How It Is Done
The health professional drawing blood
- Wrap an elastic band around your upper arm to
stop the flow of blood. This makes the veins below the band larger so it is
easier to put a needle into the vein.
- Clean the needle site with
- Put the needle into the vein. More than one needle stick
may be needed.
- Attach a tube to the needle to fill it with blood.
- Remove the band from your arm when enough blood is
- Apply a gauze pad or cotton ball over the needle site as
the needle is removed.
- Apply pressure to the site and then a
For a woman who is having problems with her menstrual cycle
or who cannot become pregnant, more than one blood sample for progesterone
testing may be needed to help identify the problem. A sample may be taken each
day for several days in a row.
How It Feels
You may feel nothing at all from the
needle puncture, or you may feel a brief sting or pinch as the needle goes
through the skin. Some people feel a stinging pain while the needle is in the
vein. But many people do not feel any pain or have only minor discomfort once
the needle is positioned in the vein.
There is very little risk of complications from
having blood drawn from a vein.
- You may develop a small bruise at the puncture
site. You can reduce the risk of bruising by keeping pressure on the site for
several minutes after the needle is withdrawn.
- In rare cases, the
vein may become inflamed after the blood sample is taken. This condition is
called phlebitis and is usually treated with a warm compress applied several
- Continued bleeding can be a problem for people who have bleeding disorders. Aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), and other blood-thinning
medicines can also make bleeding more likely. If you have bleeding or clotting
problems, or if you take blood-thinning medicine, tell your doctor before your
blood is drawn.