If scents have seemed stronger to you lately, you might be experiencing a heightened sense of smell.
What causes heightened sense of smell?
Hormones are usually to blame for a heightened sense of smell. A heightened sense of smell is a very common early pregnancy symptom, most likely due to elevated progesterone levels. Less common reasons for a heightened sense of smell include anxiety, or where a woman is in her cycle, as some studies suggest that around the time of ovulation, women have a heightened sense of smell.
Try to avoid any strong-smelling foods, and leave your windows open to dilute strong odors as much as you can. Keep your windows open when possible, and switch to chemical-free candles. And because a heightened sense of smell can be an early pregnancy symptom, you might want take a pregnancy test if the time is right!
- KJ Renfro, et al. “The relationship between oral contraceptive use and sensitivity to olfactory stimuli.” Horm Behav. 63(3):491-6. Web. Mar 2013.
- Elizabeth A. Krusemark. “When the Sense of Smell Meets Emotion: Anxiety-State-Dependent Olfactory Processing and Neural Circuitry Adaptation.” J Neurosci. 33(39): 15324–15332. Web. Sep 2013.