If you have ever experienced pregnancy and childbirth, you are a firsthand witness to how emotional of a time these parts of life can be. Joy, excitement, fear, worry and pain are just several emotions you are likely to experience during this important phase of life.
To make matters more complicated, these emotional swings are combined with the many physical changes within the female body that are associated with childbirth and pregnancy. An increase in breast size, for example, is often warmly embraced by expectant mothers, but all pregnant women would agree that other physical changes and symptoms, like night sweats during the first trimester of pregnancy, are an unfortunate aspect of the hormonal fluctuations that accompany childbirth.
What exactly are night sweats during the first trimester of pregnancy?Night sweats are often thought of to be a symptom only of menopause and hormonal transition. They also, however, often afflict pregnant women for the same reason – fluctuating hormone levels, especially those of estrogen.
Whether induced by pregnancy or menopause, night sweats are characterized by spontaneous and intense episodes of perspiration, followed by chilliness and dampness upon awakening. Night sweats are your body’s attempt to relieve itself of perceived excessive heat. Women who experience this condition during the first trimester of pregnancy commonly awaken cold, damp and shivering from the immense amount of sweat released during the night sweat.
Night sweats are extremely disruptive, as you must change your bed sheets and pajamas after awakening to drenched and cold blankets and clothes. Many women who suffer from this symptom also complain of being unable to return to sleep following an episode of night sweats.
What causes night sweats during the first trimester of pregnancy?Night sweats, known within the scientific community as nocturnal hyperhydrosis, during the first trimester of pregnancy are usually caused by the fluctuating levels of hormones that accompany pregnancy and childbirth. When levels of estrogen alternatively rise and fall rapidly and unpredictably, as they often do during the first trimester of pregnancy, a miscommunication develops between the body and the hypothalamus, the regulatory area of the brain that controls body temperature and the production of heat.
Fluctuating levels of estrogen cause the hypothalamus to falsely detect an excessive amount of heat within the body, which it attempts to alleviate by commanding the release of certain chemicals that dilate the blood vessels within the skin. Expanding blood vessels cause the release of heat and spontaneous production of sweat. This release of heat and sweat followed by chilliness is an episode of night sweats during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Can anything be done about episodic night sweats during the first trimester of pregnancy?
Most women who become pregnant are relatively young and are still of perimenopausal, or pre-menopausal, age. For these women, however, it is still wise to become well-acquainted with the mechanics of night sweats during pregnancy and the many ways to alleviate them. Whether experiencing night sweats during the first trimester of pregnancy or during menopause and hormonal transition, there are many things you can do when attempting to alleviate and prevent this symptom.
It is also important to remember that, because pregnancy is such a delicate and important period of time, you must support your body to the fullest extent. The following methods are not “cures,” as hormonal fluctuations will occur during the first trimester of pregnancy regardless of what measures are taken. The methods will, however, greatly reduce and prevent night sweats and other symptoms associated with fluctuating hormonal levels during the first trimester of pregnancy.
The following are just several ways of preventing or completely eliminating night sweats during the first trimester of pregnancy: