Hamostaseologie 2022; 42(05): 337-347
DOI: 10.1055/a-1891-8187
Review Article

Bleeding Issues in Women Under Oral Anticoagulation

Lida Kalmanti
1   Center of Thrombosis and Hemostasis, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Mainz, Germany
Edelgard Lindhoff-Last
2   Cardioangiology Center Bethanienhospital, Coagulation Center and Coagulation Research Center, Frankfurt, Germany
› Author Affiliations


In premenopausal women treatment with direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) can be associated with an increased risk of heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB) compared with vitamin K antagonists. These findings come from retrospective or prospective single-center studies and post hoc analysis of regulatory studies in which HMB was not a predefined safety outcome. In most of these publications, there is a lack of information about the use of different contraceptive methods which can influence HMB. Another limitation is the various definitions of HMB, which makes comparison between studies regarding the incidences of HMB difficult.

Therefore, prospective studies are urgently needed to investigate the severity and duration of unaffected menstrual bleeding under oral anticoagulation independently of oral contraceptives or intrauterine devices. An ongoing multicenter German registry is aiming to compare the incidence of unaffected HMB in consecutive women of reproductive age (18–50 years) treated with different DOACs because of venous thromboembolism.

When HMB occurs during oral anticoagulation, management includes interruption or dose reduction of anticoagulation with the danger of recurrent venous thrombosis, switch to another oral anticoagulant, or additional use of the antifibrinolytic agent tranexamic acid with the potential risk of thrombosis. Concomitant use of either oral hormonal contraceptive therapy or hormone-releasing intrauterine systems can also reduce HMB.

Publication History

Received: 05 February 2022

Accepted: 28 June 2022

Article published online:
02 November 2022

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