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Does pregnancy affect the senses of taste and smell?

Several studies in which women self-reported on the effect their pregnancy had on their sensory perceptions, most of them said they noticed a change in their senses of smell and taste.

A study, published in 2004, asked a group of more than 100 pregnant women to report on their senses at numerous points in their pregnancy, and 76 percent of those responding said they experienced a change in taste or smell. About two-thirds of the women reported increased smell sensitivity, but also reported phantom smells, distortions in smells and abnormal tastes, including increased sensitivity to bitter tastes and decreased sensitivity to salt. The women experienced these effects primarily during the first trimester of their pregnancy, though a smaller percentage reported changes at a later stage of pregnancy as well. All changes to smell and taste percentage changed after pregnancy.

However, these reports are not backed up by hard, scientific data.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.