened Senses Occur during Pregnancy?

Heightened senses during pregnancy are thought to be caused by hormonal changes in the body. The increase in hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, can affect the nervous system and lead to increased sensitivity in the senses.

Tips for Coping with Heightened Senses during Pregnancy

While heightened senses can be challenging to deal with during pregnancy, there are some tips that can help pregnant women cope with these symptoms:

Avoid Triggers
Identify triggers that worsen your symptoms, such as certain smells or foods, and avoid them if possible.

Practice Relaxation Techniques
Stress can worsen symptoms of heightened senses, so practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga can help reduce symptoms.

Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water can help flush out toxins that can trigger heightened senses and reduce symptoms.

Get Plenty of Rest
Getting enough sleep and rest can help reduce stress levels and improve overall well-being, which can help reduce symptoms.

Seek Support
Talking to friends, family, or a healthcare provider about your symptoms can help you feel less isolated and overwhelmed.


Heightened senses during pregnancy are a common symptom that can significantly impact a woman’s daily life. Understanding the causes and tips for coping with heightened senses can help pregnant women manage these symptoms and enjoy a healthier, more comfortable pregnancy. By following the tips provided in this article and seeking support when needed, pregnant women can minimize the impact of heightened senses and focus on the joys of pregnancy.

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