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Blood loss is the most common cause of anemia, especially iron-deficiency anemia. Blood loss can be short term or persist over time. Heavy menstrual periods or bleeding in the digestive or urinary tract can cause blood loss. Surgery, trauma, or cancer also can cause blood loss.

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Iron deficiency anemia is caused by a shortage of iron in your body. Your bone marrow needs iron to make hemoglobin. Without adequate iron, your body can't produce enough hemoglobin for red blood cells. Without iron supplementation, this type of anemia occurs in many pregnant women.
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