Don’t Be Discouraged,
Iron Deferrals are Common

Last year Iron deferrals accounted for 43.6% of all deferrals at Lane Blood Center.  Women are deferred for low iron more often then men.  This can be attributed to the fact that men naturally have higher iron counts than women.

Women should also note that your iron fluctuates throughout your menstrual cycle.  While it is fine to donate during your period you may find that your iron is lower at that point in your cycle.  Scheduling your blood donations before your period is best.

WebMD shows normal hemoglobin levels for a man measure between 14g/dL and 17.4g/dL while normal hemoglobin levels for women are between 12g/dL and 16g/dL.  The FDA requires blood donors, both male and female, to have a hemoglobin count of 12.5g/dL or higher.  (See chart below.)  This means many women who have healthy iron levels can get deferred if they do not meet the FDA iron requirement.  In other words, just because you were deferred for low iron does not mean you are anemic.  You can go on to have successful donations.