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Bell’s Palsy in Pregnancy

Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju
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Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju

The period of pregnancy is the most important moment for every woman. During this time, a woman’s body undergoes many changes. These can be hormonal, emotional, physical, and physiological changes. The body, during pregnancy, receives a lot of stressful influences. This can lead to negative consequences. One such consequence is Bell’s palsy.

This is facial paralysis, which stops the muscles on one side of the face from working. This disease is specific. This is because it does not have an exact reason for appearing. And the disappearance of the disease occurs after a few months without treatment.

Now, there are many physical and medical approaches to treat this condition. With the right therapy, the patient can recover much faster. This is especially important for the period of pregnancy in women. The exclusion and treatment of any disease when pregnant are important for the body.

In our article, we will tell you about the specifics of this condition in pregnant women. We will also talk about the possible causes of this disease. And also, you will learn how you can get rid of this illness.

Causes of Bell’s Palsy in Pregnancy

Bell’s palsy is a disease that causes temporary weakness or paralysis of the muscles on one side of the face. It is a rare condition, and the exact causes of Bell’s palsy are not fully understood. But some possible causes of Bell’s palsy in pregnancy include:

  • Viral infections.
  • Inflammation.
  • Changes in the immune system.

One of the most common causes of Bell’s palsy is viral infections. Particularly those caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). HSV can cause a condition known as herpes zoster oticus, which can lead to Bell’s palsy. Pregnant women may be at an increased risk of contracting HSV. It’s because the immune system is temporarily suppressed during pregnancy. A woman needs it to prevent the rejection of the fetus.

Another possible cause of Bell’s palsy in pregnancy is inflammation. Pregnancy can cause inflammation in the body, particularly in the head and neck. This inflammation can lead to facial nerve swelling, resulting in Bell’s palsy.

Changes in the immune system during pregnancy may also play a role in the development of facial palsy. Pregnancy causes a shift in the immune system to protect the developing fetus. But this shift makes the mother more susceptible to infections and other conditions.

Certain factors may increase the risk of developing Bell’s palsy during pregnancy. These include:

  • A family history of the condition.
  • A history of viral infections. 
  • Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes.

Pregnant women develop Bell’s palsy during the third trimester of pregnancy. It’s because of added stress on the body during this time. Also, it’s due to changes in the immune system and hormonal fluctuations.

In conclusion, the causes of Bell’s palsy in pregnancy are not fully understood. But research suggests that viral infections, inflammation, and changes in the immune system may play a role.

It is vital for pregnant women with symptoms of Bell’s palsy to seek medical attention. It’s because early treatment can improve the chances of a complete recovery.

Why Has the Incidence of Bell’s Palsy in Pregnancy Increased?

The causes of the increased incidence of disease in pregnancy are not understood. But several theories proposed that it can be:

  • Changes in blood clotting.
  • High blood pressure. 
  • Eclampsia.
  • Increased total body water.
  • Changes in hormonal levels.
  • Impaired glucose tolerance.
  • Increased cortisol levels.

The third trimester of pregnancy and the first week after giving birth are particularly high-risk periods for Bell’s palsy. Doctors link it to weakened immunity due to high cortisol levels.

Regular medical check-ups are a must to prevent unwanted negative consequences when pregnant. This will help either exclude the disease or detect it in its early stages.

How Bell’s Palsy Diagnosing During Pregnancy

The health worker will conduct a thorough examination. The examination includes several mandatory points for establishing a diagnosis:

  1. First, a specialist will carry out a check of your mimic activity. Doctor will ask you to frown, smile, and pout.
  2. Then an eye examination will be performed. The doctor will check how well they open and close together or separately.
  3. The next step will be examining problems with eating, drinking, or speech. There will also be an examination for the presence of blisters in the oral cavity.
  4. After examining the frontal part of the face, the specialist checks the area of ​​the ears and around them. The doctor will also examine your hairline or areas causing you concern. You need to make sure you don’t have Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. Thus, during a regular examination, the specialist will also ask you for complaints of pain or something else.

Also, if necessary, the doctor can perform a scanning procedure when looking for Bell’s palsy in pregnancy. But this is in exceptional situations or at the end of the pregnancy.

It is worth noting that there are several more methods as visualization tests. It includes MRI or CT. They help doctors make the correct diagnosis and not make mistakes. It’s because diseases such as stroke or tumors can cause similar symptoms.

Additionally, you can also take blood for analysis. This will also help determine if an infection is present. For example, the herpes simplex virus (HSV) can cause Bell’s palsy.

In case of a correct examination, you will get the diagnosis of Bell’s palsy. But this can only be done by medical professionals by conducting tests. They have ideas about the problem and its solution. Thus, only a specialist can help you with facial paralysis.

What Is the Treatment for Bell’s Palsy in Pregnancy?

The treatment for Bell’s palsy during pregnancy includes a combination of:

  • Medications.
  • Physical therapy.

treatment for bell's palsy during pregnancy

The treatment for Bell’s palsy during pregnancy aims to:

  • Improve facial muscle function.
  • Reduce inflammation.
  • Prevent complications.

Medications to reduce inflammation and improve facial muscle function include:

  • Corticosteroids. These drugs can reduce inflammation and swell in the affected facial nerve. And they can improve facial muscle function.
  • Antiviral medications. Antiviral medications may be good if a viral infection causes Bell’s palsy.
  • Physical therapy. It is also an important part of the treatment for Bell’s palsy. This may include exercises to help improve facial muscle strength and coordination. And doctors can prescribe techniques to help with speech and eating.
  • Surgery. In some cases, doctors recommend surgery to correct facial deformities. But the timing of surgery should be discussed with a healthcare provider. It’s because surgery during pregnancy is not recommended for most cases.

It’s important to note that treatment for Bell’s palsy during pregnancy should be done in collaboration with an Obstetrician. It’s because some of the medications may affect the baby. Thus, the treatment should be tailored to the patient’s individual needs.

How Does Facial Paralysis Affect a Person’s Life?

Facial paralysis, such as that caused by Bell’s palsy, can impact a person’s life. One of the most obvious effects is on the person’s appearance. Facial asymmetry can cause self-consciousness and can affect a person’s self-esteem and confidence.

Facial paralysis can also affect a person’s ability to communicate effectively. Social and professional activities are problematic with:

  • Difficulty speaking.
  • Drooling.
  • Difficulty with eating.

Additionally, facial paralysis in pregnancy can cause:

It can affect the person’s quality of life. Facial paralysis can also cause problems with the person’s vision. It can be a drooping eyelid (ptosis) and difficulty closing the eye. This can lead to dry eye and an increased risk of infection.

Facial paralysis can have many physical, emotional, and social effects. People need to receive appropriate medical treatment and rehabilitation. It helps manage the symptoms and improve their quality of life.

Prognosis of Bell’s Palsy in Pregnancy

The prognosis for facial nerve palsy in pregnancy is generally good. Most people experience complete or near-complete recovery. It can be within a few months, regardless of whether they are pregnant.

Pregnant women have similar recovery rates and outcomes as non-pregnant individuals. But recovery can take longer in some cases. And a small percentage of people can have facial weakness or other symptoms. 

And it can be even after recovery. Early treatment with corticosteroids and physical therapy can improve the chances of recovery. It is vital for pregnant women with Bell’s palsy to be closely monitored. Their healthcare provider can do it. They can ensure the condition does not progress and cause any other complications.

Bottom Line 

As a result, facial nerve palsy in pregnancy is a serious problem. Fortunately, the disease does not affect the baby inside the mother. But facial paralysis can greatly disrupt the patient’s routine and communication. And if the disease does not recede for 8 months, the likelihood of complications is high. But with the help of modern techniques and medicines, it is possible to speed up the recovery period. 

And improvement of the patient’s condition is possible. 

To do this, you need to contact specialists in the field of neurology. Consider consulting with Lone Star Neurology. The clinic has a staff of professional doctors who specialize in neurological problems. Using the contact us button, you can sign up for a visit and receive timely treatment.


  • Is Bell’s palsy common during pregnancy?

Bell’s palsy causes temporary weakness or paralysis of the muscles on one side of the face. It is more common during pregnancy. There is a risk of occurrence in the third trimester. 

  • Can Bell’s palsy affect an unborn baby?

This disease is completely safe for the fetus inside the mother. It’s because Bell’s palsy does not affect the unborn baby. 

  • How long does Bell’s palsy last in pregnancy?

The length of time that Bell’s palsy symptoms last can vary. Some people experience complete recovery within a few weeks. But others may have symptoms that persist for several months.

  • Are there warning signs of Bell’s palsy?

Warning signs of Bell’s palsy include:

  • Sudden onset of facial weakness or drooping.
  • Difficulty closing one eye.
  • Difficulty smiling or frowning. 

Other symptoms can include pain behind or around the ear and a change in taste or hearing in one ear.

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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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