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Nosebleeds in pregnancy

Nosebleeds are quite common in pregnancy because of hormonal changes.

They can be frightening, but there's nothing to worry about as long as you don't lose a lot of blood, and they can often be treated at home.

During a nosebleed, blood flows from one or both nostrils. It can be heavy or light and last from a few seconds to more than 10 minutes.

Nosebleeds can happen when you're asleep. You might feel liquid in the back of your throat before blood comes out of your nose if you're lying down.

During pregnancy, you may also find that your nose gets more blocked up than usual.

How to stop a nosebleed

  • Sit down and firmly pinch the soft part of your nose, just above your nostrils, for 10 to 15 minutes without releasing the pressure.
  • Lean forward and breathe through your mouth. This will drain blood down your nose instead of down the back of your throat.
  • Sit or stand upright, rather than lying down, as this reduces the blood pressure in the veins of your nose and will discourage further bleeding.
  • Holding a covered ice pack, or a packet of frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel, on the top of your nose may help reduce blood flow. But the evidence to show it works is not very strong.

If the bleeding doesn't stop, seek medical advice – call your midwife or GP urgently.

Avoid blowing your nose, bending down and strenuous activity for at least 24 hours after a nosebleed.

Talk to your midwife or GP if you're worried about your nosebleeds.

Learn more about nosebleeds, including tips for preventing nosebleeds, and read about other common pregnancy problems.

Page last reviewed: 17 February 2021
Next review due: 17 February 2024