Vicky’s story

Vicky is one of only a handful of women in the country who is a haemophilia carrier and also has von Willebrand Disease.

She endured very heavy periods for many years before having a hysterectomy seven years ago.

Speaking out to promote Talking Red, The Haemophilia Society’s campaign to raise awareness among women and medical professionals about women’s bleeding disorders, Vicky, 49, said her heavy periods left her feeling exhausted and weak.

Vicky was diagnosed with VWD was when she was 23 and already had one child. As her father had haemophilia she was already aware that she was a carrier. Her second pregnancy resulted in a very difficult birth as a result of her bleeding disorder, after which her periods got progressively worse.

She said: “My periods were horrific. I’d wake up stuck to the bedsheets. I’d get up in the morning and the bathroom was like a scene from Psycho. On days that I knew were going to be bad I wouldn’t go out. My whole life revolved around my periods.

“I was exhausted all the time, I had two children and I was working. It was very difficult.”

As Vicky’s periods worsened she kept going to her GP to ask for a hysterectomy but was told she was too young. Finally she was given a chemical menopause 18 months before her hysterectomy at the age of 42.

Vicky said: “I have bags more energy now than I had 20 years ago. As soon as I had my hysterectomy I’ve not looked back. It feels like I have my life back.”

Vicky, who believes she is one of only about 11 women in the UK to have VWD and to be a haemophilia carrier, encouraged women who are putting up with extremely heavy periods to get themselves tested for a bleeding disorder.

She said: “If your periods are unusually heavy, go and get tested. There are things you can take that will help – such as Factor VIII or tranexamic acid. I would encourage anyone to get proper help.”