Northwest Oncology & Hematology

Rolling Meadows Office: 847.870.4100
Elk Grove Village Office: 847.437.3312
Hoffman Estates Office: 847.885.4100
Barrington Office: 847.842.0180
Elgin Office: 847.577.1023

Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

Preventing Bleeding During ChemotherapyPrevenci³n del sangrado durante la quimioterapia

Preventing Bleeding During Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy can make your blood less able to clot. This happens because the treatment reduces the number of platelets (clotting agents) in your blood. As a result, your risk of bruising and bleeding increases. To help prevent problem bleeding, use the tips on this handout.

Image of woman at lab
Your blood counts will be checked often. If your platelet level becomes too low, your doctor may decide that you need a transfusion.

Know What to Expect

Some types of chemotherapy cause more bleeding problems than others. Often the risk of bleeding increases over the course of treatment. In any case, your risk is greatest during the nadir (the period in each treatment cycle when your platelet count is lowest). Talk with your doctor or nurse about your nadir period. Then take extra precautions to prevent bleeding at that time.

Call Your Doctor If You Have:

  • Blood in your urine or stool

  • Easy bruising or small red spots under your skin

  • Bleeding that won't stop (such as from gums or nose)

  • Menstrual flow that is heavy or lasts longer than normal

  • Vomiting, vision changes, frequent headaches

Avoid Bleeding and Bruising

  • Use a soft toothbrush. Do not floss your teeth or use a Water-Pik.

  • Talk to your dentist about postponing teeth cleanings or dental work.

  • Shave with an electric razor, not a straight razor.

  • Ask your doctor which medications you should stop taking. Some, such as aspirin, make it harder for blood to clot.

  • Eat a high-fiber diet to avoid constipation.

  • Do not play contact sports or do activities likely to cause bruising.

  • Do not use tampons or suppositories.

  • Be extra careful during your nadir. Depending on your platelet count, you may be told to stop having intercourse at this time.

Date Last Reviewed:

Date Last Modified: 2002-07-09T00:00:00-06:00

Contact us at Northwest Oncology & Hematology. You can reach us at 847.870.4100 (Rolling Meadows office), 847.437.3312 (Elk Grove Village office), 847.885.4100 (Hoffman Estates office), 847.842.0180 (Barrington office) and 847.577.1023 (Elgin office)For your convenience, you can also use our New Patient Appointment online form to schedule your consultation with us.

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