If you’ve never heard of dysgeusia, you’re not alone. I hadn’t either until I experienced it during my pregnancy. (And to be honest, I’m still not sure how to pronounce it lol.) I don’t plan on writing a lot about pregnancy here on the blog, but I have been wanting to share my experience with this particular symptom because I had such a hard time finding any information about it when I was pregnant.
So what is dysgeusia? It’s a lingering bad taste in the mouth–sometimes metallic, sometimes bitter. From the research I’ve done, no one seems to be able to say exactly what causes it in pregnancy, although it’s probably related to hormonal changes.
Regardless of the cause, it’s much more unpleasant than it probably sounds. I’m sure the first thought that goes through most people’s minds is “why not just brush your teeth to get rid of the taste?” But here’s the thing–dysgeusia makes even toothpaste and breath mints and all the other things we generally use to get rid of a bad taste in our mouths taste bad too.
And it’s constant. I would wake up in the middle of the night, hours after having eaten or brushed my teeth, and the bitter, nauseating taste in my mouth was so bad it would actually keep me awake. Imagine throwing up and being unable to rinse your mouth out and just having to taste vomit for hours and hours — that’s what dysgeusia was like for me. (At least at first–read on for the tips that helped me cope!)
Literally not a single one of the many books about pregnancy that I read even mentioned dysgeusia. Which meant that it was really hard to find any information about how to cope with it. So even though it is certainly not the most serious or difficult pregnancy symptom out there, I personally found it challenging simply because it took so much research and then trial and error to find anything that helped.
So I figured I’d write this post to maybe spare another pregnant mama out there all that work and help her find some helpful strategies a bit most easily. Because while I never found anything that made the dysgeusia go away completely, but I did find some things that really helped me cope. Here they are: