Posted: October 17th, 2013
Bleeding disorders among women happen for different reasons. Causes of bleeding disorders include endometriosis, increased ovarian cysts, miscarriages, fibroids, bleeding complications during pregnancy, and postpartum hemorrhage. Women with excessive bleeding during their menstrual periods have clots greater than the size of fifty pence, and they change their pads or tampons often, because of flooding (James). Flooding is a sign of hemorrhage as well as a blood disorder. Women who have experienced bleeding or menstrual flow for more than seven days have higher chances of having blood disorders. Chronic anemia is one of the symptoms of bleeding disorders. It is likely that people who have had a history of bleeding such as bleeding for extended periods after dental work have blood disorders. Women with deficiencies in Factor XIII and Factor X and those having platelet defects have higher chances of developing blood disorders.
Women with bleeding disorders have different signs and symptoms. For instance, they tend to bleed excessively when they have minor cuts. Many women with postpartum hemorrhage tend to have von Willebrandos disease. Women with von Willebrandos disease are highly likely to suffer from endometriosis. They have excessive bleeding from the mouth or gums, and they bruise easily. Women with bleeding disorders have longer menstruations compared to other women. Often, they bleed longer, and their menstrual periods last for seven days or more. In normal pregnancies, women bleed for twenty one to twenty seven days after giving birth. Women having prolonged bleeding after this have bleeding disorders. Women with blood disorders are more likely to have symptomatic bleeding from endometriosis implants and intra-abdominal bleeding. They are also more likely to have fibroids and polyps (James). Other symptoms include bleeding during pregnancy, and joint bleeding (Byams et al., 2011)
The range of treatment of bleeding disorders varies in different patients. Doctors may recommend different types of treatment for women having the same condition. The treatment offered depends on the cause of the disorder, the patients’ symptoms, and other conditions that the patient might have. Some women require surgery to treat their bleeding disorders. Doctors recommend the use of any medication that will help women reduce their menstruation. This depends on the woman’s age and her reproductive system. For some women, taking birth control pills enables them to manage their condition. The use of pills helps women to regulate their menstruation. Oral contraceptives help to reduce loss of blood from menstrual periods. The oral contraceptives contain ovulation, and they increase the clotting ability of the platelets. Other hormonal treatments are also effective in reducing blood loss (James). Using desmopressin acetate or tranexamic acid will help reduce menstrual flow and reduce the severity of blood loss (Byams et al., 2011). Tranaxemic acid will help reduce ovarian cysts, which are an indication of blood disorders. It is also possible to manage the bleeding by using medication that will support the function of platelets, which are essential in blood clotting. This is especially the case with women who have had a miscarriage. Clotting factor replacement reduces the chance of miscarriages and premature delivery in women having low fibrinogen.
I have had prior experience in bleeding cases, but I have not had a personal experience of women’s bleeding disorders. When caring for patients with bleeding disorders, one should ensure that they take their medication. The diet also helps, especially in improving the platelet function. Some foods enhance the formation of blood clotting, helping to reduce the blood flow after injuries. One should ensure that the person suffering from the blood disorders minimizes his or her risk of getting injuries, as this will result to blood loss. Pregnant women with blood disorders or with the risk of developing blood disorders should deliver in a hospital with specialized facilities and equipment to help manage their condition, and reduce blood loss. Patients should be aware of their condition, so that they can apply6 the best preventive measures. For instance, they can inform dentists concerning their bleeding problems and the dentists can apply antiofibrinolytic drugs, before performing any procedures.
Unlike other medical emergencies, it is not possible to apply basic first aid treatment to people suffering from bleeding disorders. This is because the problem is internal. However, some common principles still apply. For instance, some patients may experience prolonged bleeding, and it is necessary to try to reduce the blood loss. Simple measures such as applying pressure on the wound, and keeping the bandage in place apply. Moreover, one should ensure that he or she uses clean bandages when doing so. The patient will need to see the doctor to determine the cause of the bleeding. If the patient is pregnant, she will need specialized care since it could be a miscarriage. In addition, patients should not self diagnose, and neither should they use medication without consulting the doctor. Some medications, such as clotting factor concentrates have serious implications, and they are only used when other treatment methods fail.
Byams, V. R., et al. “Surveillance of Female Patients with Inherited Bleeding Disorders in United States Haemophilia Treatment Centres.”
James, H. Andra et al. “Von Willebrand Disease and other Bleeding Disorders in Women: Consensus on Diagnosis and Management from an International Expert Panel.” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 201.1 (2009): 12.e1–12.e8
James, A. H. “Women and Bleeding Disorders.” Duke University Medical Center
Copy of article available at http://www.signsofbleeding.com/news/james_andra_AJOG_June_2009.pdf
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