Home > Complications > Hay Fever and Pregnancy

Hay Fever and Pregnancy

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 3 Jul 2010 | comments*Discuss
Hay Fever Pregnancy Decongestants

Although there are many hay fever treatments available they unfortunately can't all be used during pregnancy. Some women are lucky and find that their hay fever symptoms ease off during a pregnancy. Others, however, struggle to treat the painful symptoms and worry about the safety of hay fever medication. By using care and caution, you can successfully handle your hay fever while still maintaining a healthy and safe pregnancy.


Decongestants are an effective hay fever medication that helps to clear your nose, but they aren't generally recommended for use during pregnancy unless specifically prescribed by your doctor. There is still not enough evidence regarding their use so it's best to try one of the more commonly recommended hay fever medications first and to use decongestants only on the advice of your doctor or pharmacist.


Antihistamines work to relieve the effects of a chemical called histamine, which is released during an allergic response to common allergens such as pollen. Antihistamines aren't usually recommended for use during pregnancy but the older ones can be taken under your doctor's advice and supervision. It may seem confusing to be recommended an older one rather than a newer antihistamine, given that the older medications cause more drowsiness. The rationale is that the safety of older antihistamines has been assessed whereas there is still much unknown regarding the newer antihistamines.

Anti-inflammatory Drugs

Anti-inflammatory drugs tend to have corticosteroids as a main ingredient. They work throughout the body to relieve inflammation, but do so primarily in the nose. Most anti-inflammatory drugs for hay fever are safe to use during pregnancy if used for short periods of time. Be sure to follow all label directions carefully and do not go over the recommended dose. It's actually ideal to try a lower dose first, which means you're using the lowest dose to meet your needs and effectively treat your hay fever symptoms.

Non-Medication Prevention

It is during pregnancy that non-medicating treatments for hay fever become more important than ever. By avoiding your allergen as best you can, you will reduce the symptoms and reduce the need to use medications. Since most hay fever sufferers are allergic to pollen, it is recommended that you avoid the outdoors when pollen counts are high and that you try to avoid early mornings and evenings, when pollen counts go up. Small changes, such as washing hair and clothes frequently and using air conditioning instead of opening windows, can really make a difference in preventing your exposure to pollen. It's also helpful to consider enlisting the help of a friend or family member to vacuum regularly and keep dust in your house down to a minimum, particularly towards the final trimester of your pregnancy.

Pregnancy is a time of many changes and excitement but it can also bring fear and worry regarding medications to treat hay fever. For some, it can be overwhelming coping with hay fever when you may also be dealing with the many physical changes of pregnancy. Try to minimise your exposure to allergens as best you can, and also see your doctor about appropriate medications to take if symptoms do still occur. You can safely treat your hay fever symptoms and instead, put your focus back on the arrival of your baby.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • John
    Re: Tree Pollen
    I get itchy and swollen eyelids every time I open a window facing a 20ft Hawthorne hedge. Extremely bad between June and September. Trouble is that…
    3 August 2019
  • Freddie
    Re: Tree Pollen
    I’ve suffered from stuffy nose and dreadful aches during the summer months, for years. After walking, being in the countryside, even in late summer,…
    7 July 2019
  • Mr.Max
    Re: Tree Pollen
    I use natural nasal barriers and they have worked extremely well but I still feel I could do with another treatment. Is there anything you could recommend?
    10 June 2019
  • Cazhug
    Re: Tree Pollen
    I suffer from silent migraines and have only just made a possible connection to birch tree pollen. I’m worst from end Mar to end May with weekly…
    5 June 2019
  • sherryerhard
    Re: Hay Fever And Your Lungs
    I have had asthma my whole life but about 5 years ago my asthma got so bad and I was diagnosed with emphysema/COPD which was most…
    1 June 2019
  • Gayegaye
    Re: Tree Pollen
    I find the May makes me extremely Ill. Its flowers are so pungent they stink. It's a beautiful tree especially when it's in full blossom but there's no…
    23 May 2019
  • derek rooney
    Re: Hay Fever And Your Lungs
    I had COPD for 9 years. My first symptoms were dry cough, chest tightness and shortness of breath. My first chest x-ray only showed…
    14 May 2019
  • Janet Linnekin
    Re: Hay Fever And Your Lungs
    I was introduced to RICH HERBS FOUNDATION (ww w. richherbsfoundation. c om) and their successful COPD Herbal Formula protocol 10 months…
    30 April 2019
  • rathers
    Re: Tree Pollen
    I get extremely itchy eyes from mid January to April. No other symptoms . This has been going on for years and no one seems able to help
    14 February 2019
  • HayfeverExpert
    Re: Tree Pollen
    AngieB - Your Question:I’ve only just made the link between my symptoms and a possible pollen allergy. I’ve been having itchy skin since March with int
    3 July 2018