Women and Girls with Bleeding Disorders

At VHF we care about women and girls with bleeding disorders. Our mission is to serve and support the needs of women and girls impacted by a bleeding disorder through empowerment, community, advocacy, resources, and education.

Signs and Symptoms of Bleeding Disorders in Women and Girls

A bleeding disorder is a condition that keeps your blood from clotting properly after a cut or injury. Women are more likely to notice the symptoms of a bleeding disorder because of heavy or abnormal bleeding during their menstrual periods and after childbirth. Heavy bleeding is one of the most common problems women report to their doctors. It affects more than 10 million American women each year. This means that about one out of every five women has it.

1. I have heavy menstrual periods, such as:
  • Bleeding for more than 7 days from the time bleeding begins before it completely stops.
  • Flooding or gushing of blood that limits daily activities such as housework, exercise, or social activities.
  • Passing clots that are bigger than a quarter.
  • Changing a tampon or pad, possibly even both, every hour or more often on heaviest day(s).
2. I have been told that I am “low in iron” or I have received treatment for anemia.
3. I have experienced heavy bleeding after dental surgery, other surgery, or childbirth.
4. I have experienced prolonged bleeding episodes such as might occur as a result of:
  • Dental surgery, other surgery, or childbirth;
  • Frequent nose bleeds (longer than 10 minutes);
  • Bleeding from cuts or injury (longer than 5 minutes); or
  • Easy bruising (weekly, raised, and larger than a quarter in size).
5. I have one or more of the bleeding symptoms above and someone in my family has a bleeding disorder such as von Willebrand disease or a clotting factor deficiency such as hemophilia.

Talking to your health care provider

If you have one or more of the signs and symptoms, please talk with your doctor or other health care professional. Bleeding disorders can be dangerous if they are not treated. Women with untreated bleeding disorders face serious risks after childbirth, dental surgery, other surgery, or injury.

Online resource:

Betteryouknow.org is a website for women and men who may experience symptoms of a bleeding disorder but have not been diagnosed. With this site, the National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF) hopes to raise awareness and knowledge of bleeding disorders as part of their Better You Know campaign. Throughout the site you’ll find a risk assessment, tools, and other information to learn whether you are at risk for a bleeding disorder and the next steps you can take to seek care.

Please note the risk assessment tools are in no way a substitute for a diagnosis from a qualified medical provider, and the information on this site is provided for your general information only (please see NHF’s full Medical Disclaimer)

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