Skip to content

Information and Resources

Font Size
A
A
A

Thrombocytopenia and ITP

Symptoms

Usually, thrombocytopenia has no symptoms. But when you do have them, they can include:

Bleeding, most often from the gums or nose. Women with thrombocytopenia may have heavier or longer periods or breakthrough bleeding. You may also see blood in your pee or poop.

Red, flat spots on your skin, about the size of a pinhead. You see these mostly on your legs and feet, and they may appear in clumps. Your doctor may call them petechiae.

Blotches and bruises. You might have large areas of bleeding under the skin that don't turn white when you press on them. You also might see what look like the bruises you get from a bump or being hit. They could be blue or purple and change to yellow or green over time. The difference is, these are caused from the inside, by the sudden leaking from tiny blood vessels. The medical name for these is purpura.

Severe thrombocytopenia can cause a lot of bleeding after an injury, such as a fall.

Getting a Diagnosis

Thrombocytopenia is often found by chance when your doctor does a routine blood test. He or she might ask you:

  • What symptoms have you noticed?
  • When did you first see them?
  • Does anything make them better? Or worse?
  • What medications and supplements are you taking?
  • Have you had any shots in the last month, a blood transfusion, or used drugs with a needle?
  • Does anyone in your family have a problem with their immune system, bleeding, or bruising?
  • What have you eaten recently?

Your doctor may do a physical exam to check you for bleeding and feel if your spleen seems big. Some tests check for low platelet levels:

CBC (complete blood count). This measures the number of your red and white blood cells and platelets.

Blood smear. This shows how your platelets look under a microscope.

Bone marrow test. Your doctor uses a very fine needle to draw a small amount of liquid bone marrow and check it for cells that may not be working right. Or you may get a biopsy, using a different kind of needle, so your doctor can check the types and numbers of cells in the bone marrow.

You may need more tests to help your doctor figure out what's going on.

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

sore foot
3 warning signs.
acupuncture needle on shoulder
10 tips to look and feel good.
Epinephrine Injection using Auto-Injector Syringe
Life-threatening triggers.
disciplining a boy
Types, symptoms, causes.
psoriasis
What it looks like.
checking blood sugar
Symptoms and treatment.
man behind computer screen
10 possible causes.
Woman with itchy watery eyes
Common triggers.
man screaming
Making sense of symptoms.
human liver
What puts you at risk?
caregiver with parent
10 tips for daily life.
two male hands
Understanding RA.

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.