How to manage hematophobia and menstruation?

Comment gérer l’hématophobie et les règles ?

Hematophobia is a specific phobia characterized by fear of blood. It is estimated toaffect 20% of the population. It's a phobia that's easy to treat, but can be very restrictive, causing extreme panic, avoidance of certain situations and so on. And it's a phobia that's even harder to manage when you're a woman, and therefore confronted with your period.

What is hematophobia or fear of blood?

Hematophobia is a type of phobia characterized by heightened fear at the sight of blood. People with hematophobia will feel anxious whenever they see blood, or even if they are in the presence of someone who is losing blood. According to the WHO, it's the third most common fear in the world. It's a phobia that can be very restrictive in the daily lives of sufferers, even more so for women who have their periods.

What are the causes of hematophobia?

Hematophobia can have a number of causes:

  • Reason number 1 is having had an experience involving blood, such as an accident or injury, whether suffered by the sufferer or those around him or her;
  • As blood is associated with the sinister, some people suffering from thanatophobia (fear of death) may feel anguish at the sight of blood;
  • For some people with hematophobia, negative medical experiences (involving needles, injections, etc.) may heighten their fear of blood. The latter is often linked to fear of needles.

Generally speaking, the causes of hematophobia are not really understood... Sometimes, the fear is simply genetic, without any real cause being found.

How can fear of blood be permanently cured?

There are a number of ways to get rid of this fear of blood:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy: working with a psychologist to learn techniques and apply exercises to change the brain's thought patterns and structure its thoughts, and reduce anxiety about what we're afraid of. This may involve breathing or relaxation exercises, but also other exercises;
  • Psychotherapy is a treatment based on the use of words and non-verbal language, so that the patient learns to know himself better;
  • Psychoanalysis takes into account the link between our fears, our experiences, our personality and our unconscious thoughts;
  • Finally, hypnosis is a short-term treatment, which doesn't seek to understand where the phobia comes from, but rather to find solutions. A bit like cognitive behavioral therapy.

How can I be diagnosed as a hematophobe?

Several symptoms are characteristic of blood phobia. Avoidance behaviors, i.e. stopping oneself from doing certain activities or going to certain places for fear of being confronted with blood, are very characteristic of hematophobia. Anxiety attacks and panic attacks are symptoms of a phobia. Here's a list of more specific symptoms characteristic of an anxious reaction to the sight of blood. These include :

  • dizziness ;
  • vagal discomfort ;
  • shortness of breath ;
  • sweating ;
  • stomach ache ;
  • nausea and/or vomiting;
  • tachycardia, or a drop in heart rate;
  • physical fatigue, such as loss of energy;
  • tremors ;
  • paleness;

The intensity of symptoms will depend on the strength of the phobia.

An anxiety attack in a hematophobe can be triggered by the sight of blood, or by the simple visualization of blood. Blood phobics have varying degrees of sensitivity, depending on the individual.

If the hematophobia is too present and handicaps the person's daily life to the point of preventing him or her from doing things, such as avoiding medical appointments etc., it's time to look for solutions.

Our 5 tips to combat haematophobia during your period!

So how can you stop being afraid of blood? Here's our advice on how to make the most of this time.

Don't look at your period blood

If you're a hematophobe, the easiest way to combat this phobia during your period is toavoid looking at your period blood. The same applies to spottingthat is, the small amounts of bleeding that occur outside your period. It's a completely natural phenomenon, but one you unfortunately can't control.

Choose absorbent external protection

To avoid being confronted with blood, we recommend using an external protection rather than an internal protection such as tampons and cups, in which case you'll be directly confronted with the sight of blood.

For external protection, we strongly recommend period panties. In fact, almost all our menstrual briefs have a black organic cotton lining, so you won't be directly confronted with the sight of blood, as you might be when using conventional sanitary towels.

Practice breathing techniques

If you're looking for long-term solutions to hematophobia, relaxation and breathing techniques such as sophrology and cardiac coherence can help. If you practice them regularly, they will become real tools to help you in your daily life.

Consult a doctor if your periods are heavy

If your periods are too heavy, consult your doctor or specialist. Visit heavy periods or haemorrhagic periods may reveal underlying pathologies.

Get help

If your phobia is making you anxious, even more so during your period, it's advisable to consider therapy or treatment by a qualified healthcare professional . He or she can give you the keys and tools you need to live better with your phobia, and even make it disappear, or at least reduce its symptoms.

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The information contained in the articles on is general information only. Although reviewed by health professionals, this information is not error-free, does not constitute health advice or consultation, and is not intended to provide a diagnosis or suggest a course of treatment. Under no circumstances may this information be used as a substitute for medical advice or consultation with a healthcare professional. If you have any questions, please consult your doctor.