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Erika Rasmusson Janes

Swollen Glands During Pregnancy

What could be causing your swollen glands during pregnancy and when it's time to see the doctor.

What are swollen glands during pregnancy?

Swollen glands are enlarged lymph nodes — in your neck or groin area — that you get as your body is fighting infection. “These are usually tender, enlarged lumps in the neck, under the chin, behind the ears or in the fold between your leg and torso,” says Jennifer Keller, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at The George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences.

What could be causing my swollen glands during pregnancy?

Swollen glands are often caused by an infection — something simple, like a cold or the flu, or an infection caused by more serious conditions, like herpes, HIV, syphilis, toxoplasmosis or cytomegalovirus.

When should I go to the doctor with swollen glands?

Call your doc if you notice enlarged glands that aren’t related to a cold or flu, or if they last for more than a week or two, Keller says.

How can I treat swollen glands?

“The only treatment for swollen glands is really time,” Keller says. “They’ll go away when whatever caused the swollen glands is better.” In the meantime, she adds, acetaminophen (Tylenol) might help with the soreness, and a heating pack might decrease the tenderness.
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