Clotting factors (special proteins), platelets and tissue factors act to stop bleeding when we have an injury. There are individuals who have deficiency of these clotting factors. These individuals have prolonged bleeding.
Clotting factor deficiency is usually inherited. A common inherited bleeding disorder is Haemophilia A (Clotting factor VIII deficiency). Haemophilia A affects men. Thus, for a long time, inherited bleeding disorders are considered a man’s disorder.
However, deficiency of other clotting factors and abnormality of platelet function can be inherited by women. Undiagnosed and untreated bleeding disorders in girls and women can have significant medical, reproductive and social implications.
Women with the following symptoms may have a bleeding disorder:
- Heavy menstrual periods
- Prolonged, heavy bleeding limiting daily activities.
- Heavy bleeding from dental surgery, other surgery, or childbirth and/or have other additional bleeding symptoms such as:
- frequent prolonged nosebleeds
- prolonged bleeding from cuts
- easy bruising
Above symptoms with someone in the family having a diagnosed bleeding disorder.
As part of its World Haemophilia Day (April 17) activities, the women’s group of the Haemophilia Society of Malaysia (KHWAN) is actively creating awareness of bleeding disorders in women. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment will ensure a better quality of life. Those interested to know more, can email their questions to email@example.com.
Dr Shan Narayanan
Haemophilia Society of Malaysia