Donating Blood When Your Hemoglobin and Hematocrit Are Elevated

March 20, 2023

Hemoglobin (Hgb) and hematocrit (Hct) levels are something that, if you’re on hormone replacement therapy, you need to watch carefully.

Hemoglobin is a protein inside your red blood cells that carries oxygen and carbon dioxide around your body. Hematocrit is just a measure of how much of your blood is made up of red blood cells.

When Hgb/Hct levels are higher than normal, it's called polycythemia, which can lead to health complications if not treated.

One way to manage polycythemia and maintain healthy Hgb/Hct levels is by donating blood. Donating blood not only helps people in need but also reduces the number of red blood cells in your body to safe levels.

The Dangers of High Hgb and Hct

Having too many red blood cells might seem like a good thing, but it’s actually a potentially deadly condition.

All those extra red blood cells thicken your blood. When your blood is thicker than normal, it puts a strain on your heart and blood vessels, increasing your risk of heart attack or stroke.

By reducing the number of red blood cells in your body through blood donation, you lower your risk of these cardiovascular events and improve your blood flow.

Moreover, donating blood can also help in managing iron levels in your body. Excessive iron can lead to liver damage, diabetes, and other health issues. By donating blood regularly, you can reduce the amount of iron in your body and promote healthy iron levels.

How Often to Donate

How often you should donate blood if you have elevated Hgb/Hct levels depends on you and your healthcare provider.

In general, donating blood every 60 -90 days can help maintain healthy Hgb/Hct levels and reduce the risk of complications, but you’ll always want to work with your healthcare provider to see what they think is best.

If You’re on Hormone Replacement Therapy, Talk to Your Healthcare Provider About Donating Blood

While elevated Hgb/Hct levels can be a health risk, blood donation is an effective way to manage them while also helping others. Talk to your healthcare provider to determine how often you should donate blood.

To learn more about hormone replacement therapy and to see if it’s right for you, schedule an appointment today.