The Penn State Health Approach to Multispecialty Care
The Women and Girls with Bleeding Disorders Program at Penn State Health is the only one of its kind in Pennsylvania. Hematologists and women’s health specialists offer respectful, compassionate and comprehensive care in one convenient location. We understand the unique challenges and concerns of adolescent girls and young women with heavy menstrual bleeding.
Our experts treat heavy or abnormal menstrual bleeding, which is more often encountered in bleeding disorders, including inherited bleeding conditions such as hemophilia and von Willebrand disease. Our physicians and providers treat these and other conditions associated with abnormal bleeding. We also support patients who may be receiving care at the Hemophilia Treatment Center (HTC) of central Pennsylvania. Every patient is seen by a hematologist, as well as a women’s health or adolescent medicine physician.
Personalized Services From Experts Who Care
Our multispecialty services include:
- Blood disorder evaluation and medication management
- Diagnosis, consultation and care for women and girls with inherited bleeding disorders
- Second opinions for patients who have been seen by other gynecologists, hematologists or adolescent medicine physicians
- Support and guidance for young girls with a diagnosis, symptoms or family history of bleeding disorders who anticipate starting their periods
- Treatment for women with chronic conditions related to abnormal bleeding
- Treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding and other gynecologic concerns of women with any type of bleeding disorder
Women with certain bleeding disorders may have questions or concerns about pregnancy. We provide pregnancy-related counseling, management plans and delivery recommendations to minimize risk for mothers and infants.
Types of Bleeding Disorders and Conditions Treated
Penn State Health providers offer personalized care for these and other conditions or complications:
- Anemia resulting from excessive bleeding
- Bleeding disorders associated with heavy menstrual bleeding or abnormal uterine bleeding, including:
- Coagulation factor deficiencies clotting factor deficiency and rare coagulation factor disorders
- Clotting factor deficiency
- Connective tissue disorders, such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
- Inherited and acquired platelet disorders affecting the number and function of tiny blood cells called thrombocytes or platelets
- Von Willebrand disease, including all subtypes
- Complications of inherited bleeding disorders in menstruating girls and women
- Heavy periods or abnormal menstrual bleeding
We also see women who are treated at the HTC of central Pennsylvania and offer support for female relatives potentially at risk for an inherited bleeding disorder.
Evaluation, Symptoms and Treatment
Your doctor or other care provider may refer you to our clinic for evaluation. Our referrals typically come from these practitioners:
- Primary care providers
- Pediatric or adult hematologists
- Hemophilia treatment centers
You can also contact us to schedule an appointment for a consultation.
Symptoms of a Bleeding Disorder in Women and Girls
Ask your doctor or health practitioner about these or other symptoms related to menstruation:
- Bleeding for more than seven days from the beginning to end of a period
- Changing tampons or pads every two hours or sooner on heavy bleeding days
- Family history of a bleeding disorder
- Low iron or anemia
- Menstrual blood that gushes and may limit exercise, sports, or work, school and social activities
- Passing clots that are larger than a quarter
Other types of abnormal bleeding requiring medical evaluation:
- Bruising easily, such as weekly bruising, raised bruises or bruises larger than a quarter
- Cuts that bleed for more than five minutes
- Frequent nosebleeds lasting longer than 10 minutes
- Heavy bleeding after dental procedures, surgery or childbirth
Bleeding Disorder Testing
Your health care provider will recommend testing based on your symptoms, health history and condition. Typical steps include:
- Complete medical, surgical and family history
- Focused physical exam
- Blood tests:
- Evaluation of anemia and inherited hemoglobin disorders, which may include blood count, iron studies and hemoglobin electrophoresis testing
- Coagulation factor testing
- Inherited platelet disorder screening using specialized platelet function testing
- Ovulatory dysfunction disorder screening
- Genetic testing to confirm or refine an inherited bleeding disorder diagnosis
- Imaging studies, such as ultrasound, to evaluate for structural disorders of the reproductive tract
Many blood tests are performed at our on-site Special Hematology Lab, operated by our hematology and pathology experts, with prompt turnaround.
Treatments for Women and Girls With Bleeding Disorders
Penn State Health care providers will develop an individualized treatment plan that may include:
- Hormonal medications and treatments
- Intravenous iron for iron deficiency
- Levonorgestrel intrauterine system (intrauterine device or IUD) placement in an outpatient or office setting or, in certain instances, under sedation
- Nonhormonal treatments, such as antifibrinolytics and coagulation factors/blood products
We develop detailed care plans that minimize bleeding risk during and after IUD placement or other procedures.
Support Groups and Resources
Learning more about symptoms and conditions is a good way to understand what to expect and how to make positive, informed decisions. These trusted resources can help.
Online Educational Resources
- Better You Know
- Bleeding Disorders in Women - information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- Hemophilia Federation of America
- Foundation for Women and Girls with Blood Disorders - who is at risk, what to expect, how to prepare and what to know about bleeding disorders
- National Hemophilia Foundation
- Women and Bleeding Disorders - information from the National Hemophilia Foundation for All Bleeding Disorders
- National Hemophilia Foundation Support Groups: Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter - support groups for teens, men and women include educational and fun events and a chance to interact with others in our community.
- Facebook Bleeding Disorders Group - this group is available by invitation. Ask your care team about how to participate.
Meet the Team
Why Choose Penn State Health for Multispecialty Care
People come to Penn State Health for advanced, comprehensive care for all types of blood and bleeding disorders. Our team works together to serve and support women and girls, from consultation and diagnosis through long-term care.
Nationally Recognized Care for All Types of Blood and Bleeding Disorders
People choose us for these and other reasons:
- We are the only multidisciplinary clinic offering specialized services in one clinic and the only clinic in Pennsylvania seeing both adolescents and adults.
- The hematologists at Penn State Health are board-certified in internal medicine and pediatrics, with additional hematology certification. Our hematologists, gynecologists and other board-certified physicians are recognized among the Best Doctors in America®.
- We provide convenient, sophisticated blood testing in our on-site Special Hematology Laboratory for accurate and responsive lab results.
- We’re part of research and care networks, such as the Foundation for Women & Girls with Blood Disorders (FWGBD) Learning Action Networks, that drive exceptional care. As one of the FWGBD Clinics of Excellence, we can offer access to the latest and best practices and high-level services. We also collaborate in innovative research studies with other centers and clinics within this network.
- Our clinic is located within the Penn State Health Obstetrics and Gynecology Women’s Health Clinic, offering a trusted and comfortable environment for women and girls. Our team’s expertise covers all aspects of gynecologic care, including surgical and nonsurgical therapies. We evaluate and manage hormonal disorders that can occur in individuals with or without inherited bleeding disorders.
- Penn State Health is home to one of about 149 hemophilia treatment centers in the nation and is the only center between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Persons diagnosed with a bleeding disorder in the Women and Girls Bleeding Disorders Clinic may be offered enrollment in the HTC of central Pennsylvania to have access to additional services and support.
Hematology Research and Clinical Trials
We’re dedicated to the best possible care and quality of life for women and girls with bleeding disorders. Our physicians explore ways to enhance care in highly focused areas of investigation. These include risk-adapted IUD placement for heavy menstrual bleeding in adolescents with bleeding disorders. Learn more about clinical trials at Penn State Health.
Penn State Health Obstetrics and Gynecology
35 Hope Drive
Hershey, PA 17033