With my last few pregnancies, I knew that I was pregnant before I even peed on the stick. That’s because I get this very unusual and little known early pregnancy symptom called dysgeusia.
Dysgeusia is a sharp bitter or metallic taste in the mouth that tends to occur while eating, but sometimes even when you’re not. Experts think its elated to a drastic increase in estrogen that alters the sensation of taste.
For me, it is less of a taste and more of a sensation. With each of my pregnancies, a few days before my missed period I would get this sharp, bitter, tingling sensation in my mouth whenever I bit into food. The reason it was so noticeable to me was that it didn’t seem to matter what food I put in my mouth — the first few bites always tasted bitter.
I remember that, during my first pregnancy, I thought something was really wrong with my entire gustatory system. I would bite into a cookie: bitter. I’d eat a piece of watermelon: bitter. After about a minute of chewing it always receded a bit and by the second trimester, I barely noticed it anymore.
When I got pregnant with my second child it wasn’t exactly, um, planned. And a couple days before I was expecting my period I bit into my morning bagel and got that sharp, bitter taste. My heart raced, my palms started to sweat, and I excused myself right after breakfast to race to the CVS for a test, but I already knew the result.
I never figured out a cure for this symptom. I’ve just waited for it to recede once the second trimester rolls around and my hormones balance out a bit. Various articles suggest that counteracting the sharp taste by eating sour foods is helpful. I wish I had known that sooner, but I’m already naturally inclined to eat sour foods when pregnant, like pickles and lime seltzer, etc.