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Staying healthy

Medication to be avoided

Certain drugs affect the way platelets plug holes in blood vessels. A woman with a bleeding disorder should never take drugs containing:
  • Aspirin (ASA)
  • Drugs containing aspirin: Alka-Selzer, Anacin, Aspirin, Bufferin, Dristan, Midol, 222, to name just a few. These drugs stop platelets from clumping together at the site of an injury to a blood vessel. A single dose of aspirin will affect platelets for 5 to 7 days.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Unfortunately, these drugs are often prescribed for dysmenorrhea (menstrual pain). They can make the bleeding, and thus the pain, worse.

Two anti-inflammatory agents do not interfere with platelet function and can be used by women with bleeding disorders. They are:
  • choline-magnesium-trisalicylate (Trilisate) and
  • salsalate (Disalcid).

Drugs containing acetaminophen can also be used for fever, headaches and minor aches and pains.



What else can be done to prevent bleeding?

Preventive dental care can reduce the need for tooth extractions and dental surgery. Care includes:
  • regular tooth brushing
  • supplemental fluoride treatment
  • regular dental check-ups.

Babies should not be put to bed with bottles once their first teeth appear. Children should avoid snacks with lots of sugar.

The use of a helmet when skating, skate boarding, or riding a bike is recommended for everybody. Its use in people with a bleeding disorder is even more important.

Can a woman with a bleeding disorder play sports?

Yes. It is important that all people living with bleeding disorders engage in regular exercise to keep their muscles and joints strong and their health good. Being in good physical condition can actually reduce the number of bleeding episodes a person has.

A woman with a bleeding disorder will have to find out for herself what physical activities she can or cannot do. Many people with a mild disorder participate in all kinds of sports including active sports like soccer and high risk sports like skiing. Women with more severe forms may find these activities lead to serious bleeding.

Specialists at the hemophilia / bleeding disorder clinic can advise a woman of the risks based on an evaluation of her condition. For more information, see Can a person with hemophilia play sports? in the Hemophilia A and B section.

Are there any vaccines a woman with a bleeding disorder should take?

Yes, there are. Hepatitis B can still be transmitted by certain blood products. The vaccine against hepatitis B is recommended for all people who routinely receive blood or blood products.

In very rare cases, hepatitis A has been transmitted by blood products. Therefore, doctors recommend vaccination against hepatitis A for people who receive blood or blood products. This is especially important for people who are infected with hepatitis C. This is because hepatitis A can be a serious, even fatal, disease for people who have hepatitis C.

What other precautions should a woman with a bleeding disorder take?

Every person with a bleeding disorder should wear a MedicAlert bracelet. These bleeding disorders are not well-known and not easily diagnosed. In the case of an accident, the MedicAlert bracelet will be very helpful to medical personnel.