Pregnancy: Nosebleeds and Bleeding Gums

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Topic Overview

Some women get nosebleeds when they are pregnant. That's because there is more blood flow to the tissue inside the nose (mucous membranes) when you are pregnant.

To prevent nosebleeds

  • Avoid using nonprescription nasal decongestants, such as allergy pills or sprays. If you have serious allergy problems, talk to your doctor.
  • Use a humidifier in your house or office. And use it in your bedroom at night.
  • If you have to blow your nose, gently blow one nostril at a time.
  • Put a thin layer of a saline- or water-based nasal gel, such as NasoGel, inside your nose.

To stop nosebleeds

  1. Sit up straight. Tip your head slightly forward. Don't tilt your head backward. It will cause the blood to drip down the back of your throat.
  2. Pinch the nostrils tightly shut between your thumb and forefinger. Hold them shut for 10 full minutes without stopping.
  3. If your nose is still bleeding after 10 minutes, hold the nostrils shut for another 10 minutes. Most nosebleeds will stop after 10 to 30 minutes of pressure.
  4. Avoid blowing your nose for at least 12 hours after a nosebleed.

Bleeding gums

You also have more blood flow to the mucous membranes of the mouth and gums when you are pregnant. This may also cause bleeding, especially when you brush your teeth. Your gums may be more swollen than usual. Try using a toothbrush with soft bristles.

Regular visits to your dentist during pregnancy are important to prevent problems. Tell your dentist that you are pregnant. Some dental work may be postponed until after your baby is born. (So you might have to wait to have dental work that requires anesthesia or X-rays.)

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerKirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

Current as ofOctober 29, 2015