While it’s already bad enough for most women to deal with periods every month for a few days, one woman had to silently endure heavy bleeding non-stop for nearly five years.
Chloe Christos, who had her first period at the age of 14, was losing blood continuously for years because of a rare blood disorder.
Christos, who is 27 now, was frustrated with her deteriorating health condition as she was used to being a physically active youngster. “I couldn’t do anything … I was fainting a lot, I had dangerously low blood pressure, and it wasn’t really a good idea for me to drive or go out,” she told Daily Mail Australia.
She says that on an average, women lose between 20 and 60 millilitres of blood throughout the duration of their menstrual period. Losing blood over 80ml is considered heavy bleeding and people who lose that amount of blood can even be diagnosed with menorrhagia. However, Christos, had lost more than half a litre of blood over the span of just four days. The condition had caused her to develop extreme anemia despite undergoing weekly iron transfusions, Christos, who is an art director and stylist, told ABC News.
She later confessed that she was ‘embarrassed’ to talk about her condition and had to suffer her ordeal alone. She was later diagnosed with Von Willebrand disease, which is a genetic bleeding disorder. People with this disorder have a defect in the protein of their blood that enables control of bleeding.
In this disorder, the blood takes a longer time to clot and for the bleeding to stop. The fact that Christos also has low levels of the blood clotting protein factor worsened her condition. After having several unsuccessful treatments with painful side-effects for seven years, Christos was finally able to have her first regular period – which lasted just for four to five days. This was possible after she was given a blood product that is mostly prescribed to men who suffer from hemophilia.
Christos now campaigns for equal rights to quality care and access to treatment for women with bleeding disorders all over the world.