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10 things women should know about donating blood

Women who want to donate blood often have many questions buzzing around in their heads. For today's «Women's Day» we provide 10 facts that women willing to donate should know about donating blood.

Can I donate blood if I have iron deficiency?

A healthy adult has approximately 4,000 mg of iron in its supply. With each donation you lose about 250 mg. The iron is bound to the dye hemoglobin, which is located in the red blood cells. In the case of severe iron deficiency, the hemoglobin level is usually correspondingly low. That is why this value is measured before each donation. If it is too deep, no blood can be donated.

Additional information: On average, the iron loss is completely compensated for after 50 - 120 days. We therefore recommend that women donate whole blood no more than three times a year.

How much blood will be taken from me and when will it be replaced?

Usually 450ml is removed, which is less than 10 percent of the total blood volume. The blood plasma volume is equalized again within a few hours with adequate fluid intake. The amount of red blood cells approached the starting value after about seven days. It takes about two months for red blood cells to form in the bone marrow.

Can I donate blood during my period?

Menstruation normally has no influence on the ability to donate. It is important that you feel good and drink a lot.

I don't weigh quite 50 kg, but fit & healthy, can I still donate blood?
The withdrawn blood volume must be less than 13 percent of the total blood volume. If the weight is less than 50kg, this requirement can no longer be guaranteed.

Does a blood donation hurt?

Do not worry. The most uncomfortable thing about donating blood is the little prick in your finger. The blood drop taken is used to determine the blood pigment content (hemoglobin). The prick in the vein to donate blood is usually barely noticeable and the actual blood donation is painless.

Can I donate blood despite the birth control pill?

Yes, taking contraceptive pills does not affect your ability to donate.

Can I donate blood after pregnancy?

Donations may not be made during pregnancy and up to 12 months after delivery, because the mother needs a particularly large amount of iron for herself and her baby during pregnancy and possibly breastfeeding.

How do I feel after donating blood? Can I do sports again?

A 10-15 minute break after the donation is good. And above all, it is important to drink plenty of water. It helps to quickly replace the donated blood fluid. The fluid you lose during donation can lower your blood pressure, which can make you feel a little weak and dizzy. The loss of fluid is compensated for within 24 hours. During sporting activities, you should listen to your own body awareness and, if necessary, adjust the duration and intensity.

What is the best thing to eat before and after a blood donation?

We recommend that you have a small snack a few hours before the donation (nothing fatty) and drink a lot, do not donate on an empty stomach.
Immediately after the donation, it is recommended to have a bite to eat. It helps keep blood sugar levels stable. Above all, it is important to drink plenty of water. Afterwards, a healthy, balanced meal with a lot of iron is certainly beneficial to replenish the iron supply.

Can i drink alcohol?

Almost half of the blood is made up of water. You should therefore avoid the consumption of alcohol before and after a blood donation, as it affects the fluid balance and can prolong the regeneration of the body after the blood donation.

Would you like to donate blood? You can find the next opportunity near you here: www.blutspende.ch/termine

The most important blood donation criteria are listed here: www.blutspende.ch/spendelösungen