Iron therapy in obstetrics and gynaecology: a review Abstract

Ching Wa LAU
Blood Transfusion Services, Hospital Authority

There are three problems in managing iron deficiency anaemia in child-bearing-age women: lack of awareness of the condition by both patient and clinician, inexperience in the diagnosis, and lack of familiarity with available oral and intravenous iron therapy. Iron deficiency is common in women, from menarche, through growth spurt in puberty, pregnancy, and postpartum, and until menopause. To screen for underlying iron deficiency, a haemoglobin cut-off for anaemia is used. Iron deficiency anaemia must be excluded for patients with haemoglobin level below the cut-off. Oral iron therapy is effective in treating iron deficiency anaemia. Low-dose alternate-day oral iron therapy is recommended (rather than daily iron dose). It is crucial to accompany oral iron therapy with vitamin C. Intravenous iron therapy, particularly with third-generation iron compounds, is safe, effective, and faster acting than oral iron therapy.

Hong Kong J Gynaecol Obstet Midwifery 2019; 19(1):49–55
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