Soundarya Selvam is a PhD student who works in Dr, James’ Hematology lab, part of the Department of Medicine at Queen’s University. Since she began working with Dr, James, Soundarya has become increasingly aware of how little most women know about common bleeding disorders, and even regularly shares information with women in her own network to help spread the word.
Hi Soundarya! Let’s start from the beginning. Why did you decide to work with Dr. James?
I first applied to work at Queen’s in cancer research, and Dr. James was on the admissions committee. Before that time, I hadn’t met with anyone I wanted to work with. I came in for an interview. I had read up about Dr. James, and then after coming here and talking to her, and seeing the lab, it was a no-brainer to want to stay.
We’re glad you’re here! Have you shared the Self-BAT with your network? Why do you think it’s important?
I have shared the Self-BAT with every single person I can think of. I tell them to visit the website and take the quiz. I have always felt so strongly about female reproductive care, and having talked with friends and family about it, I’ve realized how much people are unaware of what’s normal and what’s abnormal. Let’s Talk Period is a great way to quantify monthly menstrual cycles.
Those conversations are so important. What’s one thing you know now about bleeding disorders that you think other people need to know?
People need to know that bleeding disorders are more common than they think, and a lot of the time it can they can get swept under the rug. Even if it’s a part of your family history, you might not know what’s normal or abnormal in relative terms. You could simply think: “Well, my mom’s menstrual symptoms are/were like this, so I am going to deal with the same thing.”
Raising awareness around testing is so important. And in a lot of cases, when a solution is very accessible – such as taking iron pills when you lose iron due to heavy menstrual periods – there’s the potential for big changes to quality of life.
Thanks for sharing your insights, Soundarya!
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