Bloody Nose in Pregnancy: What to Know
Pregnancy is a time full of changes and new experiences. But what about the surprise of getting a bloody nose?
Having a bloody nose, or epistaxis, during pregnancy is not only alarming and uncomfortable, but it’s also relatively common. Estimations vary, but as many as 1 in 5 pregnant woman report experiencing a nose bleed while they are pregnant.
Causes of a Bloody Nose in Pregnancy
The cause of a nose bleed during pregnancy is not fully understood, but scientists believe it’s due to a few different factors:
- Increase in blood volume. Pregnant woman experience an increase in blood volume which can lead to delicate and fragile blood vessels that are quicker to burst.
- Nasal dryness. Because of the changes in hormones levels, women often experience dryness in their nasal passages, which can cause difficulty breathing and can lead to nose bleeds.
- Increase in stress. Feeling emotional or stressed while pregnant can increase the risk of a nose bleed.
Treatment of a Bloody Nose in Pregnancy
Though nose bleeds look and sound frightening, they are typically harmless. Here are some steps you can take if you experience a nose bleed while pregnant:
- Sit up and lean forward. By leaning forward and breathing through your mouth you can help ease your breathing.
- Pinch your nostrils. Applying a constant pressure with your index finger and thumb to the bridge of your nose for at least 10 minutes.
- Call your doctor. If the bleeding continues or is extremely heavy, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible.
When Should I Visit the Emergency Room?
If you experience any of the following, you should contact an emergency room as soon as possible:
- The nosebleed does not stop after you have used the 10-minute pinch technique.
- The amount of blood lost is more than you typically would in a normal nose bleed.
- You notice signs of
weakness of fainting.
Though nosebleeds are fairly common during pregnancy, it’s always best to contact your doctor if you have any worries. The good news is that nosebleeds during pregnancy are usually harmless and can be managed effectively with self-care measures.
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