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What Are Common Causes of Bloody Mucus?

Coughing can be a symptom of a deeper medical problem.
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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 17 April 2014
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The cause of bloody mucus discharged from the nose is commonly either an infection or nasal allergies. Other factors that may produce bloody mucus may be blunt force trauma or other injury. Certain conditions of the nasal septum or lung disease may also cause bloody mucus. Sinusitis is another cause. Nasal tumors may also produce bloody mucus.

When a person develops an upper respiratory infection such as the common cold, the mucus membranes produce excessive mucus that may be spotted with blood. This could be due to constant nose blowing and irritated nasal passages. This is typically a harmless situation and any noticeable bloody mucus usually disappears once the cold has run its course.

Occasionally, dry air or lack of humidity can cause bloody mucus, which the individual may notice when he blows his nose. This is especially common upon waking in the morning. Dry air can inflame the nasal passages, causing the blood vessels to enlarge and bleed. The blood may be noticeable in nasal discharge or mucus.

Diseases of the lungs can produce blood in the mucus that can be seen when coughed up. Tuberculous and lung cancer are two such diseases. Bronchitis, which is an infection of the bronchial tubes, typically bacterial in nature, may produce blood in mucus. Pneumonia, which inflames the lungs and causes infection, may also produce mucus that is mixed with blood.

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Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disease that causes patients to cough up thick mucus. Occasionally, the mucus may be tinged with blood. Patients suffering from CF may be more prone to developing recurrent respiratory infections.

Many women experience bloody cervical mucus during monthly reproductive cycles, and in most cases this is normal. The blood may be spotting, which occurs directly after monthly menstruation. Sometimes cervical mucus tinged with a small amount of blood may occur after a woman engages in sexual intercourse for the very first time. This is typically nothing to be concerned about and will generally resolve on its own.

Bloody mucus in the stool may be caused by various gastrointestinal conditions. A viral or bacterial infection of the gastrointestinal tract is one cause. Patients suffering from inflammatory bowel conditions may also notice bloody mucus in the stool.

Occasionally, diverticulitis may produce these symptoms as well. Diverticulitis manifests with small intestinal pockets that have become inflamed and infected, causing severe pain and fever, as well as mucus in the stool. The mucus can sometimes be spotted with blood. When infection is present, a physician may prescribe a course of antibiotics.

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seag47
Post 4

Bronchitis is such a vicious sickness! Each time that I have had it, I have spent just about as much time coughing as breathing, because inhaling seems to stir up the cough.

What really scared me was the first time I saw blood in my phlegm. I had just gone through a major coughing fit, and I hacked up some really bloody mucus. This scared me into going to my doctor.

She shot me up with steroids to give my immune system a boost and gave me a prescription for some powerful cough medication with codeine in it to help me sleep. Bronchitis is really powerful itself, so it took some strong drugs to knock it out.

Oceana
Post 3

@Kristee – Having a super dry nose feels awful, especially if there is dried mucus stuck inside! I have problems with dry sinuses and bloody mucus in my nose during the winter months, because the air inside the house is so dry.

I have to blow my nose at night to be able to breathe, but once I start seeing bloody mucus, I feel like I should stop blowing it. I just give up and breathe through my mouth, even though this dries my throat out.

The only thing that helps at night is having a humidifier in my room. It shoots hot, moist vapors into the room, making the air more humid. This helps me breathe through my nose.

Kristee
Post 2

In the spring, I seem to keep a sinus infection with bloody mucus. My allergies are pretty intense, and they irritate my sinuses until they are infected.

The allergies start out with an overproduction of mucus. It is often dripping out of my nose and down my throat, and I have to blow my nose often.

After the infection sets in, my sinuses dry up. The mucus is still in there, but it is hard and uncomfortable. This is when I start to see blood in the mucus when I blow my nose.

I usually have to go get some antibiotics from my doctor to clear up the infection. It's just an unfortunate side effect of having severe allergies.

healthy4life
Post 1

I often have blood tinged cervical mucus the day before my period starts. Since I'm on birth control pills, I know when to expect my cycle, and I am not alarmed by the bloody mucus.

However, it has popped up during odd times of the month, and this concerned me a little. I once had bloody cervical mucus two weeks before my period started, and I didn't know what to think about that.

I have a condition that causes multiple cysts to grow on my kidneys, and sometimes, they rupture and bleed. I figured that the bloody mucus was just leftover blood from when a cyst had ruptured, because I had experienced pain in my kidneys a few days before it showed up.

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