Bitter Tasting Mouth During Pregnancy: What it Means

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Written by Amy Kaczor RDN

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Are you concerned about a strange bitter taste in your mouth that you have noticed while you are pregnant?

Overall, the bitter or metallic taste that often comes at the beginning of pregnancy is typically related to hormonal changes or as a side effect of morning sickness and vomiting. It’s usually not something to worry about.

Let’s dive into more information regarding that pesky bitter taste in your mouth during pregnancy. Read on to learn more!

What Does It Mean if I Have a Bitter Taste in My Mouth When Pregnant?

First and foremost, it is important to note that having a bitter or metallic taste in your mouth during pregnancy is considered to be very normal and is nothing to worry about. 

An altered taste is called dysgeusia and is quite common during pregnancy. It has many different potential causes. 

Let’s talk about some of the physiological reasons that can cause a bitter or metallic taste in your mouth during pregnancy. 

Mainly, the bitter taste can have to do with the significant changes in hormones that occurs during pregnancy. More specifically, there are changes in estrogen levels and progesterone. 

woman with bitter tasting mouth

Similar to how hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause unique food cravings and aversions, these changes can cause other taste alterations, such as bitter and metallic tastes. 

Here are some other possible reasons for the bitter taste during pregnancy: 

  • Morning sickness and vomiting can cause an altered taste in the mouth
  • Genetics can play a role in the development of a bitter taste (source: Physiology and Behavior)
  • Acid reflux or indigestion (which are common symptoms during pregnancy) can contribute to altered taste 

How Early Does the Bitter Taste Happen When Pregnant?

While it is hard to say precisely when you may experience a bitter taste in your mouth during pregnancy, it typically begins in the early stages of your pregnancy and during the first trimester (source: Acta Oto-Laryngologica). However, it should resolve as your pregnancy continues. 

If you’re having extended periods where everything tastes bitter, then it might be a good idea to speak to your health provider, too.

Does a Bitter Taste During Pregnancy Mean I’m Having a Boy or Girl?

It is commonly believed that having a bitter taste in your mouth during pregnancy can indicate if you are having a boy or a girl. Is this true?

While it is fun to speculate that the bitter taste in your mouth during pregnancy means that you will have a girl or a boy, unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence that this is the case. It’s fun to guess though!

pregnant woman drinking water

Home Remedies for a Bitter Taste During Pregnancy 

Now that we’ve covered some of the reasons that can cause a bitter taste in your mouth during pregnancy let’s dive into some safe and simple home remedies to relieve the taste. 

Here are a few: 

  • Increase the amount of spices and flavorings you use in your food to overcome to bitter taste
  • Chew sugar-free peppermint gum or mints to freshen up the mouth
  • Stay hydrated by drinking lots of fluids 
  • Practice good oral and dental hygiene 

Many sources that you can find online often recommend slippery elm for increasing mucous secretions. However, there is no conclusive evidence that slippery elm is safe for women to consume during pregnancy (source: University of Maryland Medical Center). Therefore, avoid this remedy and stick with the others mentioned above. 

In conclusion, I hope you found this article helpful in breaking down the information and some tips for alleviating the unpleasant taste in your mouth during pregnancy.