16 YEARS. Average time it can take a woman to know that she has a bleeding disorder.
Do you bleed seven days or more during your period? Do you change your pad or tampon every hour? Do you soak through your pants? Do you bruise easily? Do you suffer from frequent nosebleeds or prolonged bleeding after dental procedures?
In short, do you bleed too much?
If you answer yes to one or more of these questions, you may have a bleeding disorder. From the day a girl starts her period, it takes, on average, up to 16 years before she finally gets a proper diagnosis.
Aside from hemophilia, women with bleeding disorders tend to have more symptoms than men because of menstruation and childbirth. The most common inherited bleeding disorder is von Willebrand disease. This disorder is all too often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, and the symptoms of heavy or prolonged menstrual periods are ignored.
Women with an undiagnosed and untreated bleeding disorder risk serious complications that may even lead to unnecessary hysterectomies. Many of them may not understand if their bleeding is normal or abnormal and therefore do not seek help.
After years of suffering, once diagnosed, effective treatment is available and a woman’s quality of life improves dramatically. It is therefore critical to raise awareness about bleeding disorders so that accurate and timely diagnoses are provided to affected women.
Information and help can be found through the coderouge initiative of the Canadian Hemophilia Society at hemophilia.ca/next-steps
Am I bleeding “too much”?
- I change my pad or tampon every hour.
- I pass large clots.
- I soak through my pants.
- I stain my sheets at night.
- I bleed 7 days or more.
- Other common symptoms