Esther’s Story: Heavy Menstrual Bleeding Lead to Iron Deficiency

My name is Esther – I have been married for 8 years to a very thoughtful and loving husband, Steven, and we were blessed with our beautiful daughter in 2013. That may sound like a “happily ever after story,” but life is not without struggle and I would like to share mine with you.

For many, many years I dealt with pain during my period accompanied by heavy bleeding (menorrhagia). I was told that this was normal so I accepted it and tried to deal with it graciously, but it got worse (even more so around the time I got married). I was bleeding for 16-20 days out of the month. Further, my gynecologist later found that I had uterine fibroids in a very precarious spot. This was the cause of the pain I was experiencing, which was so bad that I needed a very strong pain medication to manage it.

During this time my husband and I were trying to get pregnant. We were experiencing fertility issues due to the fibroids and, because of heavy menstrual blood loss, I was becoming iron deficient (although I did not know this yet). I felt exhausted all the time and the thought of curling up in my bed occupied 90% of my brain. Despite this, I tried to live my life as normal as possible; I worked full time, I love volunteering, and I enjoy spending time with my family and friends on the weekends.

One day I started feeling light headed especially when I moved suddenly. That same day I did a blood test with my family doctor – he found that I was severely iron deficient and said that I may even be in need of a blood transfusion. I was alarmed by this, especially because I can’t accept blood transfusions due to my religious beliefs. I turned to different treatments first (getting the fibroid removed) to no avail. This was in December 2010 when many surgeons and specialists were on vacation – I have never felt so desperate than in those moments.

My doctor’s secretary helped find an OBGYN who was willing to take me in as he understood my desperation. I can still hear his comforting words, “I’ll help you to get cleaned up and by then you can have a baby.” His words reminded me that it had been 5 years that my husband and I were married and while we weren’t using any form of contraceptive, nothing had happened yet. But because of the situation I was dealing with, my husband and I were on the same page – if it happened great, and if not then that’s okay too.

January 2011 was when I met Leona; she was the Blood Conservation Officer prepping me before my operation. She helped me to see how important it was to have a healthy iron level, especially for women. She promised that she would help me after my operation… and she did! Through iron infusions and an iron supplement (FeraMAX® 150) I was able to regain my strength. I no longer feel exhausted all the time and I can get back to my everyday life.

Finally, as the icing on the cake, I conceived a beautiful daughter one year later (after surgery and after correcting the iron deficiency). I had a healthy pregnancy and a normal delivery. I have to say, all in all, what a wonderful experience it was!

Thank you,

Esther


Content and advice provided on The Iron Maiden is for information purposes only and should not serve as a substitute for a licensed health care provider, who is knowledgeable about an individual’s unique health care needs

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