An unusual symptom of pregnancy – a heightened sense of smell, can sometimes become unbearably unpleasant. Here, we delve into the much-feared ‘pregnancy nose’, with individuals sharing their relatable experiences, including confessions like “I’m pregnant and I can’t stand my partner’s odor.”
You may hear about many aspects of pregnancy but won’t completely comprehend them unless you go through them yourself. People can tell you that newborns use your bladder as a punching bag, but it may be difficult to understand until you’ve experienced it yourself. The same holds true for watching your stomach move as though you were preparing to star in that Alien scene.
And while you may believe you know everything about pregnancy nose, you have no idea until you can smell your partner’s dirty socks from across the house or are assaulted by the odor of an open refrigerator. Discover more about why you may suddenly dislike your partner’s scent during pregnancy.
The Pregnancy Nose
No one really knows why pregnant women gain a bloodhound’s sense of smell, but there is little doubt that it occurs frequently. Studies show up to two-thirds of pregnant women experience heightened olfactory sensitivity. It is hypothesized that the pregnancy nose evolved to prevent pregnant women from eating harmful substances.
There is also evidence that this enhanced sense of smell can provoke frequent nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy. According to a research published in the International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics, for some women, this heightened sensitivity can remain throughout pregnancy and even into the postpartum period. And man, is it intense!
Ordinary, daily odors might be overwhelming. Something as ordinary as your favorite hand cream or cuisine might push you over the brink into avoidance or even worse, send you to the bathroom to throw up your breakfast.
But what if the source of the offensive odor is something or someone you cannot avoid? What if it is your spouse? It is true that during pregnancy, the love of your life can make you physically nauseous. If you’ve spent any time on pregnancy-related message boards or in pregnancy-related organizations, you’ve probably read at least a few messages about partners and their terrible blues. This is a rather frequent occurrence during pregnancy, and it’s not likely to last!
When Good Smells Go Bad
Jenna, a mother from Allentown, Pennsylvania, says: “With my kid, I forbade my husband to consume hummus.” “He smelled so horrible after it.” Yet these fragrance memories can persist long after the pregnancy has ended. She continues, “My skin still crawls when I think about that, and that was over five years ago.” “I forced him to shower, brush his teeth, and wash his clothing after eating olive hummus for lunch one day, but the smell wouldn’t disappear. It was dreadful. I could not approach him.”
Another Pennsylvania mother, Lauren, was forced to beg her husband to stop using the couch throw pillows. “I can smell him on the pillows, the couch, his freshly laundered linens, and everything else in the room. I am certain it is pregnancy-related because it began as soon as I became pregnant this time, “She elucidates. “The entirety of his, I don’t know, musk? His breath, sweat, and head odor—not his hair, which smells like shampoo, but the underlying odor of his scalp—have such an earthy, musky odor that it makes me sick.”
Reddit is also filled with pregnant women complaining about their partners’ attacks on their hypersensitive noses. “After being pregnant, I believe he stinks. Enjoy his body odor, “one pregnant Reddit user writes. “I cannot place my finger on the source of this unpleasant, “old man”-like odor. I feel awful about that.” She adds that it is so awful that it interferes with their alone time.
“I want to have sex with him, but his odor is so repulsive, and his breath is much worse! I don’t believe it’s a health issue because he hasn’t changed his eating habits, is extremely fit, and looks terrific. He is in good health. Occasionally, I cringe when he hugs me because I find it so intense. Recently, I was forced to roll down my car’s windows due to the odor. I am aware that pregnancy might intensify a woman’s odor, but this is absurd.”
Getting Through Pregnancy Nose
Take heart, super-smellers: The sensitivity eventually ends. Perhaps not the moment you give birth, but it does come to an end. “I experienced this significantly between 12 and 20 weeks. Nevertheless, it wasn’t just my hubby; I could smell EVERYONE,” another Redditor says. “Similar to their skin and hair. The very worst! It’s significantly improved now (after 27 weeks), and my hubby now smells SO NICE. Pregnancy is strange, dude.”
If your partner is triggering your gag reflex, it is best to point them in the direction of the body wash and deodorant department at Target. Or surprise them with a brand-new collection of hand-selected and odor-tested goods to help you meet your deadline.
Meaningful articles you might like: Causes of Nosebleeds and Congestion During Pregnancy, Managing Cramps and Swelling from Pregnancy Leg Pain, Week 40 of Pregnancy