If You’re a Woman With HAE, This is Good News!

I don’t know what it is about hereditary angioedema (HAE) that makes people with it have a really great sense of humor, but they do.

Maybe it’s the absurdity of HAE attacks: Watching body parts swell to GINORMOUS sizes is super weird, after all. Maybe it’s the fact that, for so long, there were no effective treatments (if you were lucky enough to find a doctor who correctly diagnosed your swelling episodes).
Often, suffering through embarrassing attacks meant curling up with the pain behind closed doors and riding out the storm. A lot of people learned an “If I don’t laugh, I’ll cry” approach early on.

Women had “special moments” with their HAE.

For one, birth control pills are a BIG no-no for most women who have HAE. The hormones in them (and in some of the creams docs prescribe during menopause to offset vaginal dryness) can trigger attacks.

Then there’s childbirth… Some women sail through. For others, though, swelling can cause complications most OB/GYNs never expected to face.

That’s why some in the medical community are focusing specifically on women-oriented treatment and management plans.

Dr. Marc Riedl, one of the specialists involved in founding the HAEA Angioedema Center at the University of California, San Diego, was a co-author with Dr. Aleena Banerji of an article reviewing hereditary angioedema care for women. The article was published in the medical journal Women’s Health, so hopefully more and more practitioners will have a clue when a woman walks into their office and says, “I have HAE.”



EmpatheticBadass is a young-at-heart writer from Ohio (Go, Bobcats & The Marching 110!)) who is passionate about being a voice for the patient perspective.

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