Gynecologic Bleeding Complications in Postmenarchal Female Adolescents Receiving Antithrombotic Medications

J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2018 Jun;31(3):242-246. doi: 10.1016/j.jpag.2017.12.007. Epub 2017 Dec 20.


Study objective: The prevalence, clinical features, and management of gynecologic bleeding complications and health care provider awareness of these in postmenarchal adolescents receiving antithrombotic medications has rarely been addressed in the literature. We sought to address these issues in a review of our experience in a pediatric tertiary care center.

Design, setting, and participants: A retrospective chart review was conducted with institutional review board approval from 2004 to 2014, on eligible postmenarchal adolescents receiving antithrombotic medications. Descriptive statistics were used.

Results: Sixty-eight adolescents received antithrombotic medications (thromboembolism in 67 of 68; 99%; cardiac causes in 4 of 68; 6%), which included enoxaparin, warfarin, unfractionated heparin, alteplase, fondaparinux, and aspirin. Heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB) screening questions were documented by treating hematologists in 52 of 68 patients (76%; 95% confidence interval, 65%-86%). Adolescent gynecology consult was requested for 25 of 68 patients (37%). After antithrombotic medications were started, 13 of 68 (19%) developed HMB. Anemia was found in 43% of patients tested (18 of 42); 50% (9 of 18) and 78% patients (14 of 18) received packed red blood cell transfusion and iron therapy, respectively. Five patients (5 of 68; 7%) developed hemorrhagic ovarian cysts, 40% (2 of 5) were treated with surgery, 16% (1 of 5) received transfusions, and 100% (5 of 5) received or continued progesterone-only therapy with no recurrence.

Conclusion: Adolescents receiving antithrombotic medications are at risk of developing gynecologic bleeding complications, which can result in anemia, hospitalization, transfusions, or surgery. Provider awareness/screening of HMB as a bleeding complication of antithrombotic medications is less than optimal. Future prospective studies in adolescents receiving antithrombotic medications are needed to better evaluate provider awareness and the prevalence of gynecologic bleeding complications, which can lead to effective management.

Keywords: Adolescent; Antithrombotic medications; Gynecologic bleeding; Heavy menstrual bleeding; Hemorrhagic ovarian cyst.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anemia / epidemiology
  • Anemia / etiology
  • Blood Transfusion / statistics & numerical data
  • Child
  • Female
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Menarche
  • Menorrhagia / chemically induced*
  • Menorrhagia / complications
  • Menorrhagia / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult


  • Fibrinolytic Agents