During pregnancy, a woman’s body changes in a variety of ways. From morning sickness, to cravings, to irritability, the body chooses to adapt itself to grow with the baby it is growing. However, these well known symptoms are just a few of what women may experience during pregnancy. One fairly common, but less talked about, symptom is tinnitus – or, a ringing in the ears.

Tinnitus symptoms can range from a quiet humming sound in the background of one’s mind, to a persistent and loud ringing in the ears, and even crashing and banging sounds. Typically, tinnitus disappears naturally over time, but for a small percentage of people it can become a chronic condition.

What is the connection between tinnitus and pregnancy? Among many other changes in the body during pregnancy, congestion in the ear passages is a fairly common side effect during pregnancy. This congestion can lead to closing of the Eustachian tube and increased pressure in the ear – which can lead to tinnitus symptoms.

Futhermore, there is some evidence that an iron deficiency can lead to tinnitus, so it is important for pregnant women to ensure they are seeing their doctor or OB regularly for check ups, especially if they are experiencing tinnitus through their pregnancy.  If your doctor is not concerned of the reasons for your tinnitus, you may simply need to wait for the ringing to subside on its own.

In some cases, relaxation exercises may help to reduce the symptoms. Some options for achieving this can include lying down in a quiet and dark room, concentrating on breathing, and meditating.

Often, tinnitus is simply just a symptom of the body adjusting to the changes of pregnancy – sometimes it occurs as soon as the first trimester. It is important during pregnancy to trust your body and accept the changes as part of a smooth and stress-free pregnancy.