Embarking upon puberty gave 13-year-old Nima Pathare (name changed) nightmares when she realised that even a week after her first menses had set in, she would not stop bleeding.
When the Pathares, who live in Ratnagiri, got their daughter to the BMC-run KEM Hospital earlier this week, the doctors detected that Nima was suffering from puberty menorrhagia — a condition involving unstoppable bleeding. Up to 15% of girls attaining puberty suffer from this life threatening condition.
“A few hours after I started my menses, I started experiencing heavy bleeding. My back hurt and my head started spinning. When I complained to my mother she assured me that there was nothing wrong and that things would be fine after four days,” said Nima weakly.
Alarm bells started ringing when her mother realised that even after a week Nima was having fainting spells and the bleeding wouldn’t stop.
“Her haemoglobin levels dropped to three units and her platelet count as as low as 20,000 when she was wheeled in. She was immediately administered medication to suppress her periods and her blood was sent for testing to find out as to why it wouldn’t clot. She is responding to medication now,” said a casualty medical officer, KEM Hospital.
Doctors say that puberty menorrhagia occurs to girls who suffer from a blood clotting disorder and manifests itself when she starts menstruating. “The patient’s blood has to be tested to detect factors that lead to problems in blood clotting. Iron and vitamin supplements are provided along with prescribed diet. If the patient takes treatment, she will have no problem in conception,” said Dr Anshumala Shukla, gynaecologist, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital.
Medical experts warn that if the patient is not hospitalised and treated on time, she may bleed to death.