What Causes Nosebleeds in Pregnancy?
Pregnancy causes lots of changes in your body, and your nose is just one of them. During this time, the blood vessels in your nose can expand, causing a rupture.
Statistics also show that 20 percent of pregnant women experience nosebleeds
Should You Worry when You Nosebleed?
The occasional minor nosebleed that you experience while pregnant is no cause for alarm as it usually is harmless. You are more likely to get a nosebleed when you get a cold, a sinus infection, allergic reactions, or when the membranes inside your nose dry out. This is a common occurrence in cold weather, air-conditioned rooms, airline cabins and other environments with lots of dry air.
Additionally, an injury and certain medical conditions such as hypertension or a clotting disorder, can also result in nosebleeds.
How to Stop a Nosebleed
In the event that you get a nosebleed during pregnancy:
- Sit down, lean forward slightly, and keep your head more elevated than your heart.
- Use your thumb, or index finger to firmly pinch the entire soft lower part of your nose (both nostrils).
- Breath through your mouth as your squeeze your nostrils closed for about 10 to 15 minutes. Do not at any moment let up to check whether the bleeding has stopped, as this could interfere with clotting. It’s recommended that you set a timer for this.
- Place an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas over the bridge of your nose with your other hand. This helps constrict the blood vessels in your nose, eventually slowing down the bleeding.
Don not lie down, or tilt your head back. If you do, you might end up swallowing blood, which may cause nausea, vomiting, or even accidentally inhaling blood.
In case the bleeding does not stop after the recommended 15 minutes, continue for another 10 to 15 minutes.
When Should You Seek Medical Help for Your Nosebleeds?
We may have dispelled your fears about nosebleeds during pregnancy, however, in the event that you have frequent nosebleeds during pregnancy, ensure you contact your doctor. Other signs that you should see a doctor include:
- Persistent bleeding for more than 30 minutes.
- Heavy flow of blood
- Strained breathing as a result of the bleeding.
- A nosebleed results a head injury.
- The nosebleed causes extreme fatigue, lightheadedness/ confusion or disorientation.
- Your skin turns pale from the bleeding.
- You experience chest pain due to the bleeding.
Preventing Nosebleeds During Pregnancy
- Take lots of fluids
- Blow your nose gently when you have a cold.
- Try to keep your mouth open when sneezing. This ensures even distribution of pressure, rather than having it all concentrated in your nose.
- Use a humidifier during cold seasons or if your live in dry climate areas. Be careful not to overheat your room, and keep away from irritants such as smoke.
- Use water based lubricants, saline drops or petroleum jelly to prevent dryness in your nose.
- In the event that your doctor prescribes a medicated nasal spray or decongestant, ensure that you take it as instructed. Overusing it could dry out your nose and irritate your nose more.
Please note that development differs from one child to another.
Content intended for educational purposes only, and not a substitute for medical advice from your doctor.
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Last reviewed March 2019