Category Archives: Q & A

Are pregnant women more likely to develop Bell’s palsy?

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Are pregnant women more likely to develop Bell’s palsy?

Answer: As a reminder, Bell’s palsy is caused by dysfunction of the facial nerve (also known as cranial nerve VII). This leads to paralysis of face and other muscles that receive signals from that nerve. One study shows that pregnant women are 3x more likely to develop Bell’s palsy than non-pregnant women. It most often occurs anywhere from the 3rd trimester to up to 1 week post-delivery. One proposed explanation is that during pregnancy, the body’s immune system is suppressed. Therefore, the pregnant woman is more susceptible to the virus that is linked to Bell’s palsy.
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