Tinnitus in pregnancy is common and usually temporary - here’s what doctors want you to know

A highly experienced GP and esteemed Doctor of Audiology answer questions about tinnitus in pregnancy and share advice for expectant mothers experiencing this common ear complaint

A woman suffering from Tinnitus in pregnancy lies in bed with her arm covering her face and her hand over her ear
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tinnitus in pregnancy is more common than you think, but don't worry, there are ways to manage it and it will likely go away naturally on its own. 

According to Tinnitus UK, "Tinnitus in pregnancy is very common" and tinnitus is the most common ear complaint reported during pregnancy, affecting over one in three women compared to one in ten women of a similar age who are not pregnant.

The organisation also reassures that, "although it can be scary at first, it is usually temporary, and generally not a symptom of anything more serious."

To provide further reassurance and share advice for pregnant people experiencing tinnitus, we spoke to Dr Rony Ganguly, Doctor of Audiology and Clinical Director of Pindrop Hearing, and Dr Semiya Aziz, a highly experienced GP and Founder and Managing Partner at Say GP

Although tinnitus is common and generally not something to worry about, you should still make an appointment to see your GP straight away if you experience tinnitus during pregnancy or if you are pregnant and experience any symptoms that concern you. 

What is tinnitus in pregnancy and what are the symptoms?

Tinnitus is characterised by persistent ringing or buzzing sounds in the ears and sounds that appear to be originating in the body or head, rather than from an outside source. 

"Tinnitus in pregnancy is when you hear ringing, buzzing, or other sounds in your ears. Symptoms include hearing noises that aren't there, which can be persistent or intermittent," explains Dr Rony Ganguly.

"Tinnitus is a common phenomenon that occurs during pregnancy and affects around one in three pregnant women," says Dr Semiya Aziz. "It can manifest as either ringing, buzzing, humming, or other sounds in the ears when there is no external source of the noise."

What causes tinnitus in pregnancy?

"Tinnitus in pregnancy can be caused by hormonal changes, increased blood flow, or changes in fluid levels in the body," states Dr Ganguly.

Tinnitus UK goes into more detail on the causes of tinnitus during pregnancy explaining, "The nerve cells present in the cochlea (a structure in the inner ear) convert vibrations caused by sound waves into electrical impulses which travel via the auditory nerve into the brain. Physical changes which may occur during pregnancy can interfere with this sensitive process which can account for the new or increased perception of tinnitus."

When does tinnitus tend to start in pregnancy?

"Tinnitus might start at any point during pregnancy,” says Dr Ganguly, "but it's more common in the later stages and can intensify due to hormonal shifts and increased blood flow associated with pregnancy."

Dr Semiya Aziz adds, "Tinnitus can commence during any point of the pregnancy, however more commonly it is found to occur in the later stages. It is important to understand that the exact timing of its presentation will vary from person to person."

If you are pregnant and think you might be experiencing tinnitus, you should talk to your midwife or GP. Speaking to a healthcare professional will ensure that you get the right treatment or management options for your symptoms and a doctor will also be able to rule out the possibility of complications or underlying issues. 

Can pregnancy tinnitus go away naturally?

Luckily, in most cases tinnitus will go away naturally, on its own, usually after you have given birth. Dr Aziz says, "luckily, tinnitus that is pregnancy-related, naturally resolves on its own after childbirth for many women. However symptoms must be monitored and discussed with the healthcare professional to exclude that there are no other underlying medical problems being masked by the tinnitus."

How to manage symptoms if you experience tinnitus while pregnant

Although you can’t get rid of tinnitus during pregnancy, there are methods you can try to manage the symptoms until the tinnitus hopefully goes away naturally. These methods include relaxation techniques, avoiding loud noises, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

"There are various steps one can take, should tinnitus occur during pregnancy," says Dr Aziz. "They may help to diminish or alleviate the severity of tinnitus." The suggestions from Dr Aziz are are as follows:

  1. Individuals must initially discuss tinnitus symptoms with the healthcare provider to rule out and exclude any other underlying issues and to also receive appropriate guidance regarding treatment.
  2. It is essential to keep a track of when tinnitus occurs, the frequency of symptoms and any factors that seem to worsen or alleviate it.
  3. It is imperative to practice self care. Simple measures such as managing stress levels, getting adequate rest and optimising a healthy lifestyle, can impact on the severity of tinnitus symptoms.
  4. Focussing on identifying and avoiding any potential triggers that may worsen tinnitus for example loud noises, caffeine, or certain medication may be of help.
  5. Adding in background noise, referred to as a white noise machine or listening to calming music, may help to distract you from the tinnitus and make it less noticeable.
  6. It is advised to drink plenty of water to maintain hydration, since we know that dehydration can potentially exacerbate tinnitus symptoms in some individuals.
  7. Some individuals may seek relief from alternative therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Relaxation techniques, counselling, or sound therapy may also be of some benefit.

