The most common inherited bleeding disorder is von Willebrand Disease (VWD), affecting 1% of the population. This disorder occurs equally in males and females. People who have VWD take longer to stop bleeding than normal.
Von Willebrand factor (VWF) is a protein in the blood that has two important functions in helping blood to clot. VWF is the “glue” that helps platelets stick to the blood vessel wall at the site of injury. Von Willebrand Disease binds to circulating clotting factor VIII and protects it from being broken down in the blood.
Types of von Willebrand Disease
- Type 1 – Reduced amount of von Willebrand factor (VWF) in blood
- Type 2A, 2B, 2M, and 2N – von WIllebrand Factor (VWF) levels may be normal, but the VWF does not work properly
- Type 3 – Very little or no von Willebrand Factor (VWF) in the blood
Signs & Symptoms of von Willebrand Disease
Some symptoms of von Willebrand Disease may include:
- Easy bruising
- Frequent or excessive nosebleeds
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding after surgery, dental work, injury or childbirth