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  • How anemic is this? I don't want to be on Birth Control Advice Please!

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    Old 08-07-2007, 02:35 PM   #1
    mom2rsl
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    How anemic is this? I don't want to be on Birth Control Advice Please!

    I am 34 years old, and at my recent check-up my doctor tells me I am very anemic. She states that my iron stores are at zero and considers making me take iron infusions.. I am deathly afraid of needles! I thought I might be anemic, because I crave ice so badly, but didn't think things were that bad. When I look at my test results though, they don't seem to very far out of range... she told me the next day that my actual iron level was 34 and that wasn't quite as bad as she thought it would be. Here are the other results;

    HGB 11.4
    HCT 34.9
    MCV 74.9
    MCH 24.5
    MCHC 32.7

    She says I really need to be on birth control to reduce the monthly menstrual flow, which she thinks is causing the anemia in the first plase. Hubby has had a vasectomy and I don't like the side effects of oral contraceptives. Anyway... just wanted some other opinions on how bad these results really are. Thanks!

     
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    Old 08-07-2007, 02:41 PM   #2
    littlebunnyfoo
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    Re: How anemic is this? I don't want to be on Birth Control Advice Please!

    Hi there,

    I'm not an expert on your levels so hopefully someone else will chime in...

    I'm in the same boat as you as far as my hubby has a vasectomy, I can't be on birth control pills because of visual migraines (stroke risk) and I have been struggling with anemia because of heavy flow.

    Right now, I just take a slow FE everyday. So far I haven't been anemic in several months because I am supplementing the blood loss with an iron pill every day. My iron stores are still on the low side, but I'm not anemic anymore and I don't crave ice like I used to.

     
    Old 08-07-2007, 03:02 PM   #3
    mom2rsl
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    Re: How anemic is this? I don't want to be on Birth Control Advice Please!

    My doctor initially prescribed ferrous sulfate tablets, but the constipation was horrible.. so my gyno has written me a prescription for ICAR-C SR... we'll see how that goes, she wrote a prescrip for YAZ, but the stroke, and blood clot risks scare me!

     
    Old 08-07-2007, 05:22 PM   #4
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    Re: How anemic is this? I don't want to be on Birth Control Advice Please!

    mom2rsl--Even though your numbers are not that low depending on your lab values, your Iron storage is the problem. Is it really 0, or just considered 0? Mine was a 2 and the Hematologist told me anything under a 10 means nothing. I was just wondering if you have a copy of your lab values/results.

    It takes a very long time to build your stores around a year with supplements. So the best thing she can do for you right now is to stop the blood loss. That is why she gave you a script for YAZ. I didn't want it either because of family history. But you can think of it as a temporary way of dealing with this. If you are not planning to have anymore children there is a procedure that you can have done to stop or slow sown your heavy periods. Did she talk to you about that? I just had this done in June and I'm very pleased.

    Good luck with your iron supplements. I hope the new one works better for you. If it doesn't just keep trying until you find one that does. Many people have to try several before they find something they can handle. So this is common.

    You will find lots of information on the Internet if you search. Things that I have learned that helped me were: food combinations, iron rich foods, iron enhancers and inhibitors. All these things effect the way you absorb your supplement. And a good multi vitamin if you are not on one already.
    Good Luck!! FLFLOWERGIRL

     
    Old 08-07-2007, 09:04 PM   #5
    mom2rsl
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    Re: How anemic is this? I don't want to be on Birth Control Advice Please!

    Unfortunately I don't have the results that show my stores.. she just came in and said my stores were zero. She did mention the ablation procedure.. again something that sounds kind of scary to me. Does it make sense that my stores are at zero but the other iron levels are just a little below normal? Is this actually dangerous, or do you think I can afford to wait the months and months it will take for supplements to build me back up. If I have to take a pill every day, I'd much rather it be an iron supplement rather than a birth control pill, but at the same time, I don't want to drop dead from complications of low iron stores. I'm soo confused and torn over what to do at this point. Gotta start really praying about this!

     
    Old 08-08-2007, 05:01 AM   #6
    ChristineVA
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    Re: How anemic is this? I don't want to be on Birth Control Advice Please!

    You are definitely anemic. Not to the point that you need to be hospitalized but you need to watch it.

    I hear you on the BCPs. For various reasons I cannot take them and am now considering getting a Mirena IUD which drastically stops bleeding or getting the endometerial ablation (NovaSure) procedures. The only thing that really stops me is that my periods aren't really that bad so I am left wondering what good they will do.

    If I knew, for sure, that my period was HORRIBLE, I do either one of these things in a heartbeat!

     
    Old 08-08-2007, 07:34 AM   #7
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    Re: How anemic is this? I don't want to be on Birth Control Advice Please!

    Mom2rsl--You might want to get a copy of your labs. The ablation wasn't scary for me because I was really sick for 7mo.'s. I didn't have a choice. You can search the different procedures on Healthboards and see what others have done and the net of course.