Doctor of Audiology Dr Rony Ganguly adds, "When tinnitus significantly impacts daily life, audiologists offer additional support. Therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help manage associated anxiety and stress. In more severe cases, safe medication options may be discussed in consultation with your GP. By addressing the root causes and tailoring interventions to individual needs, audiologists play a vital role in helping expectant mothers navigate tinnitus during pregnancy with comfort and peace of mind."

Should I be worried about tinnitus during pregnancy?

Dr Ganguly advises, "While tinnitus itself isn't usually a sign of a serious problem during pregnancy, it's still important to discuss it with your healthcare provider to rule out any underlying issues."

"Tinnitus in most cases during pregnancy is not a cause for serious concern," reassures Dr Aziz. "However, if the tinnitus is accompanied by other new unusual symptoms, it is essential to discuss this with the health care professional." Concerning symptoms include dizziness, hearing loss, or severe headaches. "Any new or additional symptoms could potentially indicate a serious underlying issue that requires medical attention," says Dr Aziz, and reiterates that it is imperative to discuss this with your doctor.

Additional frequently asked questions about tinnitus in pregnancy

Does preeclampsia cause ringing in ears?

"Preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication, may cause symptoms such as high blood pressure and protein in urine, but it typically doesn't cause ringing in the ears," Dr Ganguly told us.

Dr Aziz said, "Preeclampsia is a serious condition which presents with a myriad of symptoms, however tinnitus is not typically considered a common symptom. If tinnitus is accompanied with severe headaches, blurred vision, or abdominal pain in preeclampsia, then it is essential to discuss this with the doctor."

Can magnesium cure tinnitus in pregnancy?

Neither of the doctors we consulted said that magnesium could be used for tinnitus and both experts expressed the need for caution when taking vitamins and supplements during pregnancy. Dr Ganguly said, "There's limited evidence suggesting that magnesium supplementation may help with tinnitus during pregnancy, but it's essential to consult a healthcare provider before taking any supplements."

Dr Aziz said, "Unfortunately there is limited research or scientific evidence to suggest magnesium can help to treat tinnitus in pregnancy. Additional use of supplements in pregnancy should always be discussed with the health care professional."

What vitamins can help tinnitus go away in pregnancy?

While there are certain vitamins that might help manage tinnitus, you should never take vitamins or supplements without first speaking to your doctor or GP. Dr Ganguly told us, "Some vitamins like B12 and zinc have been studied for their potential benefits in managing tinnitus, but their effectiveness during pregnancy requires further research and consultation with a healthcare provider."

Dr Aziz said, "Whilst we are unable to specifically state whether certain vitamins and minerals can help tinnitus in pregnancy, it is important to emphasise the importance of maintaining overall good health and well-being during pregnancy. With the exception of a few recommended vitamins in pregnancy, eating a well balanced diet and optimising lifestyle measures is always key to ensuring a healthy pregnancy is maintained."


The information on GoodTo.com does not constitute medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. Although GoodtoKnow consults a range of medical experts to create and fact-check content, this information is for general purposes only and does not take the place of medical advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional or seek urgent medical attention if needed.

Our experts

A headshot of Dr Semiya Aziz
Dr Semiya Aziz

Dr. Semiya Aziz is a seasoned general practitioner with over 20 years of experience as a GP in both the NHS and in private practice. She first obtained her degree in microbiology from Queen Mary University of London, and subsequently, she obtained her MBBS from The Royal London Hospital. She is a member of the Royal College of General Practitioners and the British Society of Lifestyle Medicine. She is also registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the General Medical Council (GMC).

Dr Rony Ganguly
Dr Rony Ganguly

Dr Rony Ganguly is the Founder and Managing Director of Pindrop Hearing. He has dual registration with the HCPC as a Clinical Scientist in Audiology and as a Registered Hearing Aid Dispenser. He has both a Master’s Degree and a Doctorate Degree in Audiology obtained from University College London (UCL) and Nova South eastern University (NSU, Florida) in 1999 and 2020, respectively.

With over 20 years’ experience as a Clinical Audiologist, he is a former lecturer in Audiology at the prestigious UCL Ear Institute, where he taught on both the undergraduate and Master’s degree programs. Between 2000 and 2007 he worked as an Audiological Scientist at Guys’ & St Thomas’ Hospital, where he completed his post graduate clinical training and was awarded the Certificate of Audiological Competence (CAC).

Rachael Martin
Digital journalist and editor

An internationally published digital journalist and editor, Rachael has worked for both news and lifestyle websites in the UK and abroad. Rachael's published work covers a broad spectrum of topics and she has written about everything from the future of sustainable travel, to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the world we live in, to the psychology of colour.