- Heavy nosebleeds
- Easy bruising
- Cuts that don't stop bleeding
- Bleeding after the dentist
- Bleeding after operations
- Bleeding after childbirth
- Other bleeding symptoms
Mild nosebleeds that stop by themselves in 1-2 minutes are common, particularly if you have a headcold or hay fever. However, nosebleeds lasting 10 minutes or longer are considered to be heavy nosebleeds. Signs of heavy nosebleeds also include if you ever needed to see your GP or other doctors about nosebleeds or have treatment to stop the bleeding such as packing (bandages inside the nose) or cautery (heat applied to the blood vessels).
Do you get bruises and can’t remember where they came from? Are they ever >1cm in size or did you ever had more than 5 bruises at a time? These are important signs of easy bruising. Easy bruising is common and doesn’t always mean you have a bleeding tendency. However, if you have heavy periods, easy bruising and other bleeding you should consider testing for a bleeding disorder.
Cuts that don’t stop bleeding
Ever get a small cut that just wouldn’t stop bleeding? If you needed to keep changing your bandages or had bleeding that lasted longer than 10 minutes for a trivial cut then this could be a sign of bleeding tendency.
Bleeding after the dentist
Did you ever get bleeding after leaving the dentist’s office and needed to go back to the dentist to stop it? Or did your dentist ever tell you that you had more bleeding than they would expect? These are the important dental signs to be aware of that could suggest a bleeding tendency.
Bleeding after operations
Have you ever had an operation or procedure in hospital and experienced more bleeding than expected? If you had bleeding that meant you had to stay in hospital for longer, required more surgery to stop the bleeding or needed iron and/or a blood transfusion then this would be considered important signs that could suggest a tendency to bleed.
Bleeding after childbirth
During childbirth, some women can experience more bleeding than normal; this is called a postpartum haemorrhage (PPH). If you ever experienced a PPH, needed to stay in hospital longer because of bleeding, needed a blood transfusion or iron these are important signs of heavy bleeding. Bleeding for longer than 6 weeks after childbirth or you needing to go back to hospital due to bleeding (which was not due to infection) also indicate heavy bleeding.
Other bleeding symptoms
If you had gum bleeding lasting longer than 10 minutes, passed blood when you went to the toilet (not during your period or a kidney infection), bleeding as an infant or bleeding into any of your joints, muscles or nerves these are other less common signs of a bleeding disorder.
Other signs of bleeding disorders
If you ever experienced bleeding that needed stitches or surgery to make it stop or had to have a blood transfusion, these could be signs of a bleeding disorder.
Stitches & Surgery
Ever need a small cut stitched due to heavy bleeding? Or had to return to theatre/have surgery to stop bleeding?
Needing a blood transfusion due to unexpected bleeding may be an important sign of a bleeding disorder.
What To Do Next?
Click here to get more information on bleeding disorders and where to go if you think you might have a bleeding disorder.Find Out More
Some Common Questions
It is really common for children to get nosebleeds and most will settle on their own in less than 5 minutes. Many people will “outgrow” nosebleeds and have none as an adult. If your nosebleeds were longer than 10 minutes, needed review by a doctor, cautery or packing to stop them then this is a heavier than normal nosebleed.
Yes, everyone will experience some bleeding after childbirth, but heavy, prolonged or excessive bleeding is not normal. Look at our section above to see if any of the symptoms or signs apply to you.
Many people have bleeding after their tonsils are removed but if you needed to go back to hospital, a blood transfusion or to go back to theatre to stop bleeding then look at our other bleeding symptoms to see which ones apply to you.
Many bleeding disorders run in families so if you have bleeding symptoms, it is not surprising that others in your family may also have a similar pattern. In fact, many women may be slower to get a diagnosis of a bleeding disorder because heavy bleeding is treated as normal in their family. All the more reason to know your flow and understand when bleeding is heavy. If you are concerned, check out our next steps section.
Your doctor can help assess your bleeding symptoms. Heavy periods on their own are not enough to diagnose a bleeding tendency but if you have other bleeding as shown above it is important that these are considered together rather than each on their own. Why not check out our Bleeding Symptoms page and try the online bleeding score to see if you might require further testing.