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How does pregnancy affect GERD?

Pregnancy can exacerbate GERD due to hormonal and anatomical changes. Increased levels of progesterone during pregnancy relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the muscular valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach. This relaxation can lead to frequent episodes of acid reflux.

Additionally, as the uterus expands, it can exert pressure on the stomach, promoting the backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus.

Symptoms such as heartburn and regurgitation are common in pregnant individuals. While lifestyle modifications are often recommended, some medications pose potential risks during pregnancy, requiring careful consideration by healthcare professionals to balance symptom management and safety for both the mother and the developing fetus.


1. Toglia, M. R., Weg, R., Venutolo, C., Cervelli, M. J., & Macones, G. A. (2005). Gastroesophageal reflux disease in pregnancy. Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey, 60(12), 780–789. [](

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