Why are nose bleeds and congestion more common in pregnancy?

Feel like your nose is blocked-up a lot? It’s linked to your pregnancy. In medical terms, this is called pregnancy rhinitis and you may suffer from more frequent nose bleeds. There is no need to be worried about either of these symptoms, they are annoying but there is no cause for concern.

What are the causes?

Feeling bunged up is just another symptom caused by pregnancy hormones. Higher levels of oestrogen and progesterone can lead to an inflammation of the tissue that lines the nostrils. Your nose will feel blocked-up and stuffy, and this may be accompanied by sneezing and itching.

How do you get rid of it?

The simplest remedies are:

  • Staying hydrated
  • Keeping your head slightly lifted, especially during sleep;
  • Breathing deeply;
  • Using a humidifier inside the house;
  • Using saline solutions to unblock your nose

The stuffy nose feeling should disappear within a few days. But if the sensation persists for a longer period, then consult your doctor.

Important! Nasal decongestants can be dangerous to use during pregnancy, so inform the pharmacist that you’re pregnant when you ask for a nose spray.

Causes of nose bleeds

Those small blood vessels in the nose are sensitive enough anyway, but during pregnancy they get dilated because of higher blood pressure. If you blow your nose regularly then these blood vessels can break, which can lead to nose bleeds.

How to treat a nose bleed

If your nose starts bleeding, avoid lying down as this can cause the blood to get into the stomach and lead to nausea and vomiting.

Instead sit on a chair with your body slightly bent forward. Press the bleeding nostril with your finger for five to ten minutes. If possible, use some ice, as this can help with the blood vessels to contract.

If the bleeding doesn’t stop within 15 minutes or if there’s too much blood coming out of your nose, seek medical help. The same applies if you have a nose bleed after a head injury.

How to prevent nose bleeds

To prevent nose bleeds, try the following:

  • Blow your nose as gently as possible;
  • Use a humidifier. Low humidity can encourage more frequent bleeding;
  • Drink plenty of liquids to stay as hydrated as possible.