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Why do Women Feel Cold in Early Pregnancy?Possible Causes of Cold during PregnancyHow to Deal with Chills during Pregnancy?Is it Alarming?5 Rare Medical Conditions That May Cause Chills during Early Pregnancy
Pregnancy brings a lot of changes to your body. You will certainly be overjoyed by the news, but as you progress into your pregnancy, you will experience various first trimester pregnancy symptoms that will tire you out. While morning sickness, nausea, and fatigue are experienced by all pregnant women in the first trimester, some women may even feel cold in early pregnancy.
Why do Women Feel Cold in Early Pregnancy?
Most women generally feel hot during pregnancy, and feeling cold when pregnant is bound to leave you anxious. Generally, women feel warm during this time because of the fluctuating hormones. The sudden surge in progesterone and oestrogen in early pregnancy makes you sweat and you might feel rather hot. As a result, your body tries to cool itself by speeding up the breathing rate and pumping more blood, and hence you feel cold
This is one of the possible reasons for cold in early pregnancy, however, some women might feel naturally colder than other women.. All women have a different share of experiences during pregnancy. While morning sickness and nausea are common, feeling cold is not.
However, if you are experiencing cold at all times, you must consult a doctor soon, as it might reflect a serious problem. Feeling cold all the time is a sign of hypothyroidism, which is caused by underactive thyroid.
Possible Causes of Cold during Pregnancy
Feeling cold all the time during pregnancy is not normal, it is mostly a counteractive effect. However, it should not be overlooked or taken lightly. Following may be the causes of cold during pregnancy:
AnaemiaIron deficiency anaemia is when the blood lacks healthy red blood cells. Women generally tend to get anaemic during pregnancy, and iron deficiency in them leads to insufficient production of red blood cells which impacts blood circulation. As a result, the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the body gets affected which slows down the rate of metabolism making one feel cold. Lack of blood flow to the brain can even make one feel dizzy, which may result in low blood pressure or cold.
Morning sickness is although common during pregnancy might make you lose your appetite. Throwing up constantly may leave you tired and you might not eat enough. Hence, the lack of calories in your body may result in chills.
Hormonal ChangesHormonal fluctuation during pregnancy is one of the prominent reasons for cold or chills. The surge in female hormones can affect your body temperature making you feel cold.
High Basal Body TemperatureIn the early stages of pregnancy, the basal body temperature of a woman increases and stays high for at least 2 weeks. High body temperature may make you feel that the temperature around is lower. And the chills you get are similar to the ones you get before flu and hence you may feel feverish.
InfectionsContracting infections during pregnancy also makes one feel cold. While infections in the kidney and chest are common during pregnancy, a woman may even get a urinary tract infection. And these infections are marked by nausea and breathlessness, but sometimes you may even feel cold.
How to Deal with Chills during Pregnancy?
Feeling cold during pregnancy is not a serious problem but it shouldn’t be ignored. To deal with chills during pregnancy, you need to keep your body warm. Try these measures to deal with feeling excessively cold when pregnant:
Wear warm clothes:If you are constantly feeling cold, wear warm clothes. Put on a jacket or wrap a blanket around you. You can even put on a pair of socks if your feet are cold. Keeping your feet warm will warm up your body too.
Take rest:Feeling cold during pregnancy will result in fatigue. Therefore, it is important to take ample rest during this time. Sit on your bed, cover yourself in a blanket, read a good book, and eventually, you will fall asleep. If you don’t like to read, just put on some soothing music and try to sleep.
Take iron supplements:If you are feeling cold due to anaemia, then you need to take iron supplements. Your diet should also consist of foods rich in iron. Iron-rich diet will cure anaemia and improve your metabolic rate, which in turn will keep you warmer.
Eat healthy food:Sometimes the cause of cold during pregnancy is a lack of proper nutrition. Therefore, when pregnant, a woman must eat healthy and nutritious foods. Consuming ginger and root vegetables help in keeping one’s body warm, so make a point to add those while preparing food.
Is it Alarming?
Feeling cold during pregnancy is not a serious problem, however, if these chills continue for long, you need to consult an obstetrician. As per a study, feeling too hot or cold during pregnancy can increase the chances of premature birth. The study
also suggested that living in extreme hot or cold regions during the first 7 weeks of pregnancy is linked to early delivery. The research found that women who experienced chills in the first seven weeks of pregnancies had a 20% higher risk of premature delivery, i.e. before 34 weeks.
5 Rare Medical Conditions That May Cause Chills during Early Pregnancy
Below are some rare medical conditions that result in chills in the early stages of pregnancy:
HypothyroidismFeeling cold is a symptom of hypothyroidism, which happens when the thyroid glands do not produce enough hormones. Hypothyroidism is not common in pregnancy and if it is not treated well in time, it can increase the risk of miscarriage, premature baby, low birth weight baby, and even learning disabilities in the child in the future.
Urinary Tract InfectionUrinary tract infection, which is an inflammation of the urinary tract, is a common cause of chills in the early stages of pregnancy. This infection occurs when the bacteria gets into your urinary tract and multiplies. Almost 10% of women get urinary tract infection in their pregnancy. A bladder infection is not a problem if it is treated with right medicines and by staying hydrated. However, if it is not treated at the right time, this infection may reach your kidneys and result in severe undesired complications, like sepsis and preterm labour. Some of the common symptoms of UTIs include pelvic pain, cloudy and foul-smelling urine, strong urge to urinate, and burning sensation while urinating.
Viral GastroenteritisViral gastroenteritis, commonly known as stomach flu, is an infection in the intestine caused by a virus. A major cause of viral gastroenteritis is consuming contaminated food and water. Watery diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting are its common symptoms, some women may even feel feverish. Diarrhoea and vomiting in pregnancy may lead to dehydration which can cause contractions and preterm labour. Some other symptoms of viral gastroenteritis are dizziness, weakness, and fainting.
InfluenzaInfluenza or flu is common, we all have experienced it at some point. It is marked by chills, fever, coughing, nausea, and vomiting. During pregnancy, the chances of contracting the flu is high because of a weak immune system. And if you suspect flu, you should soon consult a doctor. The doctor will probably suggest that you drink plenty of warm fluids and take rest to prevent the symptoms from increasing and to avoid severe complications in pregnancy.
ListeriosisListeriosis (Listeria) is an infection which is caused by consuming contaminated food and water. Pregnant women with a weak immune system are also at the risk of getting this infection. The common symptoms of listeria include fever, diarrhoea, nausea, and muscle aches. If Listeria is left untreated during pregnancy, it can affect your pregnancy. Miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, and infection in the newborn are also few complications associated with it.
Feeling cold during pregnancy or rather in early pregnancy might leave you worried. But worrying will only aggravate the situation, so try to determine the cause behind it—whether it is because of your body temperature or a cold. Consult a doctor and follow his advice.
Pregnancy is a time when you should be eating healthy foods, reading pregnancy books, and enjoying the attention while you are getting it. So, try to relax and seek medical intervention when needed.
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