Bleeding disorders have a significant impact on a woman’s reproductive health and quality of life. The most common bleeding disorder in women is von Willebrand disease (VWD), which occurs when the blood lacks a certain protein that helps the blood to clot, resulting in excessive or prolonged bleeding. Women with bleeding disorders can experience anemia (low number of red blood cells in the blood) causing one to feel tired and weak, pain during a menstrual period, limitations in daily activities, and a reduced quality of life. It is important for women to know the signs and symptoms of a bleeding disorder and to talk to their doctors if they have symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms
Menorrhagia (Heavy Menstrual Bleeding)
Women are more likely to notice symptoms of a bleeding disorder because of their menstrual period. Heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding, also known as menorrhagia, can be a sign of a bleeding disorder.
Menorrhagia is menstrual bleeding that lasts for more than 7 days or when menstrual bleeding is heavy. Heavy bleeding is when a tampon or pad needs to be changed after less than 2 hours or if there are clots the size of a quarter or larger.
If you think your menstrual period might be heavy, print and use a menstrual chart to track your bleeding and talk to your doctor about it. Heavy bleeding can cause you to feel tired or weak from anemia and can lead to other preventable health problems. If menorrhagia is left untreated, it could lead to more serious but potentially avoidable medical procedures, such as a hysterectomy (surgery to remove a woman’s uterus or womb).
Women experiencing heavy bleeding should talk to their doctors about their symptoms and seek treatment to avoid more serious health problems