Little attention has been paid to olfactory changes during pregnancy with contemporary studies limited in number and sample size. We examined whether pregnancy is associated with differences in olfactory performance and if there were any specific gestational ages at which these differences occur through a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis of the current literature. An initial electronic database search identified 234 citations, which were screened at the abstract level. Twenty-three citations were germane for full-text review, and 13 met criteria for inclusion. Our review assessed 5 olfactory measures of interest: odor identification (n = 11 articles), threshold (n = 8), discrimination (n = 5), hedonics (n = 6), and intensity (n = 5). Nine of these 13 studies contained sufficient data for meta-analysis, and these studies included a total of 523 pregnant women and 365 non-pregnant controls. Despite previous subjective and objective reports of odor intolerances and odor hypersensitivity, we did not find any significant differences between pregnant and non-pregnant women in odor discrimination, thresholds, or hedonics. However, meta-analysis of 506 cases and 333 controls showed worse odor identification in pregnant women compared to controls in a random-effects model. Thus, we demonstrate worse performance at odor identification during pregnancy. In this review, we discuss the current evidence (and lack thereof) regarding olfaction in pregnancy as well as highlight current knowledge gaps in this field.

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