Woman Nearly Bleeds to Death Before Getting Diagnosed With Rare Condition

woman at gynecologist officeImagine looking down, and seeing blood clots the size of your fist soaking through your clothes. AND an entire roll of paper towels. AND the seat of your car.

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Terrifying? Yep, and it happened to a Colorado woman who a) not only survived, but b) was diagnosed with a very, very rare uterine condition that you've probably never heard of before. But probably should.

Erica Aaron, a freelance writer from Boulder, Colorado, recently shared her bizarre experience on XOJane. It all started when she experienced some crazy-heavy bleeding after getting an IUD. Think: soaking through two pads AND a super tampon. She also experienced "back-breaking" cramps that kept her up at night.

A trip to the ER didn't turn up anything unusual and Erica was assured she'd probably just had "an unusual period." But when her symptoms didn't go away, Erica became alarmed -- and a frequent visitor to the hospital where docs kept assuring her that her body would "heal itself."

That didn't sound quite right to her, though. And thanks to her persistence, Erica finally received a diagnosis that made sense. She was suffering from a uterine arteriovenous malformation (AVM), a condition only 100 other women in the world have. In short, the blood vessels in her uterus were seriously malformed.

More from The Stir: Period Changes: What Is Your Body Trying to Tell You?

As Erica explained:

Since there are no arterioles or capillaries between [the vessels], hardly any oxygen is absorbed and the pressure is equivalent to hooking up a garden hose to a tube made out of tissue paper.

In other words, cue the blood splatter.

And while Erica was waiting on a procedure to cut off the blood supply to the AVM, that's kinda what happened -- the whole thing in the car where she looked down and basically saw herself bleeding out. Somehow, she managed to drive herself to a nearby hospital, where it sounds like doctors worked pretty darn hard to save her life.

Luckily, Erica's expected to make a full recovery.

The takeaway from her story? In Erica's own words, "Always advocate for your health, and if something doesn't feel right, speak up -- it could truly save your life."

Have you ever had to fight for your health?

 

Image via iStock.com/Pamela Moore

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