Working to Better Control Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

April 19, 2023

Bethany Samuelson Bannow, MD, MCR received the 2021 FWGBD Research Fellowship Award with a special award focus area of bleeding disorders affecting women and girls. This award was made possible through a medical education grant from Takeda. Her project – Bleeding in Carriers of Hemophilia A: The Role of von Willebrand Factor, Platelet Function and Endometrial Tissue Expression of FVIII – has been developed under the mentorship of Dr. Alison Edelman.

“We are using this grant to attempt to better understand why some hemophilia A carriers have bleeding out of proportion to FVIII levels and how uterine hemostasis is achieved in these patients,” explains Dr. Samuelson Bannow. “Uterine hemostatic regulation is unique compared to any other part of the body and heavy menstrual bleeding is particularly common among hemophilia A carriers, even those with normal levels and no other bleeding. We hypothesize that endometrial endothelial cells are responsible for this regulation and are investigating the role of these cells in the laboratory. We are also investigating the role of von Willebrand factor levels, iron status and platelet function in bleeding in these patients”

Samuelson Bannow believes this study will lead to a better understanding of how uterine hemostasis is achieved – specifically in carriers of hemophilia A, as well as a better understanding of why some carriers bleed while others don’t. She hopes to use this understanding to identify novel strategies to better control heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia) and other bleeding symptoms in carriers. According to the CDC, each year, menorrhagia affects more than 10 million women in the United States alone.

“I was inspired by my clinical experience with hemophilia carriers who frequently suffer from heavy menstrual bleeding despite having factor VIII levels in the normal range,” says Samuelson Bannow.

Dr. Samuelson Bannow will apply this study’s data to investigations of potential new or unique approaches to control heavy menstrual bleeding in the Hemophilia A carrier population. FWGBD is delighted to support this important work.