Von Willebrand Disease (VWD) is the most common inherited bleeding disorder that we know about, and occurs in around 1 in 1000 individuals worldwide. Both men and women can be affected, however women tend to come to medical attention more often because of heavy periods and post-partum bleeding.
VWD is caused by a deficiency or dysfunction of a clotting factor, called von Willebrand factor (VWF) that is critically important to stop bleeding once it has started. The most common symptoms experienced by VWD patients include heavy menstrual periods, easy bruising, nosebleeds, prolonged bleeding from minor wounds, bleeding from the mouth especially with brushing or flossing, excessive or prolonged bleeding following dental extractions, surgery or childbirth or bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract. In the most severe cases, patients with VWD can experience bleeding into muscles and joints.
The first step in ensuring appropriate management for VWD is an accurate diagnosis, which means the bleeding symptoms must be recognized as abnormal. Our self-administered bleeding assessment tool (Self-BAT) was designed to identify individuals with abnormal bleeding in need of laboratory testing. Effective treatments for VWD are available.
To learn more about effective treatments or to continue the conversation, please get in touch with us by writing to us at the bottom of our website homepage. Join our communities on Facebook and Instagram to get regular information about bleeding disorders and help other women be empowered by this knowledge.
Nichols, Haemophilia, 2008.