    Yes, you can have 0 storage and be anemic or not even anemic with very low storage. If you absorb the supplements well your anemia should resolve itself in a fair amount of time. And you have to be on the right amount of iron to do this. I read that HGB should respond in 30-45 days. Many of us here have a low Ferrritin. Being dangerous, it's definitely not a good thing. They told me that you need a transfusion at a 7 HGB. Some doctors would infuse you but I think most want you to try through the supplement route first.???? As long as the Ferritin is going up. Your future labs will tell you if it is getting better that's how you will know. Your doctor will also guide you through this. Just ask her all these questions. We can only say what has happened to us. We are not doctors, we are just getting a hard education. As far as dropping dead, we are all here chatting with you!! FLFLOWERGIRL

    Christine--I understand what you are saying about your cycle not being bad enough to cause a problem. I didn't think mine was either. I read that if you want to know if this is the problem get a CBC before and after your cycle. I did this, it is not easy just happened by chance. Two CBC's in one week because I was having the SX. I was 10.8 I knew I was having the SX so I went back on iron 2X daily. Then I had my period. 2 days later I had SX and the HGB count was 10.9 Because I was able to replace enough iron than lost. All this was in 7 days time. I thought that was interesting. When I was on half the iron I dropped 1 point in 6 weeks with 2 periods. My doctor said I had a hole in my bucket and it would never fill up if I didn't do something about it. Or I could be on iron until menopause. I guess it doesn't have to be a great amount for some people. I don't think that we will ever know. We just have to correct all these things to fill the ferritin. It ALL helps. FLFLOWERGIRL

     
    Old 08-08-2007, 07:43 AM   #8
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    Re: How anemic is this? I don't want to be on Birth Control Advice Please!

    Thanks FLWRGIRL, I'm just being hard headed. My hemoglobin and hematocrit have steadily (but slowly) dropped since my early 30s. It used to be a healthy 41 and each year went down until I finally hit 34. I am back up to 37 and ferritin is rising. I'm not "afraid" of the endometrial ablation, per se, I'm just sick and tired of having "procedures" done to me. Since 1995, I have had thyroid cancer (which took 2 thyroid surgeries) and have had 4 breast surgeries, a couple endoscopies, and a colonoscopy. My mom is like "Please don't do anyting else that you don't have to" because I get a lot of adverse reactions when I have surgery.

     
    Old 08-08-2007, 09:45 AM   #9
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    Re: How anemic is this? I don't want to be on Birth Control Advice Please!

    mom2rsl -

    My iron stores were 8 and my serum iron wasn't too much lower than normal. Obviously, it would be dangerous if you just kept going on without doing anything. I took iron pills 3 times per day as directed by by doctor and my iron serum was actually higher than normal and my iron stores (ferritin) was up to 37. If your doctor has you on pills your anemia could be resolved in 1-2 months. However, I think it takes longer than that to build up iron stores. Doctor took me off the pills after testing okay, and within 4 months my iron levels were back down but I was not anemic again.

    I'm afraid of the ablation too - I was reading about it and almost every woman who had it said they would not do it again. Several ladies said that they ended up having a hysterectomy within the year after having an ablation - I am thinking it was because of complications.

     
    Old 08-08-2007, 09:53 AM   #10
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    Re: How anemic is this? I don't want to be on Birth Control Advice Please!

    Hard to say about the ablation. Remember, most people that go in to have an ablation are already *usually* have horrific menstrual problems. Anemic patients aren't the norm, although I'm sure many patients are. The ablation is for heavy bleeders. There is not guarantee that it works--I think the success rate is around 80%.

    On another message board I belong to, I have heard only positive things about it so go figure? But I think the first few weeks/months after the ablation can be "challenging."

     
    Old 08-08-2007, 12:49 PM   #11
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    Re: How anemic is this? I don't want to be on Birth Control Advice Please!

    PetiteP ~ What are you doing to correct it? What supplements are you on? How many do you take per day? I was taking Ferrous Sulfate but couldn't stand the constipation, now I've started Slow Fe until the Icar-C SR prescrip come in. I have a call into my doctor because I'm not sure how many I should be taking (of the Slow FE). I also have a slight Magnesium deficiency so I have to space those out.

     
    Old 08-08-2007, 02:23 PM   #12
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    Re: How anemic is this? I don't want to be on Birth Control Advice Please!

    Christine--sorry to hear how much you have gone through. I thought that the anemia was enough for one person. I understand your mother because that's what I tell my dad all the time. I also have bad reactions to things so I know how that goes too. Mine was to the first iron but I didn't know that was the problem until it was too late. FLFLOWERGIRL

     
    Old 08-08-2007, 04:36 PM   #13
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    Re: How anemic is this? I don't want to be on Birth Control Advice Please!

    I have been on birthcontrol for a year now. I never stop bleeding. The only pill that has worked is Yaz. But I still had bleeding. Just found out Im anemic. My mom was. Im only 21. My last resort for birthcontrol is Depo-Provera. Has anyone been on that? The bleeding is reallllly bad when I am not on the pill.

     
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