Nosebleed during pregnancy

Epistaxis is the medical term for a nosebleed. Nosebleeds are common during pregnancy, the amount of blood and the frequency of nosebleeds during pregnancy varies greatly.



  • Nosebleeds can be daily or very sporadic.
  • They might last a few seconds or over 10 minutes.
  • The amount of blood can range from a lot to a little.
  • During a nosebleed, blood flows from one or both nostrils.
  • 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.
  • Always speak to your health care provider if you are worried about your nosebleeds.


  • Increased blood volume
  • Hormonal changes
  • Dehydration
  • Allergies / colds


Here is what is suggested to help with nosebleeds: 


Hydrate – Drinking water during pregnancy is often advised regardless of nosebleeds, due to its many benefits. It is also thought that increasing hydration helps to reduce the intensity / frequency of nosebleeds as it reduces the chances of irritation inside the nasal passages.


Lubricate – If you know you are prone to nosebleeds it is sometimes advised to try to keep the nasal passages lubricated with things such as petroleum jelly, or a nasal sprays.


Humidifier  – Humidifiers help to keep the air in your room moist, this can stop the nasal passages drying out and becoming irritated. We like THIS humidifier because it says that it can also be used in the babies room (once they arrive).


  • Smoking.
  • Taking allergy medications too often as this can also dry out the nasal passages.
  • Painting and decorating (if you are prone to nosebleeds as the fumes from some paints can trigger them).


Advice from the NHS on how to stop a nose bleed is currently as follows:

  • 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 also if you’re worried about your nosebleeds.


What symptoms to watch out for:

In rare cases, nosebleeds can indicate that there is something else going on in the body. If your nosebleed doesn’t stop and or is accompanied by any of the following symptoms then speak to your healthcare provider or present at A&E:
  • Chest pain / difficulty breathing.
  • Head trauma (prior to the nosebleed).
  • Feeling feint / lightheaded or confused.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • If the bleeding doesn’t stop within 30 minutes.
  • Are becoming more frequent (always mention them to your midwife regardless of frequency).
  • You have repeated, unexplained bruises.
  • You have a pale complexion that is unusual for you (this could indicate anaemia).

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Please Note:
Although the posts on this site are written by fully qualified Physiotherapists, the advice is of a generalist nature and could not take into account the particular physical or medical condition of individual audience members. The information given is meant to be practical and informative but is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. The information available is not meant to replace any relationship that exists between an audience member and their GP, hospital specialist or other healthcare professional. If you are after individual advice or you are concerned about any of your symptoms you must consult your own therapist or healthcare provider.

About The Author

Abigail Taylor qualified as a Physiotherapist in 2005. She has a special interest in Women’s health Physiotherapy and research. Abigail is the founder of ‘Pain in the Bump’ which she developed whilst on her maternity leave with her second baby.