Nosebleed in Pregnancy
Experiencing a nosebleed during pregnancy is an unexpected but common medical occurrence. While a nosebleed alone is typically no cause for alarm, pregnant women should be mindful of any changes that may arise as a result of such a symptom because a nosebleed can be an indication of a much bigger problem.
What Causes Nosebleeds in Pregnancy?
Nosebleeds in pregnancy are often caused by an increase of estrogen. Estrogen expands the mucous membrane, the soft inner lining of the nose which allows the walls of the blood vessels to break easily, triggering a nosebleed. Other common causes of nosebleeds while pregnant are:
- Dry air. People who live in dry, desert-type climates are more likely to get nosebleeds. This is because dry air causes the vessels in the nose to dry out as well, increasing the likelihood of a nosebleed.
- GPP (genetic pulmonary disease). Among pregnant women, GPP, or genetic pulmonary disease, is one of the leading causes of nosebleeds. GPP is a lung disorder caused by a mutation in the genes that results in excessive mucus production in the lungs. This extra mucus can cause a build-up of pressure in the nasal passages which can lead to a nosebleed.
- Allergic reactions. Allergies can cause nasal congestion, which can lead to nosebleeds. In some cases, the congestion can be so severe that it causes the walls of the vessels in the nose to break, leading to a nosebleed.
- Infection. An infection in the nose and/or throat is another possible cause of a nosebleed. An infection can irritate the vessels in the nose, causing them to break.
- Trauma. Trauma to the nose, such as a bump or blow to the nose, can lead to a nosebleed. If the trauma is severe enough, it can cause the blood vessels in the nose to burst, resulting in a nosebleed.
Treatment for Nosebleeds During Pregnancy
Generally, a nosebleed during pregnancy can easily be treated at home. However, if the nosebleed lasts longer than 10 minutes or is accompanied by dizziness, shortness of breath, or profuse sweating, immediate medical attention is recommended.
- Stay Calm. Remaining calm is key to helping stop the bleeding.
- Sit upright and lean your head slightly forward. Slumping over or lying on your back can cause you to swallow blood, which can make you vomit.
- Pinch the soft part of your nose. Use your thumb and forefinger and gentle pressure for five to 10 minutes.
- Apply an ice pack or cold compress to the bridge of your nose. This may help reduce bleeding.
- Gently spray the inside of your nose with a saline spray. This can help to soothe the lining of the nose and reduce bleeding.
In most cases, a nosebleed during pregnancy is nothing to worry about, but if the bleeding persists or gets worse, it is important to contact a doctor as soon as possible. A doctor will be able to assess the situation and provide the necessary treatment or refer you for further testing if needed.
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