Much of the pregnancy journey is relatively predictable. Doctors assess how far along the pregnant person is and check to make sure everything looks how it should within whatever trimester they are in. However, pregnancy varies greatly for everyone, and some may experience more rare symptoms. While these symptoms are usually normal and do not indicate harm or risk, they’re considered weird pregnancy symptoms simply because they are less common. However, it’s important to consult a doctor if something feels off or if a symptom becomes worrisome in any way. Here are some of the weird pregnancy symptoms that a pregnant person may experience and why they occur.
Potentially Uncommon or Weird Pregnancy Symptoms
Ptyalism (Excessive Saliva)
Some women experience increased saliva production, leading to excessive drooling. This condition is known as ptyalism.The exact cause of ptyalism during pregnancy is not well understood, but it is likely due to hormone changes and/or influenced by other symptoms like nausea.
Dysgeusia (Altered Taste)
Dysgeusia refers to a distortion or alteration in taste perception, leading to strange or metallic tastes in the mouth. Hormonal changes, particularly increased levels of estrogen, can affect taste buds and alter the way flavors are perceived. This phenomenon is common during early pregnancy. While there’s no specific treatment, staying hydrated and maintaining good oral hygiene may help. Some individuals find that consuming citrus fruits or flavored candies can temporarily mask the altered taste.
Linea Nigra is a dark line that appears vertically along the abdomen, running from the pubic bone to the belly button or beyond. It is typically darker in pigmentation than the surrounding skin. Linea Nigra is caused by hormonal changes, particularly the increased production of melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) and estrogen. These hormones can stimulate the melanocytes (cells responsible for skin pigmentation), leading to the formation of the dark line.
Linea Nigra often becomes more noticeable during the second trimester of pregnancy and may persist after childbirth, although it usually fades over time. It is very normal but it can be considered one of the weird pregnancy symptoms when it occurs earlier in the pregnancy.
“Pregnancy Brain” refers to the phenomenon where some pregnant individuals report experiencing forgetfulness, foggy thinking, and feeling more scattered or absent-minded. The exact cause of pregnancy brain is not fully understood, but hormonal changes during pregnancy, such as increased levels of estrogen and progesterone, are believed to play a role. Other changes in the body are believed to play a role as well.
Pregnancy brain is often temporary and tends to improve after childbirth. Hormone levels gradually return to normal, and as new parents adjust to their routines, cognitive function typically improves.
Rhinitis of Pregnancy
Increased blood flow to the mucous membranes can lead to swelling in the nasal passages, which causes nasal congestion and a runny nose during pregnancy. This congestion is more common during the second and third trimesters. It is not usually associated with an infection or allergies. Non-medicated remedies such as using a humidifier, staying hydrated, and practicing nasal saline irrigation can help relieve symptoms. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider before using any over-the-counter medications during pregnancy.
Beyond the well-known changes like stretch marks and darkened areolas, some women may develop skin-related weird pregnancy symptoms like hyperpigmentation, skin tags, or changes in mole pigmentation. While many skin changes are a natural part of pregnancy, maintaining good skin care practices, staying hydrated, and protecting the skin from excessive sun exposure can help minimize some of these effects. It’s important to monitor any suspicious changes, especially with moles, and consult a healthcare provider if needed.
Excessive Gas and Bloating
Many pregnant people experience increased gas and bloating during pregnancy. Hormonal changes, particularly the increase in progesterone, can lead to relaxation of smooth muscle tissue throughout the body, including the gastrointestinal tract. This relaxation can slow down digestion and contribute to the accumulation of gas in the digestive system. According to Annamarya Scaccia with Healthline, the body does this to give nutrients extra time to absorb in the bloodstream and reach the baby.
Bloating, gas, and constipation can also be caused by the shifting of intestines as the uterus grows and by the iron in prenatal vitamins, according to Scaccia. Eating smaller, more frequent meals, staying hydrated, and incorporating fiber-rich foods into the diet can help manage symptoms. Regular physical activity may also aid in digestion.
Increased pressure on the rectum and perineum can result in hemorrhoids for some pregnant women. Hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels in the rectal area that can lead to discomfort, itching, and sometimes bleeding. To alleviate symptoms, individuals can try to avoid constipation by staying hydrated, consuming a fiber-rich diet, and engaging in regular physical activity. Topical treatments and sitz baths may provide relief, but it’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider for appropriate guidance.
This is one of the weird pregnancy symptoms that many pregnant people do not expect. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can lead to increased blood flow to the gums, making them more prone to swelling, tenderness, and bleeding. The elevated levels of hormones, especially estrogen, can affect the gums’ response to bacteria, making them more susceptible to inflammation and bleeding. According to Total Health, your teeth may also become wobbly during pregnancy as the ligaments and bones in the mouth relax. However, taking care of the teeth and gums should prevent them from ever falling out.
Maintaining good oral hygiene practices, including regular brushing and flossing, is crucial during pregnancy. Dental check-ups are also recommended. If gum issues persist, it’s essential to consult with a dentist for proper care.
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
Restless Leg Syndrome is a condition characterized by an irresistible urge to move the legs, often accompanied by uncomfortable sensations. It tends to worsen during periods of inactivity or at night. While the exact cause of RLS is not fully understood, hormonal changes and alterations in dopamine levels during pregnancy may contribute. The pressure on nerves and blood vessels in the pelvic area from the growing uterus could also play a role.
Pregnant individuals with RLS may experience sensations like tingling, itching, or a “creepy-crawly” feeling in the legs, leading to an uncontrollable urge to move them for relief. Lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, and avoiding caffeine may help manage symptoms. Some individuals find relief with warm baths, massage, or certain medications, but always consult with a healthcare provider before using any medications during pregnancy.
Many pregnant individuals report experiencing unusually vivid and intense dreams during pregnancy. Hormonal fluctuations, especially increased levels of progesterone, can impact sleep patterns and may contribute to the occurrence of vivid dreams. Stress, anxiety, and changes in sleep habits during pregnancy can also play a role. Vivid dreams during pregnancy are generally considered normal and may not require specific management. It is one of the many weird pregnancy symptoms that are not necessarily preventable. Maintaining good sleep hygiene, including a consistent sleep schedule and creating a relaxing bedtime routine, may contribute to overall better sleep quality.
It’s important to remember that these symptoms vary greatly among individuals, and not everyone will experience them. If you are pregnant and experiencing any unusual symptoms, it’s advisable to discuss them with your healthcare provider for guidance and reassurance.
These symptoms are also not always indicative of a pregnancy. However, if you are experiencing multiple of these weird pregnancy symptoms at once, you should take a pregnancy test and consult a doctor.