Science Focus - the home of BBC Science Focus Magazine
I’m pregnant. Why does my mouth taste like metal? © Getty Images

I’m pregnant. Why does my mouth taste like metal?

Subscribe to BBC Science Focus Magazine and get 6 issues for just £9.99

A mysterious, yet common experience in pregnancy.

Around 90 per cent of pregnant women experience changes in their sense of taste – sour or metallic tastes are most common. The effect is strongest in the first trimester, when oestrogen levels are rising fastest, but the exact cause is still unknown. Zinc deficiency has been blamed, but a 2009 study at Tokyo University found that zinc levels were normal in the first trimester.

Advertisement

Another possibility is that the extra hormones affect bladder function. In 2006, researchers at Bristol University found that patients suffering from urine retention problems were more likely to experience odd tastes, and these symptoms vanished when the problem was treated. This may be because the regions of the brain responsible for taste and bladder control are very close together.

Read more:

Advertisement

Authors

luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sponsored